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I call it Oogoo, an inexpensive silicone clay that is easily made. It can be used as an excellent substitute for Sugru. It can be hand molded or cast in forms. Or, it can be used as a casting silicone. It can be colored any color from white to black. It can also be made translucent to allow diffused light to shine through. It can even be painted on in thin layers. It has very good adhesive qualities and will stick to itself, glass, fabric, paper, wood, and some plastics and metals.

This instructable will show :

1- How to mix and color Oogoo

2- How to cast it or hand form it into different shapes.

3- How to make silicone paint

4- Several interesting uses for Gorilla tape and Gorilla Glue, see steps 3, 7, 12 and 15.

5- How to make a few projects using Sugru and a comparison of Oogoo and Sugru


Since I am mainly interested in using Oogoo to embed electronic circuits in flexible forms, this instructable will also show you how to:

1- Make a soft circuit LED pumpkin head robot display that can be embedded on to clothing.

2- Make cleanly etched conductive fabric circuits

3- Make conductive glue using Gorilla glue.

4- Embed circuits in Oogoo or Sugru


The intro pic shows a few of the silicone shapes that I made using Oogoo and a funky, smirky, flexible pumpkin head robot LED display.


Step 1: How It Works

pic2 shows a 2"x2"x2" solid silicone cube that cured enough in two hours to be removed from its plastic box form.

For years I have been looking for an inexpensive way to create a flexible skin covering for robots and electronic circuits. I have tried several kinds of casting urethane rubber and silicone rubber. They all have their difficulties and either set up to fast or too slow. They are too thin or they are too thick. They are also very expensive in small quantities. Added to that is the problem that they have a very limited shelf life and usually must be used within six months. Sugru is great, but it is not affordable for making larger structures.

I and many others have tried using the inexpensive silicone caulk that is readily available from hardware stores. It is used to seal roofing and glass windows. It works fine but has the problem that it can only be used by putting it on thinly and waiting a long time for it to cure. It is also hard to work. It must be smoothed immediately while it is very sticky. Otherwise, the surface cures quickly and then forms a gummy film while the inside remains soft and wet. It has a smoothing time of seconds rather than minutes. If you put it on too thick the inside will remain soft and can take several days to finally cure. People have tried all kinds of additives in an attempt to make it cure in a more useful manner. I have found those additives to be unusable for my purposes.

So I wanted to add a catalyst that would help the silicone to cure from the inside out rather than just from the outside in.

As I understand it, 100% silicone caulk works by the moisture in the air initiating the polymerization of the silicone. So it cures from the outside in and as it does, it allows the water vapor to slowly seep inside and eventually cure the unexposed silicone. While it cures, it gives off Acetic acid (vinegar is diluted acetic acid) which is the strong smell you will notice if you use it.

I experimented with quite a few additives to try and introduce some moisture into the uncured silicone. Several of them worked to some degree, but the hands down favorite was also the least expensive.

It turns out that corn starch is highly absorbent and when sitting around in an open box it will absorb moisture from the air. It is an extremely fine powder that diffuses evenly in mixtures. By adding the right amount of corn starch, the sticky silicone is somewhat stiffened and very quickly starts to set up from the inside out. While it still sets up faster on the surface than in the middle, the whole thing will set up in five minutes to 2 hours no matter what the thickness. The actual curing time depends on the temperature, the humidity, the amount of corn starch added, and the speed at which it was mixed.

So that's it. Oogoo is corn starch and clear silicone caulk mixed together and then molded by hand or by forms to create just about anything you can imagine that needs to be adhesive initially and solid yet flexible when cured.


