Introduction: Custom USB Stick Casing
Welcome to my second instructable. Today i will be showing you how to design a custom USB Stick casing with blender. there is some basic knowledge of using blender but i will be doing a step by step tutorial on the USB as well as installing the application.
If you just want to get better at using blender you can follow along with out the USB drive.
Before we start, You will need only 2 things.
1. Old USB stick that still works. (you will need to be able to open it. that why i said old one, though you can buy a new 16GB 2 pk for 12.99 at target.) 2. A computer with blender installed
Step 1: Installing Blender (quickstart)
If you have blender installed already on your computer, you can skip to step 2.
Go to https://www.blender.org/ and install version 2.83 on your computer. This a quick start so instead of going through a big long intro, open & extract the file, then open the folder you get and run the executable.
Open Steam to the store. Search for blender and install it. then after installation is complete open the program and select general project.
Step 2: Beginning of the Thumbdrive.
When you open a new file, you are presented with a cube. This is what we are going to use as the base for our USB case. Before we start modeling the case, carefully pry apart your current USB casing. measure the circuit board of the device and convert that to meters. Not mm, Not cm, just m because this is the standard unit of measurements in blender. Write this down somewhere like a notepad file or a sticky note in the area.
First you want to move the cube to the top of the x/y plane. Do this by pressing G,Z,1,enter. Now to scale the cube. Begin by pressing s,z and move your mouse till you have a small but thick square to start. then do the same but replace z with x and y to get it to a size that is similar to that of a USB.
Now on to the modeling
Step 3: Modeling the TOP of the Thumb Drive Case.
You will want to begin by pressing tab to enter edit mode. then press and hold the ~ key and drag your mouse above the top selection on the radial.
The first thing you will want to do it to look for the edge loop tool. click in the center of the model to make a new edge loop. repeat this on either side of the first loop and again on either side of the 2 new loops. If you want to be able to put your USB on a key chain, make 1 edge loop in the center of the model, then look for the tool labeled edge slide. then without clicking elsewhere in the scene, drag the yellow circle that will appear when you click the tool. Drag this to the side of the model where your hole will be. Depending on how round you want your hole to be, this will determine the distance from the end. then make 3 more edge loops past where you move the loop to with the edge loop tool. Click the middle vertex in the field of new points then click the 4 in a diamond around that, the press X, and click Vertices in the dialog that appears at your mouse, This deletes those 5 vertices and allowed you to begin to model the hole. Then select the vertices diagonal from each other where the area was opened. press f to create a new edge there. repeat this all the way around, Press 2 on the home row, this puts you in edge select mode, then click 2 edges in one triangle and press f again to create a new face. Repeat all the way around. Press 1 to go back to vertex select, Then select the move tool from the tool bow and try to make the hole as round as you need. Don't be afraid to move the vertex at the edge of the model because we will be rounding out this edge anyway. Next press 2 and click one of the edges going straight up and down near the hole, and move this along the x and y axis to round out this corner. Move the surrounding ones to mesh with it so it is more uniform. To make it so the edges are the same on both sides, press A then go to the mesh tab at the top. Go down to "Symmetrize" and if it makes the edge revert to its original state, select the drop down menu with " X to -X","-X to X","Y to -Y", or "-Y to Y" and change it to its opposite. Next add a loop cut (edge loop) around the mid-section of the piece. This will help with rounding it out. Grab the edges at the top and move them in along the x/y axis to round. If you want it rounder, create more loop cuts and move each edge individually. Only do one side of the model. after rounding out the sides, press a and symmetrize so that the sides are all even and rounded. Next select the vertices below the hole and create a new hole in the same way as the first. You can NOT use symmetry here because it will round out the bottom of the model and we are making 2 halves of it. Select lines parallel to each other on the z axis and press f, then repeat all the way around to create the wall for the hole.
This is a bit of a tricky part. now you need to cut out only the middle pieces of the unedited face to make an area for the USB Male (part that goes in to computer) portion to go. then you have to make a area for the circuit board to sit on.
Next tab out of edit mode with tab and press this combination of keys : A Shift + D. then right click and move the object along the X/Y axis. Then next step is personalization which is optional.
Step 4: Personalization
If you want to put your name on your thumb drive, select Add, and go to the Text button. after it spawns the text object, tab back in to edit mode, then press backspace 4 times, then type your name/message. then go to "Object data properties in the properties panel. Navigate to the geometry tab and set Extrude to .05, Then scale the text to fit on one of the covers. If you would like it to be round, press A then go to Object near the top then look for "Shade Smooth"
This will round out the edges more than we did in the modeling process.
Step 5: Your Done!
Now you have your very own Custom USB Case, Now you can export the file as one that you can 3d print to add to your circuit board. to attach the halves together use either super glue or carefully apply epoxy resin to the 2 halves and put the circuit board sandwiched between the 2 and leave to dry. take care not to get any on the USB plug. I sadly do not have a 3D printer to show this printed but you can print it, laser cut it, or resin print it.. Please consider voting for this Instructable in the Back To Basics contest.
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