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How To Make Your Own Sugru Substitute

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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.


 
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Triclaw made it!2 days ago

I used it to make some throwing ribs for pottery and I have many more projects in mind for it

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achand86 days ago

This thing is very sticky, I tried soap on my hands still it didnt wash away. But using a cloth instead helped

I wonder if arrowroot wouldn't be better than cornstarch. At least in the realm of cooking, arrowroot is better than cornstarch when working with acidic ingredients (and vinegar is acid, of course) . Also, tapioca, Instant ClearJel, etc. could be used.

Have you tried deliberately moistening the starch (perhaps even creating a thick slurry with it), instead of just counting on moisture adsorbed (not a misspelling!) from the air?

P.S. The reason I ask about moistening the starch is that it would be more controllable and less subject to the exigencies of climate and weather if you could deliberately moisten or even saturate the starch with water first. I assume that if this works, you'd also use less of the starch.

mikey77 (author)  Battlespeed8 days ago

The acid does not seem to react with the cornstarch and it mostly dissipates in 24 hours.

The cornstarch produces very consistent results even in areas of low humidity. Adding more water tends to make it set up lumpy and make it harder to control an even setup.

f1dd13r11 days ago

I made some yesterday and managed to hang some pot lids up with it.

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.

jleblanc1026 days ago
I have experimented with this stuff for a while, and wanted to thank you for posting it. Really handy! I also wanted to contribute a discovery. I mixed in a silicone sex lube, which is basically siloxane, and found that it lowered the durometer and extended the working and cure time. This can just soften the rubber, or if you add more, make it sticky like an airsoft target or one of those pads that sticks your phone to the car dashboard. Also, the pigments that Michael's sells for casting resin works really well.
jdgabbard1 month ago
Very impressed with this writing. I've been looking for an affordable substitute for use with Legos cases for electronics. And I think this should do well. Thanks!
kenyer made it!1 month ago

I had to try the new [I made it] button :)

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jferva1 month ago

did you ever try acrylic paint or even food colours for clouring, instead of oil-based? do you (or anyone) know if it works? I need to finish a quick project and have no time to go out for a different colorant. Thaaaaanks!!!

Andixx jferva1 month ago

@jferva

Yes, it's possible to use acrylic paint in any case! And I guess, food-colours too.

To dye oogoo, it's mostly advised to use oil-base paint, because it doesn't contains water. Unlike acrylic paint, which is water-based.

Silicone dries based on water - the more water there is in the oogoo, the faster it dries, bzw. the processing time for handling the material ends (reputed!) in less time, than with water-free (for example oil-based paint) substances.

But I'm serious - I dyed my oogoo with acrylic paint and didn't notice a too-short-drying time.

I've learned that from an oogoo-maker on youtube. In his video, he explains that too and is using also acrylic paint.

At 2:10 - 2:35, the video is in german.

Greetings from Germany....Andi :)

jferva Andixx1 month ago
Awesome! Thank you so much for the abundance of information! I finally used powdered food colour and it did the job flawlessly. I will watch the video you sent here for more details. Thanks again! This method is amaaaaaaaaazing!!!
THX 11381 month ago

Why cornflour and not regular flour?

nicko09 months ago
does the cornstarch inside the cured oogoo absorb moisture?

and could there be an issue with corn starch being food for microorganisms.

ideas on 0 food value/ not gonna grow anything moisture carrying substitute?

and or one that becomes non absorbent once its in the oogoo
THX 1138 nicko01 month ago

I read that the person who patented Sugru started with a mixture of silicone and sawdust.

what about trying talcum powder? I dont think you'll have much luck with the non absorbant ingredient idea....kinda defeats the purpose. May as well just use Caulk and get ready for a long wait. You could try adding a bit of methylated spirts to it.....it would kill any potential organisms that you may be worried about. Read the "Howit works section" it explains it all. Good luck with your oogoo adventures!
Wingloader2 months ago

This is the most useful ible i've seen in a long time. Thank you for taking the time to do this very in depth write up.

jcbeaver71 year ago
how do I figure out how many watts an LED is? I looked at the packages and none of them said how many watts they were....

I thought of something to add but can't edit my previous reply to include it. You could determine the power of your LEDs by measuring the current flowing through them when applying a voltage (the correct voltage might be between 2.4 - 3.2 V based on my very limited experience; red LEDs use lower voltages). Use your multimeter in series with the LED to measure the current and then use it in parallel to measure the voltage. Multiply the voltage and current to calculate the power (P = VI) in SI units.

1W+ LEDs require a heatsink and you'd know their wattage when buying because it would be an important specification. I imagine that the LEDs you have are garden variety low-current (20-30 mA?) which would be about 40-90 mW, depending.

