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Using a similar pattern as in my cellphone case I made a fruit bowl using Instamorph.

For those not familiar with Instamorph. It's a reusable plastic that turns soft and mold-able when heated and when it cools down it will turn hard again and retain it's shape. There are quite a few projects made with it here on Instructables.

What you will need:

  • Instamorph (other brands will work too)
  • a bowl. I used a glas bowl from IKEA
  • aluminium foil to cover the bowl for easy removal
  • pan/water heater to heat the Instamorph
  • Hair drier / Heat gun to reheat the material during the build

Step 1: Heat the Material

I take about a spoon full of pellets and put them in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and wait until all of the plasitk becomes clear.

Carefully take it out of the hot water and start to mold.

Step 2: Make Thin Bars

As long as the plastic is clear you can mold it. These small amounts turn cold fast. So try to be fast.

Roll the mass between your fingers and gently pull it apart. To make them more even you can roll them on the table with a tray

Once you have a bar cut it in the middle, reheat it and do the same thing again. You should end up with two bars about the same length but half as thick as the first one.

I was able to repeat the process 4 times to get really thin strands.

Take another spoon full and repeat. Make quite a few bars at different diameters.

Step 3: Cover Your Bowl in Foil

Take your bowl and cover it in aluminium foil. This will make it easier to remove the fruit bowl later.

Make sure the "mother" bowl you use won't crack when it is exposed to heat. Shouldn't be an issue with most bowls, but better safe than sorry.

Step 4: Lay Down the Veins

I thought of the works as growing. First lay down the large veins. They will be the main structure of the bowl. Spread them out evenly but not in a geometric order. give them some natural curves.

Should the parts that you have applied have become too cold, heat them up with a blow drier or heat gun. Everything will turn clear and sticky again.

As you go along the spaces between the strands get smaller and smaller. Cut your pre-made pieces roughly the size you need them. Scissors work better than trying to break them.

Turn the bowl as you go along adding more and more pieces. Going from thick to thin.

When you have all the pieces laid down. reheat the complete bowl and firmly press all the pieces together to form a strong bond.

Then let it cool down. You can hold it under cold running water to speed up the process.

Step 5: Demold

Once everything has cooled down, remove the bowl from the inside. It should come off with no problems.

Then gently pull off the foil from the lacework you've created. You will be surprised how strong even the thinnest Instamorph parts are. They will stick to each other, they bend but will snap back to their original form.

Once the foil has been completely removed, step back and enjoy the fruit of your labour. ;)

Step 6: Thoughts

My bowl measures a mere 24 grams, yet is able to hold about a kilogram of fruit. Amazing!

The bowl looks best when filled with smaller fruit. Grapes looked great. Instamorph is non-toxic, you'll have to wash your fruits before serving them though.

As mentioned in the beginning, the same technique can be applied to various other forms. Like my iPhone case.

I'd love to see what you come up with. Please leave comments and pictures below.

Disclaimer:
Instructables provided the Instamorph for this project as part of their "Build Night" program. Make sure to chek that out and see if you and your local maker-space cares to participate in one of the upcoming ones.

Build Nights on the Instructables Forum

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