Introduction: Cardboard USB Flash Drive (Packaging)

About: 22 | Howest Kortrijk | Student: Industrial Product Design | Bachelor's degree: Digital Design and Development (Devine)

For a school course called "Creativity" we had to design a cardboard packaging that can be used effectively and not just serves as packaging. From this the idea came up to make a cardboard USB stick (something you probably already have seen in some form) but never else a decent concept is thought about it. So I worked out an idea where the USB stick is part of the whole package. A light compact device that can be customized to your specific needs by using pencil, pen, stylus, ... an easy medium to transfer files and manage projects orderly.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Since this is a simple ecologic design for a smart package, not many materials are required:

  • Standard USB Flash Drive
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Wood Glue
  • Super Glue

Used tools:

  • Lasercutter for perfect shapes (or Utility knife)
  • UV LED Printer

Used software:

  • Adobe Illustrator

Step 2: USB

First of all I stripped down the USB Flash Drive, easy when you use cheap or free gadget devices. In my case I just had to separate tree parts from each other, no extra tools needed.

Step 3: Measuring and Drawing

I started with measuring the USB-part, then made a simple drawing in my Illustartor file. Around this drawing I created my design for the cutting lines, one layer is connected with the USB-device with a crack-line. This layer will keep the device in the package before use.

After this I added some simple minimalistic print content, the device just has the brand logo and capacity on it. The package contains all the other information needed.

Step 4: Cutting the Cardboard

I used a lasercutter to make this prototype, this guarantees precise cutting and smooth edges. (It's possible to cut it with a Utility Knife but the result wouldn't be the same...) I also provided a small hole for the LED indicator on the device.

Step 5: Printing the Cardboard

To give the design a nice finish I printed some content on it, in this case I used a UV LED Printer.

Step 6: Combining the Layers Together

After every single part is finished, it's time to get them all together... As you can see, the parts fit smoothly with the USB-device. To combine the cardboard parts I use Wood Glue, this has also a very strong effect on this material. For the USB-part I use Super Glue to fix it to cardboard.

Step 7: Product in Use

A cheap and light devise that can be used to keep projects organized, there is a wide variety of memory sizes... Just take a USB-device, make a note on it, work on it with anyone, everywhere, anywhere ...