Steampunk USB Cryptex Keeps Your Data Secure

Worried about people snooping around your USB drive? Digital encryption not good enough for you? What you need is a USB Cryptex to secure the drive from even being accessed!

Made completely out of copper and brass, [Scots72] really put a lot of effort into this beautiful piece of metalworking. The USB drive itself is encased in epoxy inside of a copper tube — the rest is built around it. Built almost entirely using hand tools, and we can only imagine how long the process took to complete. But patience is often rewarded with results like these!

[Scots72] even went to the length of trying to etch the numbers onto the copper using a resist and etch method (as described here), but unfortunately it didn’t work very well. Outsourcing the engraving was a fix that allowed him to meet his deadline. The finished product looks great. The thumb drive is anchored in a cylinder which goes in the center of the assembly, the four rotating numbered rings engage lock pins on that cylinder unless the correct combination is dialed in.

We’ve seen lots of cryptexes before, from 3D printed ones, to others made out of metal like this, from PVC plastic, to even paper!

[via r/DIY]

10 thoughts on “Steampunk USB Cryptex Keeps Your Data Secure

  1. Nicely done!
    I’m curious, if you put some pressure on a cryptex, can you feel the pins catch and give as you rotate the tumblers (as you can with some combination locks)?
    Are there detents around the tumblers to prevent this style of picking?

    1. Usually, people don’t want to have to carve the detent for each spot, because it’s time consuming. When I 3D printed a cryptex that is fully adjustable, I added those detents, and large enough where it prevents rotation of the dials when there is pressure on the inner chamber. Slows down picking by an order of magnitude.

          1. I used to work with CO2 laser cutters in the 2-4 kilowatt range, and cutting thick copper could give THOSE things fits. You might be able to engrave it with that power if you were on a very different frequency. But CO2 lasers bounce right off copper.

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