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March 22, 2010

Hacking a USB Thumb Drive with Sugru

I had this butt ugly thumb drive. The protective case was hacked up, the metal arm had snapped off and it looked like it had been towed behind a tractor for a week. 

I used a cool new hacking substance called Sugru to create a custom case.  Took about 5 minutes.

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The idea to retrofit my 8G USB drive came from Instructables where I'd read about people creating cool new casings for their USB drives, refitting them using Lego blocks or a Barbie. 

Instructables.com USB Barbie 

I wanted something a little more comely than a headless Barbie though.  And less of a tripping hazard.

I removed the old casing from the USB drive using a utility knife, drawing the blade along the seam of the case repeatedly until I'd split the plastic and could easily pry open the casing.

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Once the chip is unsheathed, its nekkid profile is a lot slimmer.

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Now for the Sugru.  This malleable, silicone material moulds and sticks to almost anything, forming a permanent chemical bond with the substrate, and curing at room temperature to a slightly flexible, heat resistant, waterproof, dishwasher proof UV resistant plastic-y marvel.

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Invented by Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, Sugru is a word for 'play' in the Irish language. Sugru comes in a bunch of wacky colours for bold, irreverent repairs that scream "I'm a hacker and I don't care who knows it".  It's also available in a tasteful shade of black for those who feel less celebratory about their handiwork.  

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I rolled the Sugru around in my hands for a few seconds to make it pliable, then wrapped it around the chip. 

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Then I pressed a rubber stamp into the soft Sugru. The Sugru released easily from the rubber stamp.  It's sticky, but not annoyingly so.

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I reamed a little hole in the Sugru so the LED light shows when it's active. I let the piece cure overnight and it's working great this morning. 

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I had a bit of Sugru left from the opened packet.  So I also made a hooky thing for my microphone so I can hang my headphones on it between music sessions.

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Sugru is in such high demand that it's currently sold out.  Jane's first production run was snatched up by eager buyers (I was one) in 18 hours flat.  It's been 3 months and they promise they will have more packaged and ready for sale soon.  You can receive updates on the next release by following ProjectSugru on Twitter.  You'll pay about $20 for a multi-pack.  SO WORTH IT.

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Comments

Abi

nice looking materials mag... you sure been working really hard.

usb flash disk

nice looking... but it's can work well?

Mag

Works great. The chip doesn't require air or space around it to function well.

MySugruHacks

See what others are doing with Sugru on www.MySugruHacks.com you can also upload your hacks for the world to see.

bark chipping

unique material..your such a resourceful person ..what a good idea..right!

sophie

Cool material i want a material like that i can use that in anything love it!

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