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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 17 2014, @03:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the Kilkenny-Flubber dept.

Open4D writes:

"The Guardian has the story behind the creation of Sugru, which it calls 'the new wonder material.'

Its 'rise in popularity [was] initially among the tech and maker community,' but it's not something I've heard of through my usual channels of tech news, despite it being one of Time magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2010".

According to Wikipedia, 'Sugru is malleable when removed from its airtight, moisture-proof packaging, retains its plasticity for thirty minutes, and is self-curing at room temperature after approximately 24 hours.' In other words, it's Blu-Tack that sets. You can see it in action on You Tube or see plenty of demo project photos on the Sugru website.

So, who else missed this? Would you now consider buying some to have available as an alternative to superglue or duct tape? And who has enountered it? Modern miracle or over-priced rehash?'

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  • (Score: 2) by MozeeToby on Monday March 17 2014, @03:11PM

    by MozeeToby (1118) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:11PM (#17634)

    I've used it for a few quick fixes. It's expensive, no doubt about that, but it's also a fantastic product. It's ridiculously easy to work with and is surprisingly durable and professional looking once set if you do it right.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday March 17 2014, @07:38PM

      by frojack (1554) on Monday March 17 2014, @07:38PM (#17766) Journal

      It IS expensive, and you would be well advised to grab your kid's silly putty, (or clay) and use that for making prototypes if for no other reason than to get the molding steps nailed down.

      Once you open it, you haven't got a whole lot of time to experiment, you want to have the process doen pat. Further, it doesn't have a great shelf life, so don't stock up, and store un-opened packages in the fridge.

      I've only used the black, as the other colors are just a little loud, and make any project look like something done by your kids kindergarten art project. To get a professional look, work over your hand formed items with an X-acto knife, trimming the unnecessary bits, smoothing, etc.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20 2014, @12:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20 2014, @12:33AM (#45455)

      3KAV2g http://www.qs3pe5zgdxc9iovktapt2dbyppkmkqfz.com/ [qs3pe5zgdx...kmkqfz.com]

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @03:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @03:18PM (#17639)

    It's been a particular favorite on the Lifehacker site.

    Regarding the cost, there have been at least some DIY versions that are supposed to work just as well, and cost practically nothing. (Just silicone caulk and some cornstarch or something like that.) Just check the internets.

    • (Score: 3) by c0lo on Monday March 17 2014, @03:28PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 17 2014, @03:28PM (#17652) Journal

      Regarding the cost, there have been at least some DIY versions that are supposed to work just as well, and cost practically nothing.

      In other words, a modern rehash of an overpriced miracle?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @09:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17 2014, @09:00PM (#17796)

      I put my caulk into everything else; why not cornstarch?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Sir Garlon on Monday March 17 2014, @03:22PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:22PM (#17647)

    This is the first I've heard of it. Does anyone know if you can cast it in reusable molds?

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by TonyWilk on Monday March 17 2014, @08:01PM

      by TonyWilk (213) on Monday March 17 2014, @08:01PM (#17776)

      Yes it is moldable, but you have to guess the cure time which depends on how much is exposed and how much is 'buried' in the mold. One thing I made was a rubber roller molded between perspex plates - left it a week then took an end plate off and left it another couple of days.

      Another really handy fix was for a non-standard 12v 2-pin power connector: found a couple of connector inserts which fit on the socket pins, soldered on a couple of wires and rammed sugru into the socket and up along the leads - 4 days later - luverly new power plug.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 17 2014, @03:25PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:25PM (#17648)

    The problem with "the maker community" is its silicone caulk about 50:50 with talcum powder. So some maker types will just mix their own. This is not rocket science, for decades I've mixed this bulking powder stuff with superglue for R/C modeling. I can mix my own epoxy too. There exists epoxy putty products too.

    One problem is silicone caulk will self cure on a hardware store shelf in a couple years, and adding stuff to it doesn't seem to help. Thus the half year or so shelf life for this Sugru stuff. So you can't really buy the stuff and let it sit around till you need it, because likely in 2015 when you really need it, and then it'll be a solid cured blob. So you kind of need a job for it the day you order it, but not be in enough of a hurry to use a somewhat substandard product like a tube of plain old hardware store caulk. If I could buy it at the hardware store sitting right next to the caulk, yeah, I could see using it. Maybe if I keep it in the shop fridge next to the cyano glues it'll store better. I've kept superglues liquid for a decade in the shop fridge, which supposedly is some kind of achievement.

    I considered using it as a replacement for coax seal for outdoor antenna / RF connection waterproofing, but I don't know the material compatibility (some caulks acid cure and will ruin the metal...) and frankly coax seal sits on the shelf for a decade and still works (Its a strip of roof tar, basically).

