sugru – the silly putty that isn’t so silly

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sugru can be used for just about anything, such as improving the grip on this Wacom stylus

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sugru is a moldable silicone modeling clay that sets to a tough, flexible silicone allowing users to modify or repair just about anything. Coming in a range of colors this Play-Doh-like material boasts the potential to be used to modify a wide range of objects as it is self-adhesive, waterproof, flexible, dishwasher-proof and is highly temperature resistant.

Upon removing the sugru from its packaging you’ve got 30 minutes to fashion and mold the material before it starts to harden. It then takes around 24 hours to cure at room temperature for sugru a thickness around 3-5mm deep. Once cured sugru is waterproof and durable and able to withstand temperatures from -60 to 180 degrees Celsius (-76 to 356 degrees Fahrenheit).

sugru forms a strong bond to aluminum, steel, ceramics, glass and Perspex and when it cures it is flexible, meaning it can be used to repair things that need to be able to move, like textiles, cables, or even shoes. Like other silicones it is also durable in harsh soapy conditions making it dishwasher and washing machine friendly.

The nifty material is the brainchild of a young lass from Ireland named Jane who had the idea for the material while she was studying product design at RCA London. She got in touch with a couple of materials scientists named Ian and Steve to invent the new material that is designed to “hack things better.”

Its creators say sugru can help decrease your impact on the world by countering the throwaway society and letting you repair things that previously would have ended up on the garbage heap. Broken the handle on your favorite cooking utensil? Worn a hole in that expensive bike seat? Grab a glob of sugru and do a bit of molding and you’ve just extended their lives.

It also provides an easy way to personalize objects to suit your particular circumstances. Examples on the sugru site include adding a waterproof lining to the bottom of a bag and creating a soft covering for a pen that perfectly matches your grip. But with its practically endless uses people are no doubt going to come up with some very inventive and surprising uses for the material. That’s why it should be fun to keep an eye on the sugru blog, where what they call "hacks" (although they’re technically mods) made using the substance are posted.

sugru is available in a Multi Hack Pack consisting of five 10g sachets and five 5g sachets, a Big Hack Pack containing three 20g sachets, two 10g sachets and one 5g sachet, or a One Massive Hack Pack containing one 100g lump of sugru. All are priced at GBP7 (approx US$11.40 at time of publication). But sugru has already proved popular with all 2,000 pre-order packs selling out in a few hours so keep an eye on the site for when new stock is expected.

To get a better idea of just what sugru can do check out the vid below.

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