To work out the wattage of a LED, you need to know P = I*V
(P=Wattage, I=Current, V=Voltage)
Most LEDs are around 3V and 0.02A

So P = 0.02 * 3
So P = 0.06 watts

So a 3V 0.02A (20mA) LED is 0.06 watts
ok, thanks!
cepterbi2 months ago

one of the better instructables :D. Tnx for sharing so we have more options to develop

shhammer56343 months ago
Thank you for a great Instructable and an amazing discovery. I've had a need for something like this for a long time. Went to the home store today, picked up a tube of DAP 100% black silicone, guesstimated my ingredient amount and made my first batch. Of course with the cornstarch it came out more of a charcoal gray, but that's OK. Worked like a champ first time!

Kudos to you!
I've been wanting sugru but this is cheaper.YOU ARE A GENIUS!
kenyer3 months ago
Great Ible! This Oogoo works great. See here how I used it to make robot wheels: http://www.instructables.com/id/Grippy-robot-wheels/
Thank you for the research you have put in to this.
kraziladi4 months ago
why does the ge stuff not work and is it still bad if it says 100% silicome?
mikedhr4 months ago
I found the patent application for Sugru and it is an interesting read for anyone interested in the patent process. http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/claims?CC=EP&NR=2089465B1&KC=B1&FT=D&ND=4&date=20120627&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP

Jane's story http://sugru.com/story is inspirational to anyone who has an idea and thinks it might be useful to others
shakescar4 months ago
Ok, so back to the drawing board... Must have mixed wrong... Came out like pizza dough. Did manage to fix a key fob.. But 18 hours and it hasn't set up. May try a hair dryer on it later if it hasn't hardened yet... Overdid the cornstarch, hoping it would dry quickly.
JestGold4 months ago
Wow. Amazing discovery, and just the thing I've been looking for to cast some cement tiles a la Frank Lloyd Wright.

Question: I saw deep in the comments that someone substituted corn syrup for corn starch. Aside from bringing moisture into the mass of silicone, will using corn syrup obviate the need for a thinner like naphtha, or do I still need to add it to lower the viscosity?

Idea: there is a YouTube video of someone who molds masks from 50/50 mix of silicone and naphtha brushed on in several layers. He then uses a thicker mix with cheesecloth imbedded in each to add support/tear resistance (see link below).

Many thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfH_HCI0G4I
mikey77 (author)  JestGold4 months ago
If you add corn syrup or acrylic or anything that has large amounts of water in it, it will tend to set up quite fast and often be lumpy in the way it sets up. Using corn starch will usually give you more uniform results and a longer working time.

For what you are doing you can probably use a regular mix of Oogoo--1 silicone caulk to 1 corn starch. If you want a longer working time, use a 3 to 1 mix.

If you put on a thin mix of Oogoo and carefully smooth it over the object to be molded, you can usually get a mostly bubble free mold. After covering in a thin layer you can then go back and glob on larger amounts of Oogoo to make the mold solid enough. You can embed mesh if you want to save on Oogoo.

If you want a totally bubble free mold (probably not necessary when casting cement), you can thin Oogoo with naphtha and paint it on the object and then let it set up overnight. You can then add more regular Oogoo to reinforce the mold.

Hope that helps.
JestGold mikey774 months ago
I suppose the only thing left to do is actually - what's the word? - experiment!
I will post the results.

Many thanks and kudos for a great idea.
shakescar4 months ago
Wonder what happens when you bake it? Like polymer clay? Another thought... Could you use this like resin, like fiberglass... Saturate fabric with it... Place it on a form... Let it cure... Oh well, I'll give it a shot tomorrow!
bd55 months ago
Can you tell me exactly what kind of Silicone glue you bought at Walmart? I bought (and returned) some which was that GE II stuff. We've got walmart over here. What are a few brands which work? I need to make a bunch of this stuff. Great instructable by the way!
JestGold bd54 months ago
Anything that is 100% silicone. I just bought a tube of GE Supreme Silicone at Home Depot. Ace also carries it as well as their own house brand, and I've seen other commenters buying a house brand at WalMart. Just make sure that whatever the brand, wherever you buy it, somewhere on the label it's "100% silicone." Nothing else is going to work.
bd5 JestGold4 months ago
Thanks a bunch!
padbravo5 months ago
I tried talc and SiO2 (cab-o-sil)... both works great... less hardeness than starch...

http://www.poliformasplasticas.com.mx/Archivos/Cabosil.doc
padbravo5 months ago
A couple of notes about things to mix for more variations:

Oogoo mixed with starch is somehow hard... to overcome this I found two aditives that could improve the softness or elastic properties...

a) Instead of starch, use an additive common for the modelmakers: Cabosil (SiO2)... its used with acrylic resins... its almost weightless...

b) Add white glue (the one used for wood), a 10% (more or less)... it will improve curing time and add flexibility...
krawczuk5 months ago
i dont know what type of slicone sealant you have in the states , but a smoothing tyme of seconds ??? in australia the silicone sealant we use has a smoothing time of at least 10 to 15 min , i just wet me finger with saliva and smooth it. or i think you can buy a special spray tooooooo smooth it as well.
and you can get acetic free cure silicone here too.
londobali6 months ago
Great 'ible Mikey77,
Very extensive research and well put together.
I'll add this to my collection, will use it for sure in my future projects.. :)

Thanks for sharing!
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