I designed this project at some point last year but only recently returned to it and refined it. I was able to find an adapter to convert my regular 3.5″ internal hard drive to USB which solves my problem of lacking empty hard drive bays as well as keeping my data safe from my 4-year-old. The design is quite straightforward, I have a 3d printed base with all of the custom geometry designed, and then a simple walnut top that was CNC’d to create the cavity for the drive as well as a logo on the top. I finished this off with some dyed resin to add a pop of color to the top so it would look great on my desk. All in, this only cost me ~$30 but had many of the materials used on hand already. The drive is secured to the base using a hard drive hardware kit that minimizes the vibration and then I added several rubber feet so it wouldn’t move around on the desk while the drive was spinning. Although, my solution may look a little overkill here, the build itself was quite a simple one. The top can also be completely 3d printed which would make it even easier to build. The files can be downloaded below, I hope you check it out!
Tools and Materials Used:
For the 3d printed base, I used Proto-Pasta White HTPLA but the filament choice isnt super important. Slicer settings can basically be a default profile as this is a very straightforward print. I do recommend support as there are small portions (screw hole cavities) that benefit from some support material. If you plan on 3d printing the top too, the same process applies.
The CAM processes I created in Fusion 360, I used pocket clearing for the primary drive cavity, a contour for the outer and then flipped the top to cut out the logo. I used pocket clearing again for the logo portion.
Finishing the Base:
- Removed support material.
- I skipped sanding and went directly to applying spot putty to the base.
- Sanded the spot putty smooth and wiped down the base.
- Used auto primer to prime the base and then lightly sanded once dry.
- Used a flat white spray paint to add the color.
- Finished up the base with a matte clear coat.
Finishing the Top:
- Used my hand router to add a roundover edge to the top.
- Sanded the top with 150 – 320 grit.
- I used linseed oil on the wood.
- For the logo I used resin and some pigments to get close to my logo colors. Once it was dry, I sanded it down flat/smooth.
- Finished up the top with a matte clear coat.
- Attached the hard drive to the base using the HDD hardware kit.
- Secured the wood top to the base using the wood screws.
- Added the rubber feet to each hole in the base.
- Attached the adapter to the drive and plugged in both the power and USB cable.
- Final enclosure is now ready to connect to your computer!