Introduction: Micro Cassette USB Music Drive.
After buying a new car I realised that it didn't come with a CD player and my phone doesn't have the space for most of my music.
The car does have a USB slot to play music stored on a USB drive so I set about trying to find a cool one.
I had the idea I wanted one that looked like a Cassette Tape, to bring back the memories of cassette tapes of road trips from my younger days.
I set about google , amazon and ebay and all I could find were ones that didn't look right or wouldn't work with my cars setup. (pictures 3-5 show the ones that weren't right for me.)
so I decided to make my own.
This Instructable is how I made my own USB Cassette.
If you Like this idea and this instructable please vote for me in the Pocket Sized contest. (button at the bottom of the instructable.)
Thank you for looking.
Step 1: Tools and Materials.
Blade, scalpel, craft knife.
Measuring device, (I used some calipers, but a ruler will work too.)
Files, emery sticks, sand paper.
Pliers and snips
Computer. (with graphics design software, its not essential though)
USB Stick. ( I used a metal Kingston one with the hole in one end)
Micro cassette. (MC-60 type are the ones I used.)
Self adhesive printable material. (you can use paper and double sided tape)
The list here is what i can remember I used, I may have left some out. Please read the whole instructable first incase ive missed out a important tool.
Thanks for reading.
Step 2: Opening the Cassette.
Now is time to pop open your cassette tape.
I used a fine bladed craft knife to slide in between the two halves of the tape cassette and pry them apart.
go slowly and bit by bit. the cassette should only be held together on the corners (mine were anyway) you will feel a little pop or snap when you have separated the glue or weld points.
Once you have it open remove all the insides.
There should be a thin 'packing' sheet on both sides of the tape reels. It could be clear or coloured, mine were coloured black. (see photo 4) you will need to keep them.
Step 3: Measuring the Space You Have Inside.
Measure the size of the hole for the spools, the size of your USB drive and the height of your cassette.
I did some sketches on how i thought the design for the spinning feature would work.
all my measurements might be different to yours as you may have different brands of USB drives or tape cassettes.
The spool holes for my tape cassettes were 10.9mm and the height of the cassette was 8mm, the internal hole of my USB drive was 8.5mm and its thickness was 4.5mm
I drew up a little two part design so i could push it into the hole in the USB drive and then close the cassette around the drive and it would be held in place by the cassette.
Step 4: 3D Model Your Spools and Supports.
Using the measurements of the USB and the cassette shell use a 3D modelling program (I used sketchup) to design the spool USB holder and the spool hole blank.
export these models ready for 3D printing.
Step 5: 3D Print Your Parts.
Once you have the designs done its time to print.
I printed them at the finest quality and 100% infill. to get the best quality and strongest print i could.
These are only small prints and only took 20mins or so.
Once the printing had finished push the two parts together inside the USB drive. You can use a tiny dab of glue to hole it all together and stop the spool spinning inside the USB drive.
Then Place it inside the cassette to make sure the USB drive fits inside.
Step 6: Trimming the Cassette
Now to trim the cassette tape shell so the USB drive can swivel out and be used in a computer or stereo (a car stereo in my case.)
Do some test fits and see which parts the USB drive is/will hit when swiveled from its concealed position to its extended position.
I did a little sketch (Left hand side of the pad in photo 3)
Using the pliers and snips remove all the up stands, pegs and other little bits. File or sand the bits left over to make sure its all smooth.
File the side walls down carefully, you dont want to snap the cassette shell. (I left a little too much on the side deliberately, this was so i could check that the USB swiveled out and looked correct, fine tune it to get the USB drive to flip out to the correct spot by test fitting all parts to see how far round it goes.)
Glue the spool cover that goes in the second hole of the cassette shell. (make sure the glue is dry before putting the USB drive in, you dont want it to get glued inside.
Place the two 'packing sheets inside the halves and then glue the two halves of the cassette shell together with the USB drive inside the shell.
A tiny dab on the three intact corners of the cassette and along the remaining walls.
Let it all set. but make sure the USB drive moves freely inside the shell before the glue dries.
Step 7: Trim the Cassette Case Spool Pegs.
The cassette may have come with a nice little case.
Im going to use it to store the USB cassette in when not in use.
To make it work you will need to trim and sand the spool pegs down, They normally go inside the tape spool holes to hold everything secure in the case, They will not be able to do that as you have blocked the holes with the USB drive.
See the photo of the trimmed case next to the original case.
Step 8: Design the Label (optional)
If you want to, you can just use the ones the tapes came with. If not you can make some new ones/
To do this you need to scan one of the existing labels or the space the label will go into.
Draw a template or cutline for the label and this will be what you use to make your designs.
I looked at designs of tapes from when I was a kid and tried to replicate them on a smaller scale. you can make them however you want.
Add little fun details like the size of the USB stick or a USB logo. Make as many as you like and choose the ones you like best or just make one and put it on both sides, its totally up to you.
Step 9: Print the Labels. (optional)
Print the retro designs on to some printable adhesive material. I have use of a vinyl printer/plotter.
I printed a few designs and cut them out using the plotter. (these were laminated to protect the designs, this is not necessary as the wear and tear of the labels will add to the retro vibes)
Step 10: Final Item.
Once you have your USB tape cassette its time to use it.
I put some music onto it to use in my car.
I transferred a selection of music onto the USB cassette and popped it into my car.
I made a couple of USB cassettes so i could give one to my wife to put her music on so we can have a choice when we are in the car. It also brings back the memories or rifling through tape cassettes when on road trips of my youth.
Using the case the Micro Cassettes came in will do a couple of things. One) protect the one you are not using at any one time. Two) allows you to put labels on them so you know whats on the cassettes or who owns it. Three)it looks cool. :)
if you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer them.
If you make one post a 'I made this' thing. I would love to see them.
Thank you for looking at my instructable.
Second Prize in the
Pocket Sized Contest
3 years ago
I have exactly the same materials, could you pass the file for 3D printing, PLEASE
3 years ago
What a great tutorioal! keep up the good work....
Question 4 years ago on Step 7
Really nice Project! I like your idea.
um.. Can you share the 3d models?
My skills are not enough to model these
4 years ago
What a great tutorioal! keep up the good work.
Question 4 years ago on Step 10
Do you sell these? These are by far the best I've seen, and I've been looking for months, if not years!! Good work sir!!
Answer 4 years ago
Hello, thanks for the kind words, I couldnt find anything that matched my requirements, thats why i made them :)
But im sorry I currently do not sell these. I also have a feeling that they would be quite a costly product as the mini cassettes are getting rare and as such seem to be going up in price, making it not practically cost effective.
But if in the future I do decide to sell any I will post on here. :)
4 years ago
Beautiful. Great idea and fantastic implementation. Thank you for sharing your work :-)
Reply 4 years ago
Thank you for your kind words :) I'm glad you liked it.