<p>I put the silicone and the starch in a zip lock bag and stir it by kneading the bag until it begins to release from the bag. I can then handle it without it sticking to my hands. Time is short at this point, so I have my project set up already.</p>
it works and its a lot cheaper but it is messier and has some things it cant do but it feels real nice when its dry
it's actually works but it can't quite do all the things sugru can but its a hole lot cheaper!!!
<p>Does anyone know how to make this a little bit harder and more rubber like? More cornstarch or something?</p>
<p>Back in 2010, when Picaxe was still relevant =3</p>
<p>will this work for casting aluminium? if no, could it stand lead?</p>
<p>wow!</p>
<p>Wow! Very cool project! I think I will switch over to this. I like Sugru, but it is way too expensive! I see you have done some extensive testing on Oogoo's properties.</p>
<p>I've tried to make my own ooggoo but I think I have some problem.<br>Two days after making the oogoo and it is still sticky.</p><p><br>I used 2:1 silicon:corn starch + 2 drops of color.<br>I have a small flat rectangular left over. I can roll it to a cylinder and it will stay that way until I reopen it.<br>Is this normal?<br>How long does it take for the ooggoo to get to its final stage?</p>
<p>Hey, does anybody know if I could remove this? Real sugru apparently comes off if you need it to, and I'm planning to attach some sugroo/oogroo to my locker, but it can't be permanent. Does anybody know?</p>
<p>Hey, does anybody know if I could remove this? Real sugru apparently comes off if you need it to, and I'm planning to attach some sugroo/oogroo to my locker, but it can't be permanent. Does anybody know?</p>
<p>Just wanted to add this, since I didn't want to deal with cleaning up measuring spoons, and to make it easier to do any size batch. From my calculations, if you are doing 1 tbs parts, by weight it is 0.729 oz (or 0.73 oz, depending on how far your scale goes) GE Silicone I to 0.28 oz of Corn Starch. I haven't made anything yet, but I'm gearing up to. Thank you for this Instructable!</p>
<p>Great job! Just wondering, is it supposed to be so... Slippery feeling? Or is that because I have to sand it down a little to give more of a rubber feel?</p><p>Also, for anyone wondering, I have used Vaseline as a mold release, and it does prevent the silicone from sticking. All you have to do is use a thick coat of vasilene over the mold, and the silicone (If its what your using) will not stick.</p>
<p>J great stuff J just wondering if this stuff<br>is food safe?</p><p>The dentist wanted 120 yoyos for a new set<br>of bruxism guard (night grinding) so I<br>mould my self a set from alginate and cast one from plaster and used sugru to<br>mould which worked very nicely probably better then the first ones I got from<br>the dentist.</p><p>However I learnt that these are not food<br>safe thus I&rsquo;m looking for another material to use.</p><p>It be great if this stuff would work if not<br>can you recommend a material that is?</p>
<p>Oogoo is awesome, but if you make it with the regular clear hardware store silicone it is extremely NOT FOOD-SAFE, don't put it in your mouth. You can buy two-part food-safe silicone mold making material, that might work for what you are describing. (Do your homework on that, I'm just suggesting it as a possibility.) When trying to find this sort of information, the first thing you want to check is the msds (safety data sheet (SDS), material safety data sheet (MSDS), product safety data sheet (PSDS) etc.) It's what the hospital uses to figure out how to treat people who put things in their mouths...</p>
<p><a href="http://www.msdssearchengine.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.msdssearchengine.com</a></p>
<p>Great stuff. I used it make a rubberized casing for some electronics. </p><p>I found it was pretty sticky to work with while wet, so my hand molding tended to leave the rubberization on the finished product looking pretty lumpy.</p><p>does anyone have any good suggestions for applying an even coating of it on a surface such as a metal housing?</p>
<p>Wow - great post! Thanks! <br>Question: Do you have a feel for how well this would survive over time inside a dishwasher? (I need to do basket repair)</p>
Already my first attempt was a full success - thanks a lot ?
<p>Great! I think about modelling a stop-motion-puppet... Oogoo could work over an armature ... Thank you!</p>
<p>This is, in a word, awesome. One more cool thing to do with corn starch. I can't wait to try it. I might go poor(er) buying tubes of silicone caulk, but I have simply got to try it. Thanks! :-)</p>
