sugru is the new self-setting rubber for fixing, modifying and making stuff.
sugru can be formed and shaped by hand for up to 30 minutes once it has been removed from its packaging.
Sticks to almost anything
sugru forms a strong bond to metal, ceramics, glass, wood and some plastics like perspex and ABS and rubbers like silicone and butyl rubber.
Air cures at room temperature
sugru is like modelling clay when you take it from its pack. Once it's exposed to air, it cures to a tough flexible silicone overnight using the moisture in the air.
First of all, credit to super sugru guru Mallin for encouraging me to push forward with this project! This process makes your favourite fixing substance, sugru, glow-in-the-dark. Shall we call it Glowgru? A friendly caution - please be careful when using the glow powder to avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth! You may choose to use gloves if you wish.
- sugru mixed to the color you want
- A small cup of warm, soapy water
- A letter opener or safe sugru-cutting tool
- Glow-in-the-dark powder (can be ordered online)
Start with a primary color, or mix sugru colors to your liking. To get permission for this product from my wife (who maintains creative approval rights for my fixes) I promised to make it pink. I used sugru's color chart as a start point, and mixed 70% white with 30% red as you see here.
Using this method, you can choose to do the entire fix with glowing sugru if you want. I chose to use sugru without mixing it as a base for contrast. Following Mallin's suggestion for another project, I set aside a small portion of sugru for this project. Also, say hello to Hackbot (the contraption holding the key), my Hands #3 & #4 in my sugru endeavors!
For best results, make sure you begin working with the powder very quickly after a) opening your pouch of sugru and b) rolling it to make it tacky! Start by pouring on a small amount of glow powder, roughly covering the portion of sugru you wish to use. The amount you see here is about 1/8th of a teaspoon of powder. The silver underneath the sugru in this photo is one side of the original pouch, cut at the dotted line on the exterior, for scale. Keep the amount of powder small to start. Roll up the sample like a crepe, and over a paper towel or wax paper (some powder will fall out) work the powder into the sugru between your palms.
You can repeat the following step about three (3) times before the sugru becomes saturated with powder to the point where it becomes too difficult to easily mold (the sugru becomes mealy and begins to fall apart). Mold the sugru into a little bowl, and add a small amount of powder (the amount above is about 1/10th of a teaspoon). Carefully pinch the rim of the bowl closed with both thumbs and index fingers. Weld it shut and gently roll it into a ball. Be patient, and roll very gently, alternating between rolling it into a short tube shape and back into a ball.
Apply your new Glowgru to your project and charge it under a light. For instant gratification, use a true UV light...
...and marvel at the results! The photo above was helped with a toy/replica Sonic Screwdriver of the 10th Doctor, which comes equipped with a UV light!
A similar method has already been used for making camping equipment better and I can only hope that this guide will help others solve for and create things like:
- avoiding stubbed toes in the dark
- hiding secret "I love you" messages to kids and spouses that can only be seen after lights-out or with a UV blacklight
- creating holders in the car for phones and MP3 players that don't distract you while driving
- any situation where you need to find something without turning on the light!
I hope you have fun with this!
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