Introduction: Sugru Dash Mount for Electronics

On long trips, and even just driving around town, I like to have my mp3 player on hand.  I can't go far without my favorite podcasts like the Skeptic's Guide, StarShipSofa, and the Drabblecast to keep me busy!

In the past, the player has ended up dropped in the passenger seat, shoved in the glove box, or even on a lanyard around my neck, all to make sure it's nearby if I need to skip a track or pause it or something.  But no more!  With just a few minutes work with some sugru, I've got a mount on my dash that exactly conforms to the shape of my mp3 player. 

This project should work just as well for a phone, iPod, media player, or whatever electronics you'd like to have within easy reach while driving! 

Here's a little demonstration video with making instructions:



Step 1: Testing the Area

This should be done a day or two before starting this project. 

It's a good idea to test if the sugru will bond to your dash, as it doesn't form a permanent bond with all materials.  I had plenty of othersugrurelatedprojects going on, so during one of them I pinched off a piece and stuck it to an inconspicuous part of my car's dashboard. I checked it in a couple of days, and it was pretty hard to remove!  I'm glad I did it in an out of sight area, as it left a minor scar in the vinyl after being removed.

You may want to consider that, as if you ever remove this mount it may leave some minor scuff marks on your dashboard!  I'm not overly concerned, as my car's 13 years old and not worth that much anyway, but for those of you highfalutin folks with yer fancy new horseless carriages, this may be an issue.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Materials:
  • 1 packet of sugru
  • Your mp3 player (or other electronic device)
Tools:
  • Hot glue gun
  • Knife or sharp awl
  • Scissors
Make sure when you get started that you've got the hot glue gun plugged in and within easy reach, as you'll need it right away!  Also, clean and dry the area before sticking any sugru to it.

Step 3: Building the Mount

***UPDATE 10/15:  User projectsugru points out that if you wrap the player in plastic wrap first, removing the sugru later is much easier.***

Find a position on the dash you like and open your sugru packet.  Split it in half, set one half aside and then split the other into four roughly equal balls.  Each ball should go on one corner of the mp3 player, avoiding any ports, buttons, lanyards, etc.  Wrap the sugru just over the edge of the player.

Place the mp3 player into position.  Taking the rest of the sugru, build up each corner until it rests firmly on the dash.  Smooth the edges and press them against the dashboard (see the pictures below).

At this point, once you've smoothed the sugru into a shape you like, you're pretty much done, but there's a problem.  The sugru is soft and won't hold in this position with the weight of your mp3 player on it.  Remember that hot glue gun?  Place a dab of hot glue on each side of the player.  Hot glue is usually pretty nice for this sort of thing, it won't adhere too strongly to the dash, but it will last long enough to let the sugru cure.  I forgot about this part, but luckily a friend showed up just as I was trying to figure a way to balance a cardboard box under the player long enough to get my glue gun.

Step 4: Remove the Mp3 Player

Let the sugru cure over a few hours or overnight.  Using your thumbnail, a small flathead screwdriver, and/or a sharp awl, carefully peel the sugru off the mp3 player.  The goal is to get it off the mp3 player without accidentally peeling it off the dashboard.

Once I was done, I had to clean up the player a bit where the sugru had stuck to it, but it wasn't so bad.  The final result looks a little weird when you don't have the device in place, but it looks fine otherwise!

Step 5: Final Thoughts

Alright, all done!  This is another great little hack that shows the versatility of sugru as a product.  I've used it in several of my recent projects, as well as for a number of small repairs around the house that didn't deserve their own instructables.  The only time I was disappointed was when I found that it doesn't bond well to fimo.

Thank you as always for stopping by to check out my instructable.  Please take a moment to leave me a comment and/or a rating, and of course subscribe as I have plenty more in the works!  As with all of my instructables, if you make your own version of this, please post some pictures in the comments and I'll send you a digital patch!

