You love Lego? You like Knex? You love Bucky Balls? You like barbecue bamboo sticks? Well put that all together and you get "magnetic construction set" made with sugru! The idea is very simple : add a magnet at both ends of a barbecue bamboo stick, so you have a building block to build pretty much anything you like! Here, I cut all the sticks at the same length and I used quite small magnets (0.5mm ø), but you can use either smaller or larger magnets and sticks. In a matter of seconds you can build large complex structures :) You can invent so many games! The possibilies are endless!

Sugru is good for this hack because : 
  • it bonds well with wood and metal
  • it creates a layer between magnets that makes it easy to do and undo sugru bonds
  • I could color code my sticks :)

This instructables was made for sugru.com at TechShop San Francisco

Step 1: Cutting the wood sticks to size

First you need to source the parts.
You could use other wooden sticks but barbecue bamboo sticks are great, they are long, light, strong, flexible, and cheap. I bought 150 sticks for one british pound (~1.5 $) at the corner shop.
The magnets are coming from Firstformagnet.com, they were the cheapest one doing next day delivery in the UK.
For USA delivery, you can get them here really fast : http://www.getbuckyballs.com
I use sugru : 8 coloured mini-packs in a lovely large pouch, each mini pack allowing me to coat at least 4 single heads. 
  • £ 16.66 (~$ 25) : SuperCool GunMetal Magnet X­treme Neodymium Puzzle ­ 1 Premium N42 Official 5mm Size Spheres
  • £ 12 (~$ 18) : Sugru Multi-color 20g x3 and had 2/3 of sugru extra for other fun projects!
  • £ 1 (~$ 1.55): bamboo sticks
Total  : £ 29.66 (~$ 46.10) for a set of 28 sugru magnetic construction set sticks, but I could have made 3 times more sticks than that. I believe it shoudn't be too hard to make it cheaper than that.It took 2 of us about 2 hours to make, dried over night and was ready to play with. I think it is also possible to work faster.

First you want to cut the wood sticks to size. Because we are cutting many small things, I highly recommend using a metal saw (small teeth) to have a rather clean cut and avoiding cutting yourself. Wear gloves - not like me :)

About This Instructable


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Bio: Protei Principal investigator [protei.org], Scoutbots CEO [scoutbots.com], Sugru Pro applications [sugru.com] Research & Design [cesarharada.com], Former MIT project leader, TED Senior Fellow.
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