Introduction: USB Stick Lost-and-Found

About: I experience life through my finger tips and taste buds. Can't stop making new things. In my day job I manage a student workshop, and in my free time I volunteer as an EMT and for a local food rescue organizat…

Pier 9's 3D print room is a black hole for USB drives. It seems that almost everyone who uses the 3D printers leaves their drive behind. Sometimes people forget their entire set of keys. The old lost-and-found was a drawer in the corner, and we needed a better solution. Enter, the USB Stick Lost-and-Found.

Step 1: Measure

First, I measured a USB port on my computer with calipers to get precise dimensions. Based on my measurements a USB port is .5 inches by .2 inches. The rectangle inside is .1 inches from the bottom and surrounded by a .02 inch channel on the top and sides.

Step 2: CAD

The next step was to go directly to Fusion 360 and build a CAD model of the part. I modeled one slot and then used the rectangular pattern tool to copy it 33 times. I used the text and extrude tools to write the text along the top. I have included the Fusion 360 file and an STL of the design.

Step 3: Print

I used the Objet printers at Pier 9 to print out the model. I would suggest hollowing the part out before printing if you decide to print this part using a resin printer. The version I made is solid and it is much heavier than it needs to be.

Step 4: Clean

Cleaning the 3D printed part is important here. In order to avoid getting support material gunk all over other people's USB drives use a thin sharp tool to scrape out the space inside each of the slots. It helps to soak the print in water to soften the support material before cleaning.

Step 5: Mount

3M mounting tape is pretty amazing stuff. Be careful in your placement because it's hard to change your mind once it is stuck to the wall.

Step 6: Use

Now that the lost and found plaque is mounted it is time to plug in all the orphaned USB drives. Hopefully, now that they are out in the open people will be more likely to rescue them.