Bouncy Rubik's Cube





Introduction: Bouncy Rubik's Cube

About: Hi, my name is Britt Michelsen, I'm a Chemical Engineer especially interested in Computational Fluid Dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work I like to make stuff in my free time.

In this tutorial I'm going to show you two different ways, to make a bouncy Rubik's Cube. I love to modify Rubik Cubes, but was lacking the time lately, that's why I wanted to make something special as soon, as I had a bit of spare time.

Do you know somebody, who gets frustrated easily? Who has maybe already broken a Rubik Cube? Or do you just enjoy the thought, of throwing it against a wall, without doing any harm? Then this is the perfect Rubik's "cube" for you.

If you haven't heard of Oogoo yet, check out this instructable. To find out more about sugru go to this site.

Step 1: What You Need

  • Rubik‘s Cube (I used a Diansheng mini cube, so that I would need less sugru)
  • 50 or 60mm clear plastic Acrylic Fillable Ball Ornament (when you are using a Diansheng)
  • Thick plastic sheet (I recycled an old shampoo bottle)
  • Apoxie sculpt, or any other type of modeling clay
  • Method one:
    • Sugru (I used: 3 backs of black, 2 backs of white and one each of orange, blue and green)
    • Oil paint
  • Method two
    • Corn starch
    • Silicone caulk (acetic acid curing)
    • Oil paint
    • superglue
    • plastic bowl, something to stir with
  • Dremel (a belt sander will work as well)
  • Box cutter

Sugru vs. Oogoo


+ cheap
+ softer (better bounce)
- sticks like hell/ is harder to work with
- smells pretty bad
- it's hard to mix the same colour twice

So if you want a ball, that bounces extremely well, can't afford the sugru and have the patience, to make it look right, go with Oogoo


+ easier to work with
+ comes in different already mixed colours
- expensive
- bounces less

So, if you are a perfectionist, don't mind to spend more money and would like an easier to work with material, go with sugru.

Both balls turn surprisingly well.

Step 2: Preparing the Core

We will start by preparing the core. I always use the SpeedClic plastic cutting wheel from Dremel, but if you don't have one, don't worry, you can just as well use a sander.
The heat will probably melt the plastic pieces, make sure not to touch them, to prevent burning your fingers. Once you have gotten something, that remotely resembles a ball shape, use an exacto knif, to cut away the loose melted plastic.

Step 3: Getting the Correct Form

In order to get a nice and even ball, some guidance is helpful. In this step I'm going to show you how to make a ring, that can help you.

First you will have to calculate the length of the orange line, shown in the first picture. It depends on the radius of your clear plastic Acrylic Fillable Ball Ornament and of the size Rubik's Cube pieces. In the example, the inner diameter of the ornament is 4.8 cm and one Rubik's Cube piece is 1.5 cm long.
Cut the circle out of a thin plastic sheet and cut a second circle out of the middle, as shown in the second picture (with a 3 cm diameter for a Diansheng mini cube). Reassemble the first two layers, lay the circle on top of it and assemble the last layer. Your cube should now look like mine in picture three.

Step 4: Sugru

At first I thought it was a good idea, to cover one layer at a time with black sugru and then cut a circle into it (as shown in the first three pictures), to get a nice and even result. But this method eats up a lot of sugru.

That's why I decided to start with the colours and later apply the black sugru around them. Start by marking the circles, as shown in the fourth picture. Make sure, to move the pieces around, so that they are all equal. Once you are done, add the plastic ring, and apply the sugru (you can find an instruction, how to dye sugru here). Moist the inside of your sphere (I used the 50mm one, so that I would need less sugru) with soapy water and use it to shape the sugru. Per colour you need about 2/3 of a bag (to find out how to store the rest, read this instructable).

Wait for 24 hours and use the box cutter, to cut the layers apart. Once you are done remove the ring. Apply the next colour on one the layers next to the one, that you just finished. You wont need the plastic ring, because you can use the done layer as a guidance for the sphere. Wait for about two hours in between applying the next layer, to make sure, that you don't destroy the layer, that you've already finished. Once you are done with all the layers wait a few hours, then cut them apart.

Now fill in the gaps with the black sugru. Once it is cured, you can sand the ball, to get an nice an even result.

Step 5: Oogoo

I tried a few different mixtures and ended up using 1:3 (corn starch: silicone caulk). The ball is made in the same way, as the sugru one.

We will start by drawing the circles. I decided to go with the 60 mm sphere, so I calculated the plastic ring accordingly. Mix the Oogoo thoroughly, and apply it to the ball. This is a bit tricky, especially because corn starch and the silicone are very reluctant to being mixed and the result is extremely sticky. But don't worry, you will get the hang of it. Use the sphere to form the Oogoo, make sure to moist the inside of it with soapy water.

Use a box cutter to cut the pieces apart, move them around, to make sure, that they all have the same size. As you can see in the third picture, Oogoo doesn't stick to well to the Apoxie Sculpt. I tried coating it with different types of paint, but it didn't work either, that's why I decided to use super glue, to glue the pieces in place.

Don't worry, if your ball looks messy after applying the black Oogoo, you can easily fix that after it is cured with the box cutter and sanding paper.



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    Though I have never played Portal (yes, i live under a rock, but i have a wifi signal so it's all good), I can totally see people making Rubik's Companion Cubes with this.... If no one has done it yet, go to it, my crafty minions!!!! And if anyone has, pics or it didn't happen :D

    1 reply

    I could never solve one of these. Can't peel off Sugru or oogoo like you could do with the stickers on the original cube....

    The orange line is a chord! It has no diameter!

    This is great. Your own personalised cube (Rubik's Sphere?).

    can you use different kinds of rubiks cubes?

    1 reply

    Yes you can, but Diansheng mini cubes are definitely the best, you can get them very cheap on ebay, they are small and turn really smoothly. I got mine for $4 including shipment, they seem to be at $4.44 now (e.g. here: The only disadvantage is, that they are being shipped from China (it will take a while for the to arrive...)

    WOW !!!! totally incredible !!!!