Comments

author
mrsgrunst made it! (author)2015-04-10
author
Adapaty made it! (author)2013-04-02

Hi i like it, i just bougth my first pack of sugru, im still deciding what to do with it, its a good idea for my GPS, thnks

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2013-04-02

Cool, post some pictures if you do!

author
nobs81 made it! (author)2011-12-13

velcro is not a good thing to use when trying to do this in an area where it is constantly hot. I've been an audio installer for over ten years and everytime i used velcro it would almost always come off. There was one brand of double sided sticky tape i used to use with applying alcohol first that always did the trick.

this stuff sugru i have never used. I would be concerned if it gets hard, after a couple years of being on the dash it will really ruin it. the pic where u tested it on the underside dash makes me think this stuff wouldn't be my first choice, especially if i had a lexus or similar expensive car. to replace a piece of dash in one of these vehicles can run u hundreds of dollars. I once broke a shift knob in a merc s55 amg which set me back $900 bucks.

the best way is to fabricate a piece of small gauge metal and mount it behind a panel on the dash where u can hold it in with a screw. then use some sort of adhesive to hold it on to the bracket. I used this method hundreds of times and worked everytime.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2011-12-13

Good to know--fortunately for me I don't exactly drive luxury or even vaguely new automobiles!

author
nobs81 made it! (author)nobs812011-12-13

same here.
was just throwing it out there before someone goes and and tries it.

author
eydryan made it! (author)2010-10-18

why not just use velcro? the mp3 player is light enough and it makes for easier mounting as well as usage.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-18

Well, I disagree that velcro would be easier for usage, but more importantly, sugru is at least 90% more awesome than velcro.

author
zieak made it! (author)zieak2010-10-21

Velcro is to 1980 what Sugru is to 2010?

author
eydryan made it! (author)eydryan2010-10-21

useless and overpriced?

author
eydryan made it! (author)eydryan2010-10-18

it would be easier because you wouldn't have to hunt for the center point each time you clip it on. plus, I'm pretty sure this kind of usage makes sugru loose in time. also velcro would look a bit nicer when there would be nothing clipped to it, this way you get four thingies sticking out, not so nice.

not sure why sugru is so popular, it's nothing more than the silicone we've had for years. plus there are some adhesives out there that leave a much smoother finish.

but hey, to each his own, right?

PS: why didn't you make any cable clips like this http://sugru.com/blog/phone_charger_cable_tidy/ for those two cables, so you just plug them in easier

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-18

Yeah it does look kinda cheesy without the player in place. It's actually really easy to pop it in place though, I've had no problems with that.

Sugru's big right now because it's a new form of silicone and the marketing ploy is to target folks like us. The makers of sugru teamed up with instructables.com, hence the sugru contest.

Re: cable tidy: I may do that, if I win in the sugru contest!

author
Creamaster made it! (author)2010-10-18

FYI:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-18

Yeah, I saw that! I'm thinking I may have to make some.

author
jamwaffles made it! (author)2010-10-17

My old MP3 player :D RockBox :'D nice instructable! Sansas really do rock - I've just bought a Fuze off eBay for another stint of RockBox.

author
jamwaffles made it! (author)jamwaffles2010-10-17

Another note I'd like to add is this: Thank god you aren't using an iPod :) for that alone you deserve an Instructables medal or something :P

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Thanks again, I'm all about stickin' it to the iPod man. Still, I've stopped recommending non-iPod mp3 players to the computer illiterate, as it always ends up with them coming back and grumping to me about how they don't understand it!

author
jamwaffles made it! (author)jamwaffles2010-10-17

Shame about that :( And as for RockBox... they've ported it, but on the Fuze V2 hardware (no outward appearance change) it's still a bit buggy, although progress is being made quite quickly. Take a look here: http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaAMS for more info. The main page at RockBox shows that the version 1 Fuze is supported nicely.

Thanks,

James

P.s. have you heard of anythingbutipod.com? You might like it ;P

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Nice, thanks! I can't spend too much time on that anythingbutipod, it'll make me WANT NEW STUFF that I can't afford!

author
jamwaffles made it! (author)jamwaffles2010-10-18

Ha ha lol true yes :P still, it's an excellent site eh? :)

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Thanks! I didn't know they'd ported rockbox to fuze. I know some horrible day I'll have to upgrade, maybe I'll look into that so I can stick with what I know.

author
t.rohner made it! (author)2010-10-17

Rockbox rules... i have a e280v2 myself.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-18

Nice, my girlfriend has one of those, mine's an old e260v1. I hope it never dies, I love the thing.

author
Spokehedz made it! (author)2010-10-17

Awesome sauce... I now know how I am going to mount my droid to my bike to function as a bike computer.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Bike computer!? Awesome, post some pics!

author
davie1003 made it! (author)2010-10-17

Great instructable..thanx a lot... no more fumbling for the gps on an interchange

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Thanks Davie, glad you liked it!

author
btucker2122 made it! (author)2010-10-17

Nice idea. One question. Wouldn't it be a little more easy to wrap the mp3 player in Saran Wrap so that you can avoid the peeling out the player issue? It would also make it a lot easier to apply more Sugru shaping, because you know that the mp3 unit isn't going to get stuck.

