Instructables
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With this Instructable, I intend to show you how to make your USB Thumb Drive into any shape you wish!

I've been collecting USB drives since they started getting cheap. Every one of them still works, but unfortunately, the cases that hold them never hold up. I carry one on my keychain for a couple of months and the frame breaks off. I've seen Some others put their thumb drives into Altoids tins, but what benifit has that other than the initial Wow! factor...

I decided that I was going to cast my thumb drive into my own thumb! Unfortunately, I'd never done any type of plastics casting. Perhaps this was fortunate because I didn't know it couldn't be done! I just thought about it for a couple of weeks. Finally I decided I was going to try it. Worst that would happen is I might destroy a couple of old, obsolete thumb drives...

After a little time at the local Hobby store and discussions with the cute little salesgirl, I decided on the supplies I needed. A little experimenting and I got the technique down.


 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
First I needed casting material. I could have used plaster or latex. Plaster would produce a very porous and hard mold and would likely only give me one casting. Liquid latex would give me a nice, permanent mold but would take way too much time and work by building the casting in layers. Besides, the latex would very much irritate my thumb.

What I finally decided on was a product called "instaMOLD" made by Activa Products, Inc. ($10.50US), a water based compound that would firm up in minutes and would be reusable a few times. The problem is, would it work with plastics? What kind of plastic should I use?

Searching the plastic compounds at the hobby store proved fruitless. All of them would harden too hard for what I wanted or were way too expensive. Finally it occurred to me that most of them were some form of epoxy. Why not use regular epoxy? Studying the different epoxies that were available I concluded that the longer setting epoxy would produce the more flexible result, so 12 or 30 minute epoxy would probably be my best choices. Besides, I'd want to color the epoxy before pouring it in the mold and less that 12 minutes would probably be pushing it. This time, I'm working with the 12 Minute Epoxy ($9.95US).

Lastly, I needed color... Flesh is actually kind of easy to mix. Just Pink and Yellow. Having no idea how well they would work I bought 2 bottles of Delta brand Candle & Soap Colors for $13.99US each. Note that because the colors are water-based, they will have an adverse reaction to the epoxy mixture. The epoxy won't firm up quite as hard as it would have, so we must use as little color as will produce the desired result. For my first color experiment, I used 6 drops of pink, 12 drops of yellow and a teaspoon each resin and hardener. The result was still too pink (need more yellow) and was a little too soft (actually eerily close to real skin & muscle!). I've decided that I will be using 6 drops of pink and 18 drops of yellow for the full casting (about 3 tablespoons of epoxy mix). We'll see how well it works by the end of this instructable! :)

Oh yea! We still need the USB drives don't we? Well, I've currently got two without cases and a few more that can easily become case-less. That should be enough to start with...

Finally, we need a few small dixie cups, stirring sticks and measuring spoons. The dixie cups I used were the perfect size to cast my thumb and mix the epoxy. Disposable containers always make a project like this easier. Less cleanup!
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Newell_Jalynn10 months ago
yuck
landongaga2 years ago
eww thats odd
kityuen2 years ago

Oh my god! The thumb drives you made looks like the real thrumb. I remember I bought a similar plastic thrumb drive from hkcolordigital and give it as a birhtday gift for my friend.

tmyler3 years ago
Will 118ml of liquid latex be enough to mold my thumb????
well il give this 2 thumbs up ...........0.o
~Z~3 years ago
You want a real thumb drive?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acVc6H7wYbA
LasVegas (author)  ~Z~3 years ago
Great idea, but I refuse to cut off my thumb to make this that much cuter... :)
krazumcc3 years ago
looks great unfinished almost like it was made from a finger u found ur pet dog chewing on, which just makes it even more freaky
 Dont use that kind of epoxy with the solvent based hardener. I recommend dragonskin.
sorry to break this to you but... dragons aren't real...
shyamiko5 years ago
Here's one I did after seeing the picture for this.... i did it with a old gag severed finger, I cut the end off down to thumb size and stuck the thumb drive into it after stripping the case. i hot glued the top where the USB part is, but it was messy so after layering it a bit I painted it red to give a nice, clean, bloody effect. :)
*The Pics*
Comments on them are welcome _
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oh,cool that's great!
cool! but.........dont you think its a bit too pink?
Yeah x) It's supposed to be 'bloody', but whatever.
 Well done, inspirational.  I need to give this ago.

LasVegas (author)  shyamiko5 years ago
Looks great! Nice and gory! Good job. :) LasVegas
fair13 years ago
awesome!
Mirror Mage3 years ago
So that's why their called Thumb Drives.
Exitao4 years ago
I guess it's nice to have your own thumb, but the easiest way to get the "thumb" would be to go to a magic shop and ask for a "thumb tip."

Considering the time and expense in moulding your thumb, it might be easier...
GreyGhost24 years ago
 Hey um...whats up with scars on your right hand?... motorbiking??  Fist fight??  lol

Not that i am prying!! at all....

poofrabbit5 years ago
I simply adore this! I'm a magician and I'm sharing it with my magical friends, I have a feeling they will go nuts! VERY well done!!!
Flumpkins5 years ago
Hey! Stop biting you finger nail drives,
QwertyuioLP5 years ago
I'm going to make a hand usb hub were all of the fingers on it are usbs!
I'm glad i'm not a cannibal.
mage5 years ago
interesting. disturbing yet interesting
Vidar_765 years ago
Interesting idea! Is there any way to get less bubbles in the mold? Tried a commercial kit (Clone-a-willy) a year ago and it got i lot smoother. Maybe a different kind of plastic?
desel36 years ago
you could just use a fake Halloween finger
What u might wanna do is cut a piece of plastisc to the apparent shape of the your thumb- as if cutting ur thumb in half, that way rather then yanking ur fingerout and ruining the mould u can slide the whole thing from the cup and just separate it from ur finger.
oh yeah and maybe get a fake finger nail from the beauticians or something and cut and buff it with your dremel
Andrew5467 years ago
now you need to create an "all thumbs" USB hub in the form of a hand with only thumbs. Or mold your fingers and you hand, put the drives in the fingers, and make the palm the hub.
RoKuS Andrew5466 years ago
I like the epoxy mold idea. I found this in Instructables for making a "knob" for the stick shift in your car. Maybe a mod to make a closed fist mouse??? Yeah, and "Hand Hub" would be cool!
gawd, a real thumb drive....... luv it!
LasVegas (author)  Andrew5467 years ago
Hehehe... You know... I actually thought of that! lol
Sir Camm6 years ago
pure awesome. Do you think it's possible to layer it with different colors like jello? Say, a skin shade outer shell with a little disc of red at the end where the drive connects?
frikin awesome!
LasVegas (author)  Thorgo17 years ago
huh?
I collect monkey wrenches... will that do?
Tomkatt7 years ago
Dude! Just buy a thumb tip from a magic shop, take the casing off a drive and fill the thumb tip with some kind of filler, far far far simpler!
yep,and probably less interesting of an inst'able as well to use something pre-made like that. this one is traceable from your fingerprint though, would that be a 'bug' or a 'feature' I wonder? these thumb drives are nicew visual puns
LasVegas shows us how to make it more personal, like others have posted it also is identifiable through the casting of one's thumb or any other finger print. Great job LasVegas!
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