Introduction: USB Flash Drive Clip

About: My name is Britt Michelsen. I am a chemical engineer from Germany especially interested in computational fluid dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work, I like to make stuff in my free time

I keep losing my USB flash drives, so I had the idea, to clip them to the documents they belong to. After a bit of research I found out, that the idea is not new and Emamidesign has won a 2010 Red Dot product design award and became a Best of Best winner with their concept.
After ordering the flash drive (Verbatim Store ´n´ Go Clip-it) I was pretty disappointed, because it was extremely slow and can only be used for very few pages.
So I decided to make my own, while I was playing around with sugru and wire for another project. If you don't know what sugru is, please click here.

Step 1: What You Need

  • Verbatim TUFF 'N' TINY flash drive (e.g. amazon) or Kingmax Super Stick (Mini) (e.g. ebay)
  • sugru (order here)
  • wire
  • superglue
  • optional: small magnet, tape
  • pliers

You can of course use your normal sized USB flash drive, if you don't mind it being a bit bigger.

Step 2: Dyeing Sugru

Sugru doesn't exist in your favourite colour? In this step I've summarized my experiences dyeing it.

Painting sugru is nearly impossible, not matter what type of paint I've tried I haven't been successful (It always flakes of after a time).

To give you an idea what will work and what won't I tried six different colours:
  1. Silicone Paint (internet)
  2. Oil Coulour
  3. Acrylic Colour
  4. Multi-purpose tinting paste (hardware store)
  5. Enamel Paint
  6. Colour pigment (nail supply store)
As you can see in the first row of the second picture (better quality). Every colour worked well to dye orange sugru red ("0" is the original colour) and they were all still flexible. They didn't even lose their colour after cutting them in halves and putting one half for an hour in the washing machine (I don't have a dish washer).
After 15 minutes at 175°C in the oven (second row in the picture) the bottom half of the pieces 4, 5 and 6 turned darker (and they smelled pretty bad). I would not suggest dyeing sugru if you are planning to use it in combination with high temperatures (or food), because it's hard to find out what type of poisonous fumes might form.

In the second round I tried dyeing black sugru lighter, the winners are oil colour and white pigment (I don't have white silicone paint).

So if you can't find or afford silicone paint, you can just as well use oil colour. To get an even colour requires a little patience, but is definitely worth it, just keep mixing.

Now, that there is white sugru, you should be able to get any colour you want.

Step 3: Getting Started

Sugru is a RTV (room-temperature vulcanization) moisture curing silicone. This means that it sets on room temperature once it is exposed to air, triggered by moisture.
Depending on the size of your USB flash drive you might not need a whole bag of sugru and it makes sense to store it for later uses. I would suggest, that you read this Instructable.

First you will have to get rid of the casing, in this case it's just thin layer of plastic glued to the stick. Now we are going to fold the wire as shown in the first picture (so that it resembles a paper clip). The second picture shows, how to attach the clamp to the flash drive, I've used superglue. If you like, than you can add a magnet with a bit of tape (btw if you are worried, that the magnet will harm your USB flash drive, don't be, the data in a flash drive is stored as electric charges and not magnetically).

Now you will have to add the sugru. To prevent it from sticking to your desk, use the bag as a working surface. To get a smooth result wet your fingers with water. In order to get a nice and even result I applied a first layer of sugru, stored the left over for later, waited a day and added a second layer.

Please, don't forget to vote, comment and rate!

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