Intro: 3D Printed Cryptex (with Files!)
I have seen many creative ways to make your flash drive stand out, but I wanted to do something original so I designed a cryptext using Solid Works to house a flash drive.
Step 1: Design a Cryptext
Use your preferred cad package to design a cryptext that fits together with the desired clearance between parts. This is determined by the 3D Printer you are planning to use. If you don't have access to a cad package you can download my .stl files. My cryptext password is Print I thought it was a fitting password for a 3d printed item.
Step 2: Print It
I go to a school with several 3D printers, so they will print items at cost. I visited with the person in charge of the 3D maker bot it prints PLA. I designed the spaces between parts to be .01 inches. He didn't think that it could be printed in place so we used another technique. We printed the tumblers first. Next while the other 2 parts were printing I cleaned up the tumblers so they were smooth. Before the print was finished we paused the printer, and placed the tumblers on the shaft, then resumed the print. I had to clean it up some where the print was paused, but with a little work the parts started to move freely.
Step 3: Insert Flashdrive
I had a flash drive I picked up at a company career day. I took it apart by inserting a knife tip between the plastic covers and then twisting to snap the case apart. I then had to sand a little bit of the circuit board, so it would fit in the slot. I then used superglue to hold the flash drive in the slot.
Step 4: Show It Off
I have showed it to several people, and no one was able to get the password without me telling them, But someone did break one of the locking lugs off trying. It is not sturdy enough to keep people out of the flash drive, or even get beat up in the bottom of my backpack, but it is a cool novelty item.