<p>On hackaday (see below) one person said they used bleach instead of corn starch. </p><p>Does anyone know if this is a good or bad idea? </p><p>Other than the normal dangers of working with bleach <br>(fumes, chemical burns, staining your clothes, etc.)<br>would this create toxic fumes or result in a more toxic plastic, <br>or have any different properties that might be useful <br>(such as more or less flexible, bendable or rigid, etc.)?</p><p>Much appreciated... </p><p><a href="http://hackaday.com/2010/10/11/oogoo-a-home-made-sugru-substitute/" rel="nofollow">http://hackaday.com/2010/10/11/oogoo-a-home-made-s...</a></p><p>&gt;&gt; Bob C. says: October 12, 2011 at 1:14 am</p><p>&gt;&gt; ...</p><p>&gt;&gt; I just made some of this stuff and used regular household bleach </p><p>&gt;&gt; instead of corn starch and a few drops of acrylic paint. </p><p>&gt;&gt; 2 drops of bleach for every full trigger pull of GE Silicone I, </p><p>&gt;&gt; it worked GREAT&hellip;</p><p>&gt; </p><p>&gt; Jerry Carter says:</p><p>&gt; August 28, 2013 at 11:04 am</p><p>&gt; Thanks for the alternate recipe! Sounds like bleach would </p><p>&gt; mix more readily than corn starch as well<br></p>
<p>I can't comment on the chemistry, but given a choice, I would go with the corn starch, for exactly the reasons you listed. I'd rather work with something I know is safe and non toxic and not going to harm me or the environment. </p><p>The only way to know if the bleach makes a difference, for better or worse, would be to try it. I have to disagree with the comment that it would mix more readily though. In such a small amount, it would be difficult to get it mixed evenly, especially when you can't see it. And 2 drops for every trigger pull is not really an exact measurement. How big of a drop? What happens if you get 3 drops instead of 2? Can the ratio be adjusted, as it can with the corn starch?</p><p>If you have tried it with the bleach, it would be interesting to know what the results were. </p>
<p>can someone explain why the silicone 2 will not work for this? It seems to be more easily avaliable to me, but I don't quite understand why it's different</p>
<p>I don't understand the chemistry, but Silicone II cures differently. It is a rapid cure caulk, and for some reason doesn't work well by adding other materials to introduce moisture into the caulk (which makes Silicone I caulk cure all the way through).</p>
<p>I was able to find the sil I caulk type after a couple stores, been a lot of fun expitimenting with this stuff!</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>I am having trouble with the drying process. First off, I mix the cornstarch and caulk in a container until it is fully mixed. I continue to mix it, then I use my hands to start to shape it. At this point, the oogoo is very sticky and the consistency is not as thick as clay. I finish shaping it and it resembles clay and has a matte finish. It does degenerate when I push on it. I let it go for about 2 hours, and it still degenerates! It is not rubber at all! I used a 1:1 ratio. I was thinking one issue might be that I am working in a humid environment. I mix and shape the oogoo outside, but after about 5 minutes outside I take the oogoo inside for it to &quot;harden&quot;. PLEASE HELP!!!!</p>
<p>Make sure you are not using the &quot;Silicone II&quot; caulk. This is a quick-curing caulk that does not work well when you include additives like cornstarch. Instead , get the &quot;Silicone I&quot; caulk. It's cheaper too!</p>
<p>Are you sure you are using 100% silicone caulk? I tried it with some sealant we had and it wouldn't harden at all but that proved not to be the right caulk. With the 100% silicone there is a really strong acetic acid smell and that has worked every time for me.</p>
I see that you are having some trouble, and I am too. I tried something this morning though. I suggest before putting the Oogoo on the plastic molds, rub them in something that's liquidy and never dries, like vegetable oil. I'm sure that this will work. Just don't wash the oil off until after you take the oogoo out of the mold.
Of course, this only for plastic molds. I'm afraid I can't help with anything else.
<p>if your mix seems to act more like vaseline than putty it may be because the caulk you are using is too old. I learned that there is a shelf life on silicone caulk the hard way. recaulking the bathroom was no fun but at least the internets let me know that it wasn't a skill fail but a materials fail.</p>
