Introduction: How to Use Polymorph Plastic

I love this stuff. I use it all the time for school projects, USB covers and custom enclosures for my projects. I use Jaycar Electronics as a source for this stuff and it is ~$8 for 500 grams. It can be drilled, painted and re-moulded time and time again. I will show you what i think is the easiest way to make stuff with polymorph. PS i am not assosiated with jaycar in any way.

Step 1: Start

This is the hardest part of all. You can use either a wall or a high-walled metal tray. Tray's work well because they keep the plastic warm while making.

Place ~ 5 pellets against the wall and set a hairdryer to it's lowest speed and highest heat. heat the plastic until it goes clear. I haven't used hot water because this works so well for me.

Step 2: More!!!

You should end up with something like the picture below. a clear glob.

Next, push more pellets into the mass like in the second picture.

Then, heat and repeat!

Step 3: Done!!!

Enjoy!

Comments

author
dpy (author)2011-05-28

It depends on the size of the screw. Thin strands of PCL are very flexible (with nice tensile strength, though), but thicker parts and lumps of PCL do not show any apparent flexing. (So for thicker screws or worn down screw heads you could probably make a working screw driver out of PCL).

author
Data643 (author)2011-02-08

I wonder if Polymorph could be used to make molds of tamperproof screws (new iPhone 4 screws).

author
oldmanbeefjerky (author)2010-06-14

i am going to buy some polymorph, quick question, would it be appropriate to use polymorph to build a rc 1/12 2kg tank from?, as well as sheet aluminium for the base and structure of the tank also , does it do gear safts well? when i say that im wondering if it grinds away as i need to use it as a gear box

author
vkain (author)2008-07-25

how do you keep the polymorph from sticking to everything?! I've made some molds for the polymorph to go into but I ALWAYS have a hard time getting it to release from the mold. Any pointers? Thanks, vkain

author
andy (author)vkain2010-01-24

Polymorph bonds more when it is nearly molten (and hotter). I find that a few squirts from a garden variety hand-held mister full of water, such as this www.amazon.com/Delta-Industries-Sprayers-Assorted-Colors/dp/B000HMBJ74 (you can pick these up at just about any garden center) or even a rapid dip in some cold water is enough to cool the outside of a piece of polymorph (pre-molding) to stop it sticking, even to other pieces of polymorph.
Drew

author
netbuddy (author)vkain2009-01-31

I just recently found a site in the US that was selling "Honey Wax" which is a wax used for releasing molds and asl in casting fiber glass shells. If you search for it, you may find a supplier near to you.

author
arduinoe (author)2009-07-16

youve got to have a messy floor by now , let alone a messy wall , this stuff sticks to fabric when its hot , ie carpet

author
MaXoR (author)2009-07-09

Honey wax is also called Bee's wax..... for you canadians

author
Bort (author)2009-02-28

this is stupid, I thave no idea waht is going on where does this have to do with bulding a laser projector?

author
koriko88 (author)Bort2009-03-06

echo_anomie's reasoning for recommending it was quite clear - as a way to securely hold the lenses. Other methods are possible, as well.

author
sharpstick (author)2008-12-09

WARNING! This stuff will become brittle after time. I made a cradle with a 1/4-20 threaded insert in it that strapped on to a binoculars for a tripod mount. After a year or so it became brittle, cracked and literally fell into pieces. This was probably about 15 years ago with the "Friendly Plastic" brand. Maybe they have improved the product by now, but I would be careful using it for permanent uses or anything that would be dangerous if it failed. It's great for ptototypes or jewelry though.

author
netbuddy (author)sharpstick2008-12-23

1. Friendly Plastic IS NOT PolyMorph it is something completely different. 2. Polymorph required 62 degrees Celsius to become workable and Friendly plastic needs 100 degrees Celsius. These are completely different plastics, please will people take note.

author
Da_Fudge (author)sharpstick2008-12-11

Thanks For the warning. However, The brand I use, Duratech, seems to be virtually invincible. I have made myself a little 'buisness' for my friends making solid spheres about 2cm in diameter out of this. We have competitions to see who can bounce it the highest by pelting it at the floor. That was months ago, and these suckers stand up to dail abuse. So yeah, i'm guessing it's been improved. Thanks though. Nice to see someone actually reads my instructables. :)

author
sharpstick (author)Da_Fudge2008-12-12

Try it again after a year or two. Or three. (It might have been even longer for mine, come to think of it. That was a long time ago.) How do you make spheres? Are they accurately shaped, or just rolled by hand?

author
Da_Fudge (author)sharpstick2008-12-13

Yeah, but you said it was for a camera mount. daily use? And is it the same kind of daily abuse? I'll be sure to tell you if it breaks though!!! :) Spheres are a long process. I start by making a molten sheet of polymorph, about 10cm x 10cm, 1 pellet thick. I then gather this and form it into a rough ball. I get a pin and poke it to get the air bubbles out. Then I get a 30x30cm sheet of aluminium. I heat that up to about 50C and start rolling on that. The alloy stays hot for about half an hour, and then the ball slowly hardens. Whole process takes about a hour. The metal sheet ensures that the balls cool from the inside-out, allowing the guts to get strength, while the surface is smoothed. Texture is perfect using this method, and the surface is uniform and smooth. And sometimes I leave out the air-bubble-removal step so it forms bubbles. This means it sometimes bounces in odd directions. All this for my mates in grade 9!!! (only 14 here peeps) I should post an instructable on it.

