Random Personal Project Idea

Postby Johnathan » February 2nd, 2013, 10:33 am

User avatar

Johnathan
step three
step three
 
Posts: 179
Joined: June 28th, 2009, 7:57 pm
So I've had a idea bouncing around in my head for about a week now and I'm wondering if you guys have any thoughts on it. What if you took a flash drive, removed its outer casing and just dip the circuit board in a protective silicone coating? Would that ruin the drive or would it leave you with a hopefully cool looking minimalist flash drive? Have any of you done something similar, or is the best way to find out to go spend $20 and try it myself?

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby yo » February 2nd, 2013, 2:02 pm

User avatar

yo
Administration
Administration
 
Posts: 13162
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Location: SoCal
Hmmm, I'll ask one of our EE guys but I think you should definetly just try it out. Maybe PlatiDip?

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby NURB » February 2nd, 2013, 3:41 pm

User avatar

NURB
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4378
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 1:31 pm
Location: MPLS
More minimal than the Kensington Data Traveler? Image
Chris Haar

twitter:@chrishaar

Those who define design as knowing how to use Illustrator will be condemned to using Illustrator their entire career. - @Mike_FTW

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby Robbie_roy » February 2nd, 2013, 3:48 pm

User avatar

Robbie_roy
step four
step four
 
Posts: 309
Joined: January 22nd, 2011, 10:28 pm
Location: Alphaville
One of my friends is doing the same but experimenting with concrete and various levels of epoxy added, directly onto the circuit ... it worked for him but he didn't make an epoxy-only version (the mixtures he used were probably thicker, if that makes much of a difference).

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby jcharles00 » February 2nd, 2013, 10:08 pm

User avatar

jcharles00
step three
step three
 
Posts: 134
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 5:25 pm
Location: Lafayette, IN, USA
As long as the drive wasn't active (plugged into anything) when you dipped it, my guess is that it would be fine. A lot of analogue electronics are epoxy dipped to either reduce solder joints coming loose due to vibration, or to limit repair-ability. My long term concern would be the reduced capacity for heat dissipation, especially with an epoxy or similar.

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby Johnathan » February 2nd, 2013, 11:31 pm

User avatar

Johnathan
step three
step three
 
Posts: 179
Joined: June 28th, 2009, 7:57 pm
NURB wrote:More minimal than the Kensington Data Traveler? Image


Not necessarily visually minimal, but conceptually minimal. It's just the circuitry with a dipped coating over it, but I get what you are saying.

Robbie_roy wrote:One of my friends is doing the same but experimenting with concrete and various levels of epoxy added, directly onto the circuit ... it worked for him but he didn't make an epoxy-only version (the mixtures he used were probably thicker, if that makes much of a difference).


Good to know it isn't a totally unexplored topic. The next time I'm at the store I'll have to get some epoxy and a cheap flash drive to try it out. I know flash drives sometimes can get warm, but from my experience not as warm as most electronics. I guess one drawback could be that it would totally ruin any recycle ability, but how recyclable are circuit boards to begin with?

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby nxakt » February 3rd, 2013, 6:08 am

User avatar

nxakt
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 962
Joined: March 15th, 2010, 5:11 am
Location: Central Shanghai
Anything from thin paint, even heat sink type black radiating paint, to thick epoxy would likely be possible without changing or interfering with the function.

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby NURB » February 3rd, 2013, 9:05 am

User avatar

NURB
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4378
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 1:31 pm
Location: MPLS
Johnathan wrote:
Not necessarily visually minimal, but conceptually minimal. It's just the circuitry with a dipped coating over it, but I get what you are saying.


Ahh... Gotcha.
Chris Haar

twitter:@chrishaar

Those who define design as knowing how to use Illustrator will be condemned to using Illustrator their entire career. - @Mike_FTW

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby jcharles00 » February 3rd, 2013, 12:34 pm

User avatar

jcharles00
step three
step three
 
Posts: 134
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 5:25 pm
Location: Lafayette, IN, USA
Johnathan wrote:I guess one drawback could be that it would totally ruin any recycle ability, but how recyclable are circuit boards to begin with?


PCBoards are only marginally recyclable. The process mostly involves grinding up the boards or whole devices, then mechanically or electro-mechanically sorting different types of bits out of the ground aggregate. Some of it is sellable as scrap to be refined, and others are just trash. I would imagine that a coating wouldn't really impede this process too much.

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby louis leblanc » February 5th, 2013, 1:45 pm

User avatar

louis leblanc
step one
step one
 
Posts: 20
Joined: June 13th, 2010, 1:32 pm
I'm not sure how well silicon would work, I would give epoxy a shot. Here's one of my favorite hack http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2008/ho ... f-usb-key/

Also, it seems dipping a drive in epoxy has already been done:
http://lifehacker.com/5353004/diy-indes ... humb-drive

One person is reporting overheating. I would try looking into electronic potting epoxies, they might have better heat transfer properties. Also, try to keep the amount of epoxy as thin as possible.

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby Travisimo » February 7th, 2013, 10:15 am

User avatar

Travisimo
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 1865
Joined: September 4th, 2005, 2:28 pm
Location: UK
Robbie_roy wrote:One of my friends is doing the same but experimenting with concrete and various levels of epoxy added, directly onto the circuit ... it worked for him but he didn't make an epoxy-only version (the mixtures he used were probably thicker, if that makes much of a difference).


An old friend from frog was doing these a couple years ago... USB Sticks encased in concrete

Image
Kix Studio

There's a similar technology called 'potting' electronics - which is surrounding a board with caulk or nonconductive grease so when an it goes under water (and under pressure), the enclosure won't let water in.

I'd imagine that USB sticks would have a pretty heavy layer of mask on the circuit board to protect it, since it might go in washing machines, etc. Mask is the spray-on clearcoat layer that goes on top of the pcb once it's created.

That'd protect it from the whatever you coat it in, but the mechanical connections might not hold up when you stick it in again and again...

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby pier » February 7th, 2013, 6:49 pm


pier
step four
step four
 
Posts: 364
Joined: June 1st, 2006, 3:34 pm
Location: Toronto
Yes of course dip molding silicone over a bare PCB can work, similar is frequently done on some assemblies. PCB's are often conformal coated, usually a spray, sometimes a dip, for extreme insulating purpose, emergency certification approval, etc.

However, a general rule is that PCB's are never structural nor should be directly handled. Solder joints are structurally weak. Flash drive insertion / extraction hand grip force will quickly damage the PCB components or flex the thin glass epoxy board and crack tracks or solder joints. Also, you run the risk of directly introducing electrostatic shock to a sensitive component if the silicone is thin or wears off. It would be safer to do a clear acrylic cast, however without looking someone probably already has...

Re: Random Personal Project Idea

Postby ADD » February 14th, 2013, 12:36 am

User avatar

ADD
step four
step four
 
Posts: 518
Joined: April 22nd, 2007, 6:54 am
memristor is another interesting development in this area.
Because they are both transparent and flexible, the chips could allow touchscreens to double as a memory location

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4mjhKN3LFw&feature=player_embedded
http://www.gizmag.com/transparent-flexible-flash-replacement-chip/22031/

It seems that trend is...these keywords not a technology :wink:...Flexible. Thin.Transparent.
OLED, E ink, Memristor, Solar panel, etc....


Return to projects

©2014 Core77, Inc. All rights reserved
about | contact us | advertise | mailing list