Instructables

How To Make Your Own Sugru Substitute

FeaturedContest WinnerContest Winner
Picture of How To Make Your Own Sugru Substitute
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.


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 595Next »
CT420 days ago

Great Idea. There is however one major flaw that you keep pointing out with out knowing it.....the Acetic Acid. This is a killer for any electronic circuit and should not be used on any thing important. I can speak with authority on this as I encapsulate electronic circuits for a living. A client who started using our services had makes animal tracking tags that they had sealed with the silicone you are using, within 2 weeks every one of the 800 tags had failed! On opening them the circuits where green and corroded, a very expensive mistake on their behalf. We use silicone but it must be the natural cure type, this may be the GE silicone you referred to in your article I am not sure as we do not have that brand in Australia, and therefor may not work with the corn starch.

mikey77 (author)  CT414 days ago
You are somewhat correct.

If you use full strength silicone caulk, if it is thick enough, it will take days to set up and the acetic acid can corrode copper circuit boards in that time.

That is not what I have suggested.

Oogoo sets up much faster and in twenty four hours most of the acetic acid has dissipated. In a thin application, (.12 inches or less) the amount of corrosion on copper or solder or tin is minute and will not effect the circuit in a significant way.

Also, you can also spray paint the circuit board with spray paint lacquer before encapsulation and the protection against corrosion will be close to 100 per cent.

apburner14 days ago

This stuff is really easy to make. I got the material from Big Box Home improvement store and it's sister store Wally world and tried it. apparently not real critical on the amount of goo to starch I made up two batches and just put in a bunch of each and it just worked. Once you start stirring the acetic acid will become intense almost instantly. However after about 2 minutes it becomes almost no smell at all. You really have to try and smell it to tell it stinks. After a couple of hours there is no smell at all.

Well done Mikey77. Very useful ible. my picture was required but all I did was press it into a small plastic mixing cut to test the hardnest and see what is was like once cured. Sorry for the bad pic.

20140707_203939.jpg
danallen8220 days ago

Excellent guide! I was about to buy some Sugru, then I saw your guide. You say oogoo is a more rubbery (less firm) output then Sugru? I'm looking into using it for a motor vibration damper, so it seems that oogoo is the best choice for absorbing it.

However, does it have the bonding ability like Sugru?

Anony Mouse29 days ago

If I roll the oogoo out like cookie dough, does it get to a point where it can be cut like cookie dough before it sets up more firmly?

Also, does it get solid enough while still curing so a sheet that's perhaps 1/8th inch thick be rolled out, then picked up and attached upright to an oogoo base made at the same time if I use cardboard or something to help support the upright part? And will the edges join together to make a strong solid piece?

xenor1 year ago
Some useful info for Australian experimenters having trouble finding cornstarch. I've just discovered that "Johnson's Baby Powder" is claiming to be "pure cornstarch". Should be able to pick some up at Woolworth's. I'll give it a whirl and report back.

just noting that for anyone who doesn't know, what the Americans call "cornstarch" the British and Aussies call "cornflour" - same stuff.

jmintuck1 month ago

WOW! Home made Oogoo, or home made "sugru. That is cool. If I were in my grungy old apartment with my old furniture, I am sure I would've done it for real. I am in a fancy house with the house furniture, so I can't justify doing this.But, yes, if you are adventurous, guys, go for it. I love this kind of stuff, it makes me feel less dependent on stores and shops if I were to try it and not have to $hell out $ for the regular sugru.

jleblanc10 made it!1 month ago

The chain mail casting was done with black Lepage's Polyurethane caulk. The inside of the mold was dusted with fine metallic powder, then rubbed off the high spots to give the black background.

The golf balls were slush cast Smooth-on 2 part polyurethane resin. The mother mold (stiff exterior) was made with cotton wipers impegnated with the resin.

oogoo molds.png
Tracy3662 years ago
Does anyone know how to make a mixture so that the rolled sheet of silicone oogoo is tacky once it sets up.... And stays tacky? Like to use as squares of tape to hang childrens art one the walls? Not quite as sticky as tape but tacky

I've seriously tried sex lube. Not the water based, but the silicone oil which is primarilly siloxane oil. It can make the silicone sticky like an airsoft gel target, but iirc, that was 1:1:1 ratio. Maybe if you use more. the only problem I see is that the cure time increases with more lube. The brand I found is Mood, but there are others.

gtoal Tracy3662 years ago
Could you do an experiment for us - try adding a small amount of anything that contains sulphur and see if that helps? (this is just a theory, haven't tried it myself)
mikemorana1 year ago
How well does oogoo handle hardware like nails and screws once it has cured? Has anyone tried drilling holes through it?
I've got a project where I need to fit a tube through a stopper (not necessarily air tight). I'm thinking of using Oogoo to make the stopper since the glass is an odd shape and drilling a 3/4" hole through its center.
Feasible?
mikey77 (author)  mikemorana1 year ago
You can drill holes through it. But they will be smaller and somewhat ragged.

A better way is to cast the hole in the Oogoo as you cast the stopper and use a 3/4 inch metal or plastic tube to create the hole. You can then remove it and replace it with a more permanent tube.

To drill a hole in rubber, get a piece of metal tubing the right size. Brass will do for Oogoo. Chuck a maneageable length in your drill, and if you can, slip a piece of something that just fits in the part that is chucked to prevent crushing. run a file or use a sandpaper or a sander to put a chamfer on the end to form a cutting edge( run the drill, hold tubing against file/sandpaper as it rotates), then cut a plug out of the rubber. the hole should be roughly the inner diameter of the tubing.

Evpraxia1 month ago

Greetings,

Has anyone repaired Clark shoes with this sugru substitute? If so, what is the best way to do the repair? What ratio of silicone and corn starch should I use? Even if I am not able to repair the shoes I am Really glad to find this instructable!

welsh58boy1 month ago

Really good thank you.

temp_-1755487292.jpg
waynekamp1 month ago

I really like this and plan on giving it a try. Can you tell me if the cured product is paint-able or can be colored with a marker? I know as regular silicone it is not, but I was wondering if the addition of the cornstarch would help.

GeorgeTheJournalist made it!2 months ago

I had my eye on this I'ble for a while now, but couldn't get the silicone. It was sold out in all of the local shops, probably because of oogoo :D

It sets really quickly, even when using 1 part starch to 2 parts silicone. I used some leftover blue food coloring but I probably added it too late - it was rather difficult to mix properly.

If it's not clear from the picture, I used my first small batch to fix a cord on a laptop charger.

Thanks for this I'ble!

Oogoo.jpg
Triclaw made it!3 months ago

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

P041314_1520.jpg
achand83 months ago

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

Battlespeed3 months ago

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)  Battlespeed3 months 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.

f1dd13r3 months 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.

jleblanc103 months 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.
jdgabbard4 months 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!4 months ago

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

DSC05481.JPGDSC05432.JPGDSC05423.JPG
jferva4 months 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 jferva4 months 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 Andixx4 months 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 11384 months ago

Why cornflour and not regular flour?

nicko01 year 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 nicko04 months 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!
Wingloader5 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.

jcbeaver72 years 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
1-40 of 595Next »
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!