Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY: Make Your Own LegoMan (or Lady) USB!

As promised in my last post, today I am going to show you how to make-your-own Lego Figure USB!

What you will need:
A Lego figure
A very small USB
SuperGlue (of decent quality)
Small Wire Cutters
Small Pliers
Small Straight-headed Screw Driver
Protective Craft Mat

Kristy's Hot Tips.
I chose to buy my lego figures through a couple of different sellers on Ebay because I had specific characters I wanted to buy. They cost between $12-$19 each which included postage. If you want to search they are technically called a minifigure or 'minifig' if you are cool enough to handle the slang. There are lucky dip figures at Big W and K-mart which cost about $5 each if you are looking for a cheaper option.
I bought my USB's in store at Dick Smith because they were the perfect length. Alot of USB's are too long, and I wanted them to sit snug into the computer. The brand is LEXAR and they come in 8, 16 and 32GB and all are the same dimensions and hence can be put in your Lego figure. I bought them in store but you can check them out here. There are some cheaper options on Ebay, but I didn't have the time to buy one, have it shipped, see if it worked and have another 8 posted out and have them all made in time for Christmas. Plus, sometimes its nice to see-touch-feel what I am buying and support a real-life store.

So now you're equipped, let's get to it!


Step One:
Prepare your USB.
To the left is the USB as it was before I had attacked it.
Because I was making these in secret I didn't have an assistant, and called upon the bluetack to hold my USB steady while I knocked the back off the USB. The back was literally simply clicked on. Then I just used the screw driver positioned on the side and the hammer to tap it off. For the most part, a couple of taps on the one side and it was over the bump and could be pulled off by hand. There were a couple that challenged me a little (I don't think I was holding my tongue right). You can see the end result in the bottom right of the photo above.

Step Two:
Prepare your Lego Figure.
Ignore my ominous shadow in these pictures. I was limited for time and angles whilst hiding secretly in the second bedroom.
Pull the legs out - you don't need them. Carefully pop the arms out so that during the superglue phase, they don't get glued in place. And I figured prevention is better than cure, and took the head off too.

Step Three:
Make space for the USB.
As you can see in the picture above, there are some bits that need to be removed to make space for your USB. You want to remove these half-way to two-thirds up the body. Use your own judgement with how deep you want the USB to sit. You don't want to carve out the body completely, you need to have a little left to stick the USB to. You also don't want to bury the stick in too deep and render it unable to be fully inserted into the computer.
Use the little wire cutters (I had a pair handy from my beading obsession back in my Uni days), to cut down the sides of the bits to your required depth. I then used the little pliers to twist and pull the plastic out of the body. If you don't have wire cutters, I think that with a pair of pliers and a bit of persistance, you may be able to just pull them out. I had cutters, so for me, it was easy and quite neat to do it that way.
Not the greatest/clearest photo I know... But you can see that the cross bits have been removed from part of the body.

Step Four:
Super Glue your USB in place! 
NO WAIT! Before you glue it, make sure you are going to put the USB in the right way up. I double tested it out in my computer before I glued it, to make sure that I didn't end up with a Lego Dude facing the floor. 
OK. NOW YOU CAN PROCEED. Run the glue along the top of your USB and seat it in your Lego body. Hold for a little bit (?maybe a minute), and sit it down to dry. Be careful not to get glue on the outside of the body.
I gave them probably half an hour, I know super glue works faster than this...but I'm anal like that... and tested how well they'd stuck. Pop the arms back in, the heads back on and accessories in place. I recommend lightly gluing the loose pieces in place. I didn't do this, and consumer feedback all said it would be a good idea :)

Aaaaannnnndddd Bob's your Uncle!
Your very own Lego USB Man (or Lady).

Check out this post to see all 9 of the characters I made.

I hope you all find this little project as simple and satisfying as I did.

See you all another day!

I can't take credit for this awesome concept. I came across it whilst googling one day (for once not on Pinterest!). I landed on the instructables website and found a few tutorials like this one and this one. However, most of them said I would need a special Pen Drill so I ignored that and worked out a simpler way to make it myself with what I owned already... And a month down, all reports say they are holding up perfectly!