author
ooda55 (author)2008-12-21

I do a little bit of home made injection moulding sometimes I find the best releasing agent is sqwirting some fairy liquid onto my finger and wiping it onto the mould might work for polymorph too (I LOVE polymorph its just so expensive at maplins, ill have to get my next batch online) PS want to make a cradle for my palm pilot I looked at my polymorph but I don't want to make a mould just to make one thing does anybody know a decent way to make a cradle for palm pilot (I want to use my existing cable and charger and build the cradle around them if that makes sense many thanks chris

author
Garth Knight (author)2007-11-21

Can this stuff be re-melted? If so, then melt a bunch, use a piece of 1/2 pvc as a mold to make sticks of this Poly plastic. then you can use a hot glue gun to heat and pump out your plastic.
/
/
/I must call those fine folks over at cayjar and place a large order at once! Why don't all of us go to their site? >>>Now that would be spamtastic.
All DuckFudge did is let us know a good source. Not really spam.

author
Kiteman (author)Garth Knight2007-11-22

It's a low-temperature thermoplastic - it softens at about 60C - and can be used over again.

You don't normally melt it, just soften in so you can mould it like clay.
Available in the UK from Maplin.

author
netbuddy (author)Kiteman2008-10-11

Maplin are expensive, they sell this stuff at about £40 a kilo, that is about 3 times the actual retail price. If you can, your best sourcing another supplier that does better quantities like the one I found that does 4 Kilo tubs for £56 delivered to your door, based on maplins prices, this would be £160...! Sort of says it all, maplins are milking the public, like with most of its products now.

author
Kiteman (author)netbuddy2008-10-11

I didn't say that Maplin were the best supplier, just the most accessible to UK buyers.

Could you post a link to your cheaper source? I know a technology teacher who wants to use it in lessons.

author
netbuddy (author)Kiteman2008-10-11

Open a google search window and stuff in to the search box the following:- intitle:(polymorph plastic) inurl:(uk) -inurl:(maplin|ebay) and you should find it in the top 5 results, I am not talking about any "Sponsored" results either... Your teacher may have to get an order aproval for going to another supplier, usually schools, colleges or LEA buying departments are often tied by contract to an existing supplier, so it may not help to know that this stuff is available from another LEA or LEA supplier. Hope this helps you.

author

Another idea. Single cup coffee warmers can be picked up cheap at thrift stores. this would give you a small heating unit right on your desktop to heat and melt your plastic...

author
Da_Fudge (author)Garth Knight2007-12-18

gonna try this idea soon. thanks for the tip.

author
Garth Knight (author)Da_Fudge2007-12-18

update... Scrap the coffee warmer idea. I just tried one out and it only heats to 40C. Not enough for this project. The thrift store did have a bunch of cheap/used hot plates... Those will get the job done. I had focused on the cupwarmer because of it's small size. But screw that, the hot plates are usually under $5US. GK

author
Da_Fudge (author)Garth Knight2007-12-19

sweet. I was going to go get a coffee warmer today. thank you.

author
cotton (author)2008-04-18

lol and i wana get a ruber stuff and speacail nomn stick spray made for it pour it over a cup the harden to be strong and then do it in thee cup so i can seal the holo case

author
xtank5 (author)2008-03-17

You might want to take actual pictures. Then the Instructable would be better.

author
conundrum2142 (author)2008-02-28

hey there.. i found a while back that glow powder (strontium aluminate) and Polymorph makes a fairly impressive glowing plastic when the powder is folded into the pre-heated plastic then mixed thoroughly. i use a craft heat gun for this but be careful not to burn your fingers! diy fishing floats (mould it round the float) work well, so do custom glowing signs. -A

author
Da_Fudge (author)conundrum21422008-03-04

awesome idea! if I can get some powder, I'll try. thanks for the suggestion.

author
aricstewart (author)2007-12-03

Is this basically the same as Friendly Plastic?

http://www.norcostco.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1603

I have used Friendly Plastic a bit and found it to be great. easily heated, reusable and very durable when finished.

author
Pyrowuzzup (author)2007-11-22

ive used this stuff befor. it came with some vampire teeth i bought. you mold it into your real teeth so that the fangs would stay in. i used the hot water method but i think yours wouldve worked alittle better.

author
Lftndbt (author)2007-11-22

This gives me some idea's thanks... Any chance of some pic's, of process and some of your made item's... That would be great!

author
Da_Fudge (author)Lftndbt2007-11-22

as I said, I did it at school. I will post some pictures and if I can, post a vid as well. Sorry for the problems.

author
xrobevansx (author)2007-11-21

so this is basically a spam post for jaycar? Oh.

author
Lftndbt (author)xrobevansx2007-11-22

Or maybe he just want's, people to know where to get it... Or then again maybe your right.... ;)

author
Da_Fudge (author)Lftndbt2007-11-22

No. It is not a spam post. I wrote this in a hurry at school and wasn't concentrating, so I guess I said Jaycar lots. Sorry.

author
i make shooting things (author)2007-11-21

do u have a web sight u can order it from?

author

He said Jaycar Electronics. www.jaycar.com

author

i went there didnt find it then decided to use the key word search thing and found: Polymorph Pellets

author
GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-21

uh...

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