    Ditto plumbing putty. Hard to compete with $1 for a jar of plumbing putty which is supposedly the ideal material for the job and has a near infinite shelf life. Then again sugru may or may not work better. All that material compatibility. I know plumbing putty works really well with plumbing (shocker) but does sugru tolerate eternal immersion in water, light detergents, stuff like that?

    Another possible use is handles, but again, there is a dip oriented product which is cheaper and probably shows fewer fingerprints specifically oriented around tool handles. Unsure of its shelf life.

    I could smoosh it into a mold, but again, I've done stuff with molding resin and casting compounds and the liquids are easier to use and probably cheaper. This is for model railroad stuff.

    For just screwing around with putty, its cheaper to give the kids play dough.

    In the 70s someone described the laser as a solution in search of its problem. Turned out to eventually be pretty useful. I'm sure sugru will eventually turn out the same way.

    TLDR the entrenched alternatives that I know of are custom designed for their tasks, cheaper, and better shelf life.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by MozeeToby on Monday March 17 2014, @03:41PM

      by MozeeToby (1118) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:41PM (#17661)

      Here's the thing, you just listed half a dozen possible uses for which there are alternatives that are equal or better. With a bit of work, I can list about a couple dozen more. It's not that it does any one thing fantastically, it's that I can keep a little foil wrapped pack of it in a drawer for 6 months and use it as a quick fix for many different problems.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 17 2014, @03:52PM

        by VLM (445) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:52PM (#17667)

        "use it as a quick fix for many different problems."

        Yeah well, that's your second post along those lines without any details, and I really like hearing stories about interesting problems w/ interesting solutions, so ...

        You wanna talk about things that are interesting but don't have a "real" use? I can entertain you all day with running commentary on tunnel diodes and vortex coolers and homemade DTL logic gates and the like.

        So what can you actually do with sugru?

        Here's another brainstorming idea which may or may not work... if you can get a tape-like wad of it, would it be useful in a first aid kit to kinda sorta attach a broken limb to a splint strongly enough to not flop around but loosely enough that it could never impede circulation? And being, basically, silicone caulk, the doc putting the real cast on can cut it easily enough. Nobody cares what medical stuff costs because either 1) you're unconscious so don't care 2) insurance will pay anything 3) no insurance means you can't afford anything at all so may as well get the good stuff. So this brainstorm idea is interesting. Then again does it set fast enough and if you get it in an open wound (aka compound fracture...)

        • (Score: 1) by vortechs2000 on Monday March 17 2014, @06:22PM

          by vortechs2000 (2477) on Monday March 17 2014, @06:22PM (#17739)

          I've added a support bar to my dishwasher rack by wrapping a 12 gauge copper wire around the existing rack wires and coating it with Sugru. I even managed to color match the existing rack color. It's lasted for months now with no issue.

          I also repaired a plastic dustpan that had cracked.

          It's pretty cool stuff!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by wjwlsn on Monday March 17 2014, @03:43PM

      by wjwlsn (171) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:43PM (#17662) Homepage Journal

      ^^ Great reply.

      Right now, about the only real use I can see for pre-packaged Sugru-type stuff is in "emergencies" when you're away from home... take some with you if you're going camping, keep a package in the car, etc. Even then, maybe hot glue would be sufficient in many cases; there are plenty of battery-powered hot glue guns on the market, or you could power one from a utility socket in your car, or even just heat up a glue stick with a lighter or a match.

      --
      I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
    • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Monday March 17 2014, @06:06PM

      by sgleysti (56) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 17 2014, @06:06PM (#17731)

      I once had custom molded earplugs made at the audiologist. He stuck a foam backing attached to some string into my ear and then filled my ear with some 2-part silicone epoxy. It cured in 10 minutes while touching my skin and left no irritation. I was really impressed with that substance.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 18 2014, @12:53AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 18 2014, @12:53AM (#17870) Homepage

      Ordinary silicon caulk, you say? Is there any particular trick to mixing it with the talc?

      How weatherproof is it? how well does it stick to metal? (Yeah, I'm looking for something easier to work with for fixing my roof. Silicon itself is too much of a mess to work into the cracks.)

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FrogBlast on Monday March 17 2014, @03:25PM

    by FrogBlast (21) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:25PM (#17649)

    I've been aware of it for a while, but have, thus far, been unwilling to spend four dollars per blob to fix my sub-four-dollar Monoprice cables.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Monday March 17 2014, @03:35PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:35PM (#17660)

    After looking at the product site I have to wonder if this was a little of both...and I don't care. This is a product I could actually use around my farm.

    Ah,there's the rub. What happens if SN put up some "news" that is based on a POS type of product,

    "Origins of Viagra"
    (even nerds need a hard one now and then)

    Savior or silly, what do soylenter's think of its uses (with a handy link to pfiser in the summary)

    NC, maddie_p, testing the waters? Be careful, I still have my pitchfork and torch lying around her somewhere. In the mean time, I may pick up a pack to try though "miracle" materials tend to be magical in removing money from pocket with little in return.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 17 2014, @03:43PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 17 2014, @03:43PM (#17663)

      "What happens if SN put up some "news" that is based on a POS type of product,"

      Off the front page right now we've got Tesla cars, SDN routing, VPN services, and historically some Windows articles, I recall one about XP support ending soon.

