Introduction: Simple Polymorph Hand

This is a simple little project I completed as an introduction to using Polymorph plastic. The finished hand makes a neat little paper weight / decoration / phone holder. Total materials should cost less than $10 and it should only take a couple of hours to build.

Materials:
- 500 gram bag of Polymorph, or similar (you will need to use the whole bag)
- Wire
- Skewer

Tools:
- Wire cutters
- Heat gun

Caution:
Polymorph has low heat conductivity and so does not burn the hand when removed from boiling water. However, the heat gun can make the polymorph VERY hot when used so be very careful to check the temperature before moulding the heat-gun warmed polymorph.

Step 1: Simple Polymorph Hand: Preparation

- Dissolve a spoonful of Polymorph in hot water and wait until it is clear and malleable.
- Play around with the softened Polymorph for a little while to get a feel for it. 
- Coat the skewer in some non-stick covering (I used cling wrap and a teensy bit of oil).

Step 2: Simple Polymorph Hand: Make the Finger Bones

- Thread small beads of Polymorph onto the skewer and reshape to an approximately bone-sized knob.
- Repeat with different sizes corresponding to your actual hand.
- When the skewer is full, pull off the bones and leave them to cool and harden.
- Repeat to make 14 finger bones (three for each finger two for each thumb).

Step 3: Simple Polymorph Hang: Wire Up the Fingers

- The fingers are made by embedding wire in the finger bones.
- Make small loop of wire and thread on finger bead.
- Head up until the Polymorph with the heat gun until the wire loop can sink into the wire.
- Repeat with next joints to make an entire finger and leave to cool and harden.
- Leave a length of wire at the base of each finger to attach to the hand later.

Step 4: Simple Polymorph Hand: Make the Palm

- Make two more hand pieces - a palm and thumb swivel (not anatomically correct).
- Wire the thumb bones to the thumb swivel
- Wire the thumb swivel and fingers to hand.
- If you mess up – just remove the wire, remould polymorph with the heat gun, and try again.
- Leave the hand to cool and enjoy!

Comments

author
flyingpuppy (author)2012-08-22

So that's what it's called--polymorph. And you can find it on eBay. Yay!
Your hand has spawned a whole bunch of ideas. Thanks!

author
jgattas (author)2012-08-17

thanks for the positive feedback everyone. shall have to put a few more projects up here.

author
Thrasym (author)2012-08-14

Neat. This might be a good way for me to use up all the plastic sprues I've got left over from models.

author
amandaghassaei (author)2012-08-14

cool first project, you should post this here:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Rewards-for-New-Authors/

author
mikeasaurus (author)2012-08-13

Great photos and such a fun project.

I like how there's endless articulating finger combinations possible, giving this hand an infinite shelf life of future possibilities (holding your phone one day, bend to hold keys or the mail the next).