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Cryptex Flash Drive is a Mini Mechanical Marvel

by Paul Strauss

When I first saw this gadget, I figured it was some sort of Cryptex designed for hiding away secrets in the bowels of a tomb or under the Vatican. But what you’re looking at here is just a really, really cool USB drive.


While I can’t read Russian, Google translate tells me roughly that the drive was made by a guy going by the moniker “Tarator”, and was modeled using AutoCAD software. He then output the designs to mechanical drawings so each of the components could be fabricated from metal. It’s not clear what materials were used to make it, but it looks like brass to me.


The drive is encased in a metal sleeve that acts as a 5-wheel combination lock, restricting access to the top-secret data payload stored within. I’m not quite sure how all the pins and gears work together to lock it down, but it must have taken some serious engineering talent to pull this off.


[via Fancy]

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Comments (17):

  1. CryptexMaker says:

    If you are looking for something larger that you can actually store things inside and hide away secrets in the bowels of a tomb, check out this website! http://www.cryptex.org

  2. bob says:

    an abundance of engineering is not required for this, it is, relatively speaking, mechanically simple. The thing that makes this most difficult is the fabrication using difficult to work with metals like brass.

    • bob says:

      it also appears to be rather compact, which makes it that much more difficult.

    • CryptexMaker says:

      Very true Bob, I’m not an trained engineer but have some reasonably good mechanical skills. Brass is not really all that hard to work with unless you are, like you said, making very small parts like this device uses. My brass parts are much larger (as are my boxes) and its a really nice metal to shape/polish/etc. But making something tiny like this would be more difficult to make (although material costs would be much lower! Brass has gone through the roof lately!)

      • Steven says:

        I also have very big brass “parts”

        • Ken Selvin says:

          Fail, Steven. Absolute fail. Please go to the nearest men’s store and hand over your genitals for inspection. They are clearly faulty as they have taken over your brain. :P

          I’m kind of disappointed, though. I was really excited, thinking that the device was a complex locking mechanism, but this seems like a very basic spin lock. Boo…

          I would prefer a more sophisticated lock, but I can understand the difficulty of working with those materials. As an aside, wouldn’t stainless steel be able to hold up to the stress of making such tiny parts? I mean, I know it’s a pain to manufacture, but it’s also pretty resilient stuff…

  3. Moo Gaa Bee says:

    If anybody can make this for me then please comment here and tell me how to contact you…….Thanks

    Serious Proposal for small quantities please…..

  4. JimmyJohnson says:

    Oh this is not like super old as i expected- Id totally pay money for this to.

  5. Max says:

    Found it here: http://smartdecisionsint.com/products/cryptex
    In stock, VAT and delivery excluded.

  6. Manasa says:

    I want 400 of these. Can I get them in India?

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