Technology Tuesday: Hack Your Stuff with Sugru

I love fixing things. Not so much because I enjoy the actual process but because I am a cheap bastard and hate replacing something that could be repaired. Likewise, if I can figure out a cheap solution to something that otherwise would have cost me a lot of money, that makes me pretty happy. The guy at my local hardware store knows me pretty well. I often go there and describe a problem or something I need to fix without knowing exactly what it is that I am looking for or if it even exists. However, since discovering Sugru – I am making my own products,  fixing stuff with an ease that I’ve never imagined and not making nearly as many trips to the hardware store.

Sugru is an amazing little product. It is a Play-Doh like substance that can be formed into any shape you can imagine. It adheres to practically any substance (including previous Sugru applications) and within 24 hours cures into a flexible, rubbery, waterproof, temperature resistant wonder-material. What does that all mean? Read on to learn a little bit more about what you can do with Sugru.

Sugru is awesome.

Several months ago, I read a few articles about Sugru and thought it looked and sounded useful. However, I wasn’t convinced that I had a need for it and figured it was kind of an expensive product. Fast forward to last month when I went from camera repair store to camera repair store trying to find a fix for a broken ring around one of my lenses. While the broken plastic ring didn’t affect functionality of the lens, it did prevent my lens cap from being able to snap onto it to protect the lens. Repair cost estimate? $200. I remembered Sugru and figured it was a good time to buy some to see if that could solve the problem. Problem solved with Sugru. So is $20 expensive for 12 packages that will allow for many different repairs? I think not.

How does it work? Simply cut open a package and form whatever you need. The material feels like Play-Doh with a slight stickiness. The sticky texture allows for easy adhesion to practically any material like rubber, wood, plastic, metal, and ceramic. Keep rolling, pinching, forming, and squeezing until you’ve created just the custom part you need. You’ll have about a half hour or so before the material starts to cure. Once it is fully cured, in about 24 hours, your finished product will be waterproof, dishwasher safe, temperature resistant, and best of all: still flexible. This allows you to use Sugru on hoses, cables, footwear or other objects that need to bend.

Give Me Some Ideas on What I Can Do With It: Your imagination is the only thing that limits the usefulness of Sugru. I’ve done several simple repairs like fixing loose USB cable connectors, broken knobs & handles, a broken wheel on a dishwasher rack and also for attaching things permanently.

I have a small flashlight that’s been to its fair share of concerts. (I always bring a small flashlight with me). I was getting ready to ditch it since the rubber power button was worn through and was a hassle to press without hurting my thumb.  A little dollop of Sugru and it is as good as new!

I used Sugru to attach an NFC tag to a cell phone stand that I got at the dollar store to make my own desktop dock and it saved me $70.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tkRnzqUjug[/youtube]

A couple of quick Google searches for “Sugru Uses” or “Creative Uses Sugru” should give you scores of ideas on the types of things that you can do with it. Car repair, cable management, laptop repair and outerwear repair all seem to be pretty popular uses.

Black, white and a few different colors are available to match your needs. And, just like PlayDoh, you can mix colors together to create your own custom palettes.  However, be careful when ordering: Despite the packaging in small, airtight, foil pouches, the shelf life is only six months. Once I started using Sugru, I realized that wouldn’t be a problem for me as I just ordered my second batch.

Bottom Line You don’t need to be very handy at all to enjoy the benefits of this great product. Sugru is extremely easy to work with and forms to any shape, bonds to anything and will cure to a permanent state just by being exposed to air. Several colors are available and while a couple dollars for each small pouch may initially seem expensive, the value is exponentially higher being able to save on costly repairs, replacement parts and making everyday items perform better.

Sugru.com

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Hidden Track Technology Tuesday
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