Have you ever thought your usb drive had a junky case, or was it cracked? Well, this is the place for you! In this Instructable, I will show you how to make a really cool LEGO (or Mega blok) usb flash drive. It is moderately easy, and should only take an hour or less. Be sure to wear proper safety equipment, because you will be using a rotary tool. I hope you enjoy!
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Step 1: Get Parts, Tools, and Safety Equipment
First of all, we need to gather safety equipment, tools, and most importantly, the right parts. You need a Lego brick or Mega Blok, Dremel tool or other rotary tool, a bit for the tool, a small vise, a small usb flash drive (capacity does not matter), a pen or etching tool, and a hot glue gun with hot glue or epoxy. You will also need safety goggles and, depending on how loud the rotary tool is, hearing protectors. Also, remember to ask an adult to help with the rotary tool.
Step 2: Undo USB Drive Case
Take the usb drive and remove the cap (if it has one). Then either pry apart of cut apart the usb drive case. This should be pretty easy, because usb drives are not made to be tough.
Step 3: Minimize PCB and Measure Bricks
Now insert the bit into the rotary tool, tighten, and plug it in. Put on safety googles and hearing protectors and then buzz away all the excess silicon on the PCB (Which stands for Printed Circuit Board). Make sure that you do not buzz away anything important, because then it will not work. Now that the PCB is at its minimal size, take your LEGO bricks or Mega blocks and lay them on the floor upside-down so that the ends touch. Put the PCB on them and line it up so that the connector hangs over enough to plug into the computer. I show this in the second photo. Remember, ALWAYS wear appropriate safety gear, because you only get two eyes and two ears.
Step 4: Gut LEGO Brick
After you have decided how many bricks you will need, repeat steps 4-5 with all the bricks. Step 4: Clamp the LEGO securely in the vise. Then use the rotary tool to buzz away the tubes inside the brick, until you get to the roof of the brick. You need to go slowly and carefully, or else you will hurt the bit, hurt yourself, or mess up the LEGO brick in an unintended way. Remember to wear safety gear, and ask an adult to help if you feel uncomfortable.
Step 5: Cut Side Holes for PCB
Now, if you needed more than one brick, cut small slots in the sides of the bricks where the PCB will be going through. So, for example, if I had a PCB that was two two by fours long, I would take one brick to be the back, and one to be the front. On the back brick, I would buzz a slot on one end that the PCB could slide through. On the front brick, I would do the same thing, and then, as described in step 7, I would cut a hole for the connector. Made sure you are precise, or the sides will be too thin.
Step 6: Fit the Brick
Now turn the bricks upside down, and fit the brick on it. If it does not fit, CAREFULLY buzz down the sides to make them thinner.
Step 7: Make Connector Hole
Now that the brick is gutted and ready, we need a way to get the data from it to the computer. We will make a connector hole by doing what we did in step 5, but before we do that we will draw the outline of the connector on the end of the brick. To do this, tape the PCB connector down on the end of the brick by first taping a craft stick onto the brick, then taping the PCB onto the craft stick. Then draw the outline on the brick using a pen or etching tool. Now that we have the outline, buzz away the plastic so that the connector can go through. Be super careful, because people will be seeing this hole, and you do not want the plastic to break. The hole should look like the first photo.
Step 8: Glue and Finish
Now that the usb should slide through the front hole into the brick, we will need to glue it in place. If you want a long-lasting and tight bond, use epoxy. For a quicker way use hot glue. For epoxy: Follow manufacturers instructions to make a dime size glob, put the glob on the bottom of the top of the brick, insert the PCB, and press into position. Then let it cure. MAKE SURE that the usb connector is oriented the right way, as in the second picture, or the lego will be upside down when you plug it into the computer. If you decided to use hot glue, put a blob on the bottom of the top of the brick, insert the usb drive, press into place, and let cool. If you want to, you can polish the brick with a cloth to remove dust from the rotary tool. I hope you really enjoyed how to make a lego usb drive!
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