Introduction: Data Ring

The data ring was the my first project involving Maya and a 3D printer.

I always wanted some programs and files to be with me no matter where I was (no internet for cloud storage or forgetting to bring a flash-drive); so I came up with the idea of this data ring. It's more of a novelty object than something used day-to-day, but it was a fun project.

Step 1: Design

This was my first prototyping project designed through Maya and was made to create a wearable tech that blended both art and portability. I chose this design trying to mimic the style of wire jewelry to truly show off the capabilities of 3D printers.

Step 2: Prototype

After finishing the design phase I rendered out the model using Maya's render engine. From there I exported out the STL file which I got printed from a friend's 3D printer. The initial plastic model turned out fairly successful, so I moved on to getting the model casted in silver.

Step 3: Final Print

Unfortunately, I could not manage to get the funds to create a small setup for the lost-wax casting, so I instead went to Shapeways to have it casted in silver. It was fairly inexpensive and I got the result in under 3 weeks. Hopefully with the next iteration I can cast the model myself.

Step 4: Electronics

For the chip itself, I chose the smallest usb flash-drive in the market, a Sandisk 16gb Cruzer. This minuscule flashdrive is already incredibly tiny with its longest length being less than 2cm long.

Step 5: Electronics Disassembly

I needed it to be smaller to fit the ring, so I took it apart to get only its guts. I ripped off the plastic with some pliers and then proceeded to rip off the metal housing as well. From there the plastic housing of the chip can be slid out, but it should be kept for the next step.

Step 6: Electronics Test Fit

From here I noticed that the chip itself was too skinny to fit into a usb port, but length and width wise it was the perfect fit for the ring.

Step 7: Electronics Modification

To get it to cleanly fit into a usb port I cut off the flat end of the plastic piece saved in the previous step. Then I glued it onto the end of the chip using a dab of CA glue.

Step 8: Final Fit

To get the usb flashdrive to cleanly move in and out with the plastic attachment I had to sand off about .1 mm off the sides of the ring using a fine file.

Step 9: Done

Here it can be seen plugging into the computer to retrieve data and then slipped into the ring to wear. The flashdrive fits snugly enough to resist shaking and water, but can be pulled out without too much force. This was the first prototype version and I plan to make a new slimmer ring with a magnetic holder instead.

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