DIY: Glass USB Flash Drive

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About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

Intro: DIY: Glass USB Flash Drive

Birthday, Anniversary, Valentines day or just an ordinary day. It's nice to surprise your loved ones with a customized gift.

In this Instructable, we look at a way to make a glass USB flash drive.

What's needed:

I used a large kiln for this project, but the small one will work just fine.

Smaller the kiln, faster it will heat up


If you are Interested in the video version of this Instructable and the embedded video does not appear on your mobile device, here is an alternative link

Step 1:

Remove a flash drive from its case. I already had one lying around.

Use your flash drive as a guide to cut out a rectangle out of a thick fiber paper.

Rectangle should be a little bit larger than the flash drive.

Step 2:

Cut out 2 pieces of glass. One bigger than the other.

Just an ordinary glass cutter will do the job.

Score a line and break the glass in half.

Put your glass on the kiln's shelve.

Make sure to use kiln's shelf paper or fiber paper to avoid the glass from sticking to the kiln.

I put the small piece at the bottom and the big piece on top, leaving the fiber rectangle in the middle.

This way the glass will fuse together making a sleeve for the flash drive as the fiber paper can withstand very high temperatures.

Step 3:

Put the kiln in the microwave on high power. Time will vary depending on your microwave, the kiln and the glass you will use.

For this Instrucable I used a large kiln, so it took me around 12 - 14 minutes to fuse the glass.
If I would have used my small kiln, it would have took me 5 - 6 minutes.

Keep checking the the progress by stopping the microwave and opening the kiln.

Just make sure to do it quickly to not let the heat escape.

I usually look at the kiln's hole. When it's red, you know the glass is hot.

When the glass is getting red, keep checking the kiln every 10 - 15 seconds.

It's easy to ruin your flash drive by melting the glass too much.

When you're happy with the result, take out the kiln and leave it to cool down for 30 - 40 min.

Step 4:

When the glass has cooled, take out the fiber paper. If you fail to get it out in one piece, try wetting it.

Then use a small tool to scrape it out.

Step 5:

Now glue the flash drive inside of the glass.

That's it!

Your glass flash drive is ready.

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    40 Discussions

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    ThomasK19

    2 years ago

    How can one melt glass in a microwave? To my knowledge the microwaves are tuned to a frequency that resonates with water so you can make it boil. But glas??

    4 replies
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    ShakeTheFutureThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    The black walls of the kiln are covered with silicon carbide. Silicon carbide absorbs the microwave radiation and heats up. That way the inside temperature of the kiln can reach ~1650°F.

    You can also melt metal in the microwave kiln if you know what you're doing.

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    ZaachariaShakeTheFuture

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes! I got a couple pieces of granite from a local monument place - I could get the granite so hot it glowed but could not get it to melt. I chickened out (granite melts at about 1240 F) after more minutes than I was comfortable with.

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    SzabolcsK

    2 years ago

    Why don't you just put in a same size object while melting the glass? Then replace it with the pendrive.

    3 replies
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    ShakeTheFutureSzabolcsK

    Reply 2 years ago

    You mean the same size fiber paper?

    I tried it, but I failed too many times, so I decided to cut it out a little bigger than the pen drive.

    That thick fiber paper is soft. When the glass melts around it, the fiber can deform a little bit. So when I cut it out exactly the same size as the pen drive, many times the pen drive did not fit.

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    SzabolcsKShakeTheFuture

    Reply 2 years ago

    No I meant wood or metal. You can cut out a stick using saw and knife and your pendrive is safe from microwaves.

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    ZaachariaSzabolcsK

    Reply 2 years ago

    The wood would smoke out the house while the metal would have a different COE and might either shatter the piece or adhere so it could not be removed. The fibre paper is an excellent idea. Glass is worked at a pretty high temperature so any natural spacer would be burned and w/o a release, the metals would be bonded to the glass.

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    fairysaddle

    2 years ago

    In the glass working hobby, having un-annealed glass is a really bad thing.

    Annealing is the process of very slowly cooling the glass to remove the stress - in a kiln over many hours, not a short cool down period. I've heard stories of beads that weren't annealed just exploding randomly inside a box, sometimes years later.

    Probably ok as a novelty for yourself, but I wouldn't risk selling them.

    I haven't really been lampworking for several years and don't know much about microwave kilns, so do your own research. I'm just saying that from what I know about glass, this is throwing up major red flags.

    2 replies
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    Zaachariafairysaddle

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have been casting glass in a microwave kiln for a couple years now and checking the results with a stressometer (2 polarized lenses at 90 degs) and have not had any problems. Some of my glass skulls are over an inch thick (I attached my prototype skulls images). I also make beads using a minor burner (attached a sampler of every color I had at the time). The beads are annealed in vermiculite and the skulls are annealed by leaving them to cool to room temperature in the kiln. The microwave kilns are really cool (and I love the look on the faces when I tell them I make the skulls in my microwave oven). I just bought 2 more kilns so that I can do more than one casting in an evening - it also speeds things up to swap the heated kiln cover onto the new casting. The last pic is a slumped skull at about 1700 F (w/o a real kiln, I do not know temperatures so I am guessing)

    Skulls.gifP1040132.jpgP1040124.JPG
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    conundrum2142

    2 years ago

    Fill the gap with LOCA, vacuum seal it then UV cure. Simplez!

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    Wreqage

    2 years ago

    Niiiice. I like this as a custom option. Have you tried combining the colors for different designs?

    3 replies
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    WreqageShakeTheFuture

    Reply 2 years ago

    I like the unexpected variations that happen...it's the same with heat and metal ( which is what I have more experience in.)
    I like the other ible as well.... LOOOVEing that minikiln. thanks!

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    ShakeTheFutureWreqage

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh, I also noticed that the blue flash drive had blue top and black bottom.

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    Akinventor

    2 years ago

    I was wondering how the drives withstood the heat, but that makes more sense.

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    jessyratfink

    2 years ago

    Okay, now I need a microwave kiln. :O

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    bricobart

    2 years ago

    I hàd to see it to believe it, this whole concept is the red zone of pure awesomeness! Thanx for learning me something!