<p>Regarding coloring the plastic, the last time I was at Home Depot, I looked in the paint department and could not find any linseed oil based paint.</p><p>Can anyone recommend where to find this, either online or at a national chain, and if so, a specific brand or product?</p><p>How would food dye, candy dye (which I think is oil-based), standard (ie non-linseed oil-based) oil paint (for example the kind in tubes they sell at an art store), or acrylic paint work in lieu of linseed oil based paint?</p><p>I would want a coloring agent that</p><p>1. is non-toxic &amp; safe for regular handling, kids, etc. (which is probably why they specify linseed oil based paint?),</p><p>2. will not stain things when wet (which I suspect something water-based like food coloring or acrylic paint might do?)</p><p>3. is not too hard to find or expensive (a nice to have, the above two requirements are the most important)</p><p>Any info appreciated!</p>
<p>Fine arts supply stores. I use Dick Blick and Utrecht Art, but there are many. </p>
<p>I've found that Alkyd (fast drying) oil paint, works very well.</p>
<p>Artist's paints for painting on canvas are linseed oil based. Michael's stores carry them as well as most independent art stores. Just a few drops is all you need.</p>
<p>apple-o, as far as I know, most oil paints are linseed oil based.</p>
<p>Not sure why that post is blank...?</p><p>Here ya go:</p><p>Has anyone figured out what to add to make oogoo harder, like Sugru? Maybe another additive, or simply the &quot;golden ratio&quot; of cornstarch to silicone etc.? The end product is great, but Sugru seems to be a little tougher, stronger once fully set. Thnx!</p>
<p>Maybe this is of some use?:</p><p>'The formulation of sugru contains 30% silicone caulk (polysiloxane) 20-50% talc, and the remaining additives including:<a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxime" rel="nofollow" title="Oxime">methyltris</a> (methylethylketoxime) <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silane" rel="nofollow" title="Silane">silane</a>, &gamma;-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, and dioctyltin dilaurate.'</p><p>~ <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugru" rel="nofollow">https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugru</a></p>
For sealing caulk tubes, I find sticking a large nail in the end of the tube works really well. Cheap, and reuseable, as long as you haven't cut the opening too large.
Hello, <br> For those that would like a pourable version ...use 1-1-1 parts of <br>100% silicon caulk (white or clear) <br>Corn starch <br>Naptha or paint thinner....Naptha will set faster but costs is a little more. <br> <br>I use this ratio to create molds to pour my fishing lures...like soft rubber worms..etc....it will stand heat up to 500 degrees. <br> <br>Mix very well....NO LUMPS.....this ratio will start to set in 40 min...and be fully cured in 4-5 hrs....I let mine set for 24 hrs before i put them in full use.
<p>How does the rubber compare to the putty version's?</p>
<p>I made some yesterday and managed to hang some pot lids up with it.</p><p>You can seal the caulk tube by removing the nozzle and laying some cling film/saran wrap over the hole, then screw the nozzle back on again to hold it there. Poke out the stuff stuck in the nozzle if there is any , so it can still be used.</p>
<p>I just seal the cartridge tube with a little of the silicone sealant, screw the nozzle back on, then put it back in the fridge.</p>
<p>Probably the preparing temperature and moisture are important, gelatinizing the starch could make sense!</p><p>Found an old Patent:</p><p><a href="http://www.google.com/patents/US4495226" rel="nofollow">http://www.google.com/patents/US4495226</a></p><p>Method for preparing silicone-treated starch </p><p>US 4495226 A </p><p>A method for treating starch with organosiloxane polymers is described in which the organosiloxane polymer is contacted with starch in an aqueous dispersion at a temperature of from 60&deg; C. to 98&deg; C. for a period of at least 60 seconds. Starch treated by this method can be useful as glue, a binder, a filler, or a coating. Starch treated with aminoalkyl- or epoxyalkyl- substituted polydimethylsiloxane is especially useful as a water repellent sizing for substrates such as paper and textiles.</p>
<p>I found you here:</p><p><a href="http://hackaday.com/2010/10/11/oogoo-a-home-made-sugru-substitute/" rel="nofollow">http://hackaday.com/2010/10/11/oogoo-a-home-made-s...</a></p><p>and besides the high price of Sugru this is the annoying point:</p><p>&quot;but one can&rsquo;t (yet!) just drop in on any local hardware store to buy a quick fix&quot;</p><p>So, good idea to test and probably improve!</p><p>:-)</p>
<p>Oogoo sounds funny</p>
<p>Wonderful instructable with must-have knowledge for the diy-selfer!</p>

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