      Especially WRT Windows, depends on your local definition of "POS" of course.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Monday March 17 2014, @04:56PM

        by bucc5062 (699) on Monday March 17 2014, @04:56PM (#17696)

        Interesting point, but

        Tesla as more about the politics
        SDN Routing was a generic submission about routing issues
        VPN Services, same as routing and not specific to one product
        Windows....who in their right mind would hawk Windows Products on this site /grin

        As I was trying to be slightly humorous (and failed it seems) I just noted that this submission was about a specific product and ways in which it could be used (you have to buy to try it) which can be perceived as "product placement". Overall I really don't care for the beauty of SN is that I can choose to ignore or read what interests me.

        You posted some great ideas, I got one, plug up a leak in a gutter that bugs the hell out of me every time it rains. I've used spray stuff, caulk, duct tape with silicon and it eventually starts to leak again. So now I have a new thing to try before I go destructive and start over with a new gutter.

        The tongue in cheek was missed (sigh)

        --
        The more things change, the more they look the same
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 17 2014, @05:35PM

          by VLM (445) on Monday March 17 2014, @05:35PM (#17713)

          I wonder how it tastes. The sugru. Another concern I had about RF connector sealing outdoors is the current gold standard of coax seal is a tar based substance which supposedly tastes awful so animals avoid it. Hopefully your gutter patch would not become irresistible dining for squirrels.

          And UV proof... another interesting question for outdoor projects.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by beckett on Monday March 17 2014, @04:05PM

    by beckett (1115) on Monday March 17 2014, @04:05PM (#17675)

    I sealed fish tank seams for experiments with a recipe for oogoo from instructables. i ended up using GE Silicone 1 (acetic acid hardener, no anti-fungal agent) mixed with corn starch. i can vary the consistency by adding more or less corn starch, and could mould like play-doh to form around bulkheads and edges.

    i ended up using 2 tubes of silicone 1 for 30 tanks, and a cup of corn starch. this would have been really expensive if i had resorted to sugru.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 17 2014, @04:14PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 17 2014, @04:14PM (#17680)

      I hate to break it to you but silicone i only costs a few pennies under $1/oz and genuine guaranteed fish / invertibrate safe tank sealant is only a couple pennies over $1/oz. So adding corn starch to mess with the viscosity probably made the homemade stuff more expensive than using genuine aquarium seal.

      I've had fish since the 80s, on and off, and I Could totally see fixing little gadgets with sugru or similar. Maybe not sealing the entire tank, but rather forcibly attaching the motor to the box filter when the little clip breaks off. Or sealing a now unused hole in the hood. That kind of thing. Wonder if sugru is fish-safe? Invertebrate safe just means it doesn't have copper, I think.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by beckett on Monday March 17 2014, @06:47PM

        by beckett (1115) on Monday March 17 2014, @06:47PM (#17751)

        I hate to break it to you but silicone i only costs a few pennies under $1/oz and genuine guaranteed fish / invertibrate safe tank sealant is only a couple pennies over $1/oz. So adding corn starch to mess with the viscosity probably made the homemade stuff more expensive than using genuine aquarium seal.

        I used OTC silicone I, and corn starch is about 50¢/lb. i'm not sure why you think that adding some cornstarch suddenly jacks up the price to caviar.

        this was for a custom designed flume tank for experimental work. i needed a bunch of them, so i had to DIY what i had i work in the aquarium trade, and I work on recirculating aquaculture systems as part of my job.

        the benefit of using oogoo in this application was it was mouldable while wet, and sandable after drying. Additionally, it didn't matter how thick the oogoo was: even if i made a 3"x3" cube, it would dry completely in about an hour. I was able to make large plugs to make bulkheads watertight on non-flat surfaces. i would normally use fish safe silicone, but if i needed to make 3d structures or create a raised surface silicone is not something that takes a shape really well. oogoo was able to make the shapes and structures i needed to support in the flume tanks, and did so for pennies.

        n.b. "fish safe" silicone typically means silicone without antifungal agents you'd normally see in bathroom applications. these mildew/mould-free silicones typically contain arsenic for its spectrum of activity, and are toxic to fish.

  • (Score: 2) by Marneus68 on Monday March 17 2014, @04:52PM

    by Marneus68 (3572) on Monday March 17 2014, @04:52PM (#17694) Homepage

    It's fun to see it mentioned here when I purchased some 2 days ago. I'm still waiting for the delivery but I expect to use it to add the finishing touches to my newly re-cabled headset.