Polycaprolacton (also known as InstaMorph, ShapeLock and maybe other brand names) is a plastic that becomes workable at 150 deg. F. It's hard at room temperature. It's a great material for inventing and prototyping. This Instructable shows you how to make plastic bolts. I made a 1/4 inch bolt for these instructions. I think this is close to the smallest bolt you could make with this material and process.
Step 1: Gather Materials
- 1 x 1/4" bolt
- 1 x 1/4" nut
- a source of 150 degree heat. (stove, microwave, hot plate)
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup Polycaprolactone pellets
- Thermometer (optional, but handy)
- Waterproof work surface that won't stick to the Polycaprolactone.
- Sharp knife or razor blade.
You don't have to use a 1/4" bolt exactly. Any nut and bolt that match could work. I don't think you can make a bolt much smaller than 1/4 inch that's very long and works.
Polycaprolactone will stick to plastic, so test a tiny bit on your work surface before you get going. If you overheat Polycaprolactone it gets stickier. That's a useful trick for other projects, but don't let it get over 150 deg. F in this project.