Just a thought.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Thanks for the tip btucker. Projectsugru pointed that out and I've added it to step three, I wish I'd thought of it myself!

author
jimg16 made it! (author)2010-10-17

I would be concerned about the player (iPod, by MY choice!!) becoming a missile in an accident.

Having had a radio fly out of its chassis when my car was rear ended prompted me to comment.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Thanks for the comment jimg. I suppose it is possible that you could end up with the mp3 player being launched and hitting someone, but really I suspect it will be okay. the airbag is located right above it, so if everything works out right you'll get hit in the face with that instead of the player. Having been hit in the face at high speed with an airbag I know it's not very pleasant, but infinitely preferable to, say, a dashboard.

Though your comment does make me wonder . . . anything you mount on your dash like this does run the risk of being fired off at high speeds in the event of an impact. Is having anything dash mounted really safe? Have car manufacturers taken this into account with crash tests?

author
roosta made it! (author)2010-10-17

i just used sticky velcro, but nice thinking.

author
HeyMimi made it! (author)2010-10-16

That's really neat. I'd have a hard time making peace with the inevitable scar. I think I would have to find a spot on that dash that could be replaced. Maybe order the part ahead of time and hold it for the day I either changed gadgets, or had to sell the car.

Guess I'm a worrier. And I have the first new car I've had in 25 years. Gotta keep it pristine for awhile. Oh ... getting off topic ... that's a pretty cool solution, dude!

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-17

Yeah, I suspect if this baby was new I'd be a bit more worried . . . it is the nicest car I've ever owned, but it's still 13 years old with 160k miles on it! Thanks for the kind comment.

author
projectsugru made it! (author)2010-10-15

Hi depotdevoid, cool hack. If wrap your mp3 player in cling film for this hack, you will be able to remove the player from the cured sugru much more easily :)

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-15

Interesting, I hadn't considered that! I'll add that point to the instructable. Thanks for your help!

author
piperjon made it! (author)2010-10-14

I like the minimalist design of your MP3 holder over the kind that you have to jam in a vent, only to have it wobble about and distract you during trips. And get hot when you have the heater on. Brilliant! Only question, though, is your airbag behind that? Would your passenger have a new Sugru eyeball in the event of a front-end collision? Just curious. Great ible! - Pj

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-14

Really though, wouldn't a sugru eyeball be an improvement over the original? Or maybe an mp3 player eyeball?

Thanks for the comment Pj, glad you liked it!

author
bettbee made it! (author)2010-10-14

Nice instructable! Very useful.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-14

Thanks Bettbee, glad you liked it!

author
Curiositykt made it! (author)2010-10-12

But will it come off later if you want to upgrade to a different MP3 Player, or car?

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-12

It will come off, but it may leave some scuff marks on the dash depending on how completely it bonded.

author
The Ideanator made it! (author)2010-10-11

Not bad.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-11

"Not bad?" That's all you give me, "Not bad!?" That's like having your planet blown up by a Vogon constructor fleet, and all the alien that's been marooned there for the last 15 years can think of to write about it is "Mostly Harmless!"

author
The Ideanator made it! (author)The Ideanator2010-10-11

You sound uptight, dont panic dude, jeez.

author
mikeasaurus made it! (author)mikeasaurus2010-10-11

The Ideanator says:
"don't panic"

Was that an intentional pun to depot's comment? zing!

author
The Ideanator made it! (author)The Ideanator2010-10-11

Yea, I couldn't help it.

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-11

I can't blame you, did you celebrate 42 day on Sunday?

author
The Ideanator made it! (author)The Ideanator2010-10-12

I wasn't aware of 42 day

author
depotdevoid made it! (author)depotdevoid2010-10-12

I'm not totally hip to the code, but apparently 101010 is 42 in binary. I spent the day in the most Adamsian way I could think of, nursing a terrible, terrible hangover and taking a lot of baths.

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