Hiding USB flash drives with sensitive data isn't very easy, and the last thing you want is to loose all of your files. Today, we will be hiding our flash drive inside of a wireless mouse's receiver, so that you wont ever loose your drive, because its hidden right by your computer.
For this you will need:
1 USB flash drive
1 wireless mouse
1 3D printer, and access to a CAD software and the ability to use it
1 USB female to male cable, 6 inches long (optional, explanation step 4)
I wont be including the stl or gcode files I printed for this, since the dimensions vary depending upon what USB flash drive and wireless mouse you use for this.
Step 1: Preparing the Receiver
This isn't a very long or difficult step. We need to crack open the USB receiver. This is easily done by just taking some pliers and popping the cap of the USB, or hitting it lightly with a hammer.
Step 2: Find and Preparing a Suitable USB Drive
In order to prepare our USB, we need to find one that is as small as possible. The best option would be one with everything under the gold "raceways" of the USB PCB so that it looks like a tiny USB dongle, not a flash drive, like the San Disk shown above. Then snap open the case and extract the PCB.
Step 3: Attaching the Two
The next two steps can be done in any order, and is where the variance comes in. You can print your case first, and then put the two devices in the case, or you can attach them now, and then put the whole thing in the case later, like I did.
If you don't want to have to use a female to male USB, you can soldier onto your flash drive a sort of extension, that will fit in a male end USB, for ease of use, however, this will make your device longer.
Step 4: Printing the Casing
This is the step in which you receive the most freedom. Make a case in your CAD software that will house your USB contraption. Just keep in mind how you are going to secure it in place, how thick the walls are going to be, and weather or not you want this case to be two pieces that will later be attached, like I did.
the mouse's USB receiver should be sticking out of the case, but the flash drive should remain concealed in your casing, such that you would be able to see it only by looking straight down the casing
After doing all of this, attach the two USB devices inside of your case.
Step 5: USB Cable Note
*skip this step if you are using a male to male USB cord*
After you have completed everything, and your product works as a mouse, you are going to need to see if your USB female to male adapter is too big on the female end. The point of the casing is not to have some USB sticking out of the back of your mouse dongle, but to have a small USB adapter, you can cover the back with anything you like, so that your USB drive is hidden until you uncover it and plug in your cable. For this to work, you may need to shave off some of the plastic on the female side in order to make it fit inside of your casing.
Step 6: Finished
At this point, if you need to glue things together, this is the time to do it. Once you are done, well, your done. Enjoy the freedom of having your flash drive plugged into your computer, even when it isn't.
Participated in the
Hiding Places Contest 2017