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The Instructables' Build Night program has been great for our makerspace, because among other things, it has introduced us to lots of new products we now keep in our tool kits. It is interesting how differently you can solve everyday problems when you have access to materials with different properties.

InstaMorph is one of the new products that we now have on hand at YuKonstruct, thanks to the build night program.

What is InstaMorph? It is a lightweight thermoplastic which acts like clay when warm, but when it cools, it's a strong plastic. It's non toxic and very adaptable.

Here are a few examples of projects that have involved using InstaMorph over the last few months.

Step 1: Materials and Equipment:

  • Instamorph 6oz bag
  • Bowl of really hot water
  • Tongs or other tools (for lifting InstaMorph out of very hot water)
  • Kettle or stove to heat up water
  • Problems to solve, things to fix
  • Creativity

Step 2: Preparing InstaMorph

InstaMorph is pretty easy to prepare. Boil a kettle of water, pour it into a container like a bowl, and add what you think is enough white pellets for your project.

Wait for the InstaMorph pellets to become clear (about 2 minutes) and start shaping it to meet your needs. Use tongs or other tools to get your InstMorph out of the hot water!

If you are doing a lot of shaping, and the material starts to cool off and become cloudy and stiff, just drop it back into the hot water until it heats up again and then continue where you left off.

Here is a link to the instructions posted on the InstaMorph site: https://www.instamorph.com/instructions

Step 3: Filling the Holes

Since moving into YuKonstruct's makerspace location, the kitchen taps were a problem. Hot and cold were reversed, they dripped and leaked, they had low flow, etc. One of the most challenging things about it was that even if you tried to turn off the tap completely, it was virtually impossible without skinning your knuckles with the on and off knobs that were placed too close to the back splash. Sounds unlikely I know, but true.

After a few halfhearted attempts to improve the situation, we bought a brand new faucet and one of our members thankfully installed it, cutting new holes in the stainless steel sink itself.

As a temporary, but likely fairly long-term fix, I filled the remaining holes with softened InstaMorph and inserted a 3-D printed chess rook on one side while the InstaMorph was still soft. On the other side I siliconed around a rock from the yard that was cut in half with a tile saw, and crowned it with a glob of InstaMorph that encased the foot of a mini 3D printed version of the Cardboard Yeti Effigy from our spring Burning Away the Winter Blues event. This effectively stopped the water from leaking into the cupboard below.

Step 4: Vaccuum Cleaner Repair

Another recent example of an InstaMorph fix, was when the plastic at the base of the vacuum cleaner handle broke, making it impossible to use. The wires were the only thing keeping the two parts together.

This time I heated up the InstaMorph and pressed it against the ball joint at the bottom of the handle, let it sit long enough to hold its shape a bit, and then I rotated it around to break the seal. It worked great, keeping the shape of the joint, not stuck to the movable part but stuck on the solid part, holding the handle of the vacuum cleaner together and encasing the wires.

Step 5: Dog Hair Print Block

One of the more unusual uses I found for InstaMorph was making handles to turn my felted fur balls into stamps.

I heated up the InstaMorph and then shaped it by hand into a curly handle. I then glued a ball made from dog hair to the end.

I can now use it to make cute polka dot prints.

Step 6: Simple LED Light Difuser

While it is clear when hot, InstaMorph turns an opaque white when it cools. I discovered that it is very good for diffusing light.

When the InstaMorph was warm and soft, I wrapped it around an LED throwie. The LED now casts a great diffused glow.

Step 7: Hair Bobbles

InstaMorph is also great for making beads.

I heated some up and rolled it into little balls that I added to a hair elastic. Now the simple hair elastic has been transformed into something totally retro.

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