Introduction: Ectoplasmic Drink Container
Make this blinking containment vessel that can contain a pulsing energy drink. Refreshing and so delightful to watch at a boring party.
This project is to demonstrate the use of Sugru as a modelling material. Sugru is a putty like substance that cures to a flexible silicone mass while adhering to the base material.
Step 1: Stuff You'll Need
Sugru - I used two 5g packs from the Smart Hacks Sample Pack
I had received them from Instructables to try out. You can order it online from the Sugru site.
Drink Pitcher - I used a plastic one, although Sugru might adhere better to glass. Sugru sticks to certain plastics but not the slick plastic my pitcher was made of. I have not done long term testing of how well it will stand up to the thermal shock from iced drinks and long term exposure to liquids.
For the artsy diffused light up effect, a frosted container works best or have the liquid inside have some transluscent property. Add some real fruit juice to cloud up the drink.
Bicycle Flasher Unit - my favorite thing to use. It is a self contained battery operated LED light flasher with multiple operating flash patterns. And I can get them at the dollar store.
I drilled a few holes in the bezel because I wanted the white LEDs to shine through to light up the pitcher.
Some aquarium tubing - I went with the more expensive silicone tubing because it was a cool frosty green color and was more flexible.
Some aquarium tubing plug fittings - embedding these would make great anchor points to attach the ends of the tubing.
A few nylon tie-wraps to secure parts
Tire pressure gauge - cool industrial add on goodness. Use brass for steampunking.
A spare Serial port connector with attached ribbon cable.
Some cool looking industrial warning labels to apply for decoration. You can find a lot of images relating to the props used in the movie "Ghostbusters".
Some aluminum repair tape for details.
Step 2: Mix and Patch
I had worked with epoxy putty(propoxy, magic putty) before so I kinda imagined what this Sugru was like. except instead of curing hard as steel, it cures to be flexible.
Sugru can be molded and shaped like clay. It does have a longer working and cure time than epoxy putties.
I did wear some nitrile gloves(better than cheap latex) to work with to avoid any allergic reaction and staining of the fingers. I messed around with it after with no gloves and there were no problems.
I clipped off a part of the end of a popsicle stick to use as a disposable forming tool. Wood is porous so some particles stuck to it but if you clean if off as you are working, it can be used with a light touch to smooth out the Sugru. Other people use a finger dipped in soapy water. I did not find that necessary.
The application here is to adhere the curved surface of the flasher bezel to the curved surface of the drink pitcher. Sugru was the glue and filler material to mate both objects. I applied it to the top and bottom of the flasher bezel.
I also embedded a hose connector in the Sugru formed in the gap at the top of the flasher bezel and the drink pitcher.
I embedded a hose connector with Sugru at two other spots on the pitcher.
Step 3: Can You See the Pressure?
The battery pack and LED flasher could be separated from the bezel.
I tie-wrapped the tire pressure gauge to the belt clip on the flasher. I didn't know if that small patch of Sugru could withstand the weight of the gauge or resist being pulled off.
Sugru was used to make a decorative patch across the tie-wraps.
Step 4: Add Connector and Ribbon Cable
I had a serial port connector with attached cable to throw into the mix, standard proton pack accesory. I was able to feed it under the flasher belt clip. I will attach the other end to the drink pitcher handle securing it with a tie-wrap in the hole that I drilled out in the handle.
I guess you could make do with a USB cable but nothing looks better than old-school serial connections and ribbon cable.
The cable was able to be slipped in the belt clip. I pressed part of the Sugru to try to adhere it to the ribbon cable to keep it in place but it did not hold.
Waiting around for it to cure, I used the improvised forming tool to impress some details into the Sugru. I pressed the cable into the Sugru and that formed some nice ridges. Yeah, you can't help but touch the Sugru every once in a while to see if it is cured yet.
Step 5: Oh Well...
This drink pitcher is made of one plastic that Sugru does not stick to. It didn't have a plastic recycling identifier on the bottom so I couldn't tell what type of plastic it is. If something feels slick or waxy, it probably doesn't stick.
The air hose plugs got knocked off. The flasher bezel was adhered on, but a little pull made it peel off.
Well, that didn't work either.
I used some aluminum repair tape that is coated with some industrial mastic made for waterproof repairs. I cut some small pieces to secure the parts.
Step 6: Is It Glowing?
The Sugru works for molding small parts. It did stick to other plastic parts.
If you wrap the Sugru around a part, it will anchor it in.
I printed out some labels and just used some packaging tape to put them on.
I cut out some lengths of tubing to attach to the various connector points.
Fill up with some ectoplasmic colored liquid to test.
Cycle through to see which light pattern is the coolest.
Have fun making an ectoplasmic drink container.
Use brass tubing, wood and leather handles for the steampunk version. Put a mechanical water well pump at the top to serve.