Introduction: 3D Printed Cryptex (with Files!)

Picture of 3D Printed Cryptex (with Files!)

I have seen many creative ways to make your flash drive stand out, but I wanted to do something original so I designed a cryptext using Solid Works to house a flash drive.

Step 1: Design a Cryptext

Picture of Design a Cryptext

Use your preferred cad package to design a cryptext that fits together with the desired clearance between parts. This is determined by the 3D Printer you are planning to use. If you don't have access to a cad package you can download my .stl files. My cryptext password is Print I thought it was a fitting password for a 3d printed item.

Step 2: Print It

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I go to a school with several 3D printers, so they will print items at cost. I visited with the person in charge of the 3D maker bot it prints PLA. I designed the spaces between parts to be .01 inches. He didn't think that it could be printed in place so we used another technique. We printed the tumblers first. Next while the other 2 parts were printing I cleaned up the tumblers so they were smooth. Before the print was finished we paused the printer, and placed the tumblers on the shaft, then resumed the print. I had to clean it up some where the print was paused, but with a little work the parts started to move freely.

Step 3: Insert Flashdrive

Picture of Insert Flashdrive

I had a flash drive I picked up at a company career day. I took it apart by inserting a knife tip between the plastic covers and then twisting to snap the case apart. I then had to sand a little bit of the circuit board, so it would fit in the slot. I then used superglue to hold the flash drive in the slot.

Step 4: Show It Off

Picture of Show It Off

I have showed it to several people, and no one was able to get the password without me telling them, But someone did break one of the locking lugs off trying. It is not sturdy enough to keep people out of the flash drive, or even get beat up in the bottom of my backpack, but it is a cool novelty item.


Picasso88 (author)2016-06-08

Hey great ible! Could you post the .STL format of the flash drive holder cap? There is not one in the zipped files. Thanks!

Fission Chips (author)2014-11-24

Whoa! This is really awesome! How hard was it to design it? Great job.

Mateo JCF (author)Fission Chips2014-11-27

I was also wanting to make this for an instructable, but stephendrake got to it faster. I am voting for you stephen! Cryptext-s are tedious to make. You need to make sure every notch fits in with the main cylinder and that they have enough space to move around. Its hard, but the outcome is very cool.Hope this helps! :)

stephensdrake (author)Mateo JCF2014-11-28

thank you It was a rewarding project

iam_maker_leo (author)2014-11-27

Great.... Item...

I want to have it...

How about upload to Shapeways.... then I can buy it.

Wired_Mist (author)2014-11-24

Dang! Well I know what my second 3D printing project is ! Great interpretation; could almost call it a digital Cryptext. I don't suppose it will delete the data if you force it open? lol

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