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Thinking Putty (also known as Silly Putty) is a silicone polymer children's toy. Silly putty is fun because it has some unique properties: it is viscoelastic, meaning it can be stretched and shaped and mashed back together again; and as its apparent viscosity increases directly with respect to the amount of force applied (read: it can be torn or shattered with impact). Silly putty is a non-Newtonian viscoelastic polymer, better characterized as a dilatant fluid. Also, it bounces.

Ok, enough science. I'm sure we've all played with Thinking Putty in our youth, but how about magnetic silly putty?

By adding a ferrous component to an already wacky toy we can keep all characteristics of the original putty, but now have the additional dimension of magnetism! I've seen magnetic thinking putty for sale on otherwebsites, but I'll show you how you can make your own for a fraction of the price and in about 20 minutes.

Enough talk, let's make some magnetic putty!

Step 1: tools + materials

tools:
  • disposable gloves (latex or other)
  • disposable face mask
  • disposable work area (paper plate)
materials:

The secret ingredient that makes the putty magnetic is an iron oxide powder, which is ferric (magnetic). Ferric iron oxide is a fine powder used as black pigment and can be found at art stores. If your local artist supply store doesn't carry it, you can always purchase it black iron oxide powderonline.

Boi
<p>This is actually a product that you can buy - it's called Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, and they also have a magnetic version of it. Just saying... Crazy Aaron have a whole lot of cool Thinking Putty so check it out on Vat 19 or on their website. </p><p>PS: this is not a promotion</p>
<p>I made this project before magnetic putty was commercially available, the way it is now. </p><p>Also, my buy when you can make? :)</p>
Sorry, didn't know that you made it before it was available commercially. Anyway, I do like the idea, and I'd like to try it. Btw is the toner thing easy to buy or do you have to buy it from somewhere online?
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LEOMJC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008LEOMJC&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwmichaelsau-20&linkId=IUZHZBB6CRUWJGEU" target="_blank">Here's where I got it from</a> (also in Step 1)</p>
<p>dont be a wimp... i breath asbestos on a daily basis</p>
<p>Tom, seriously, just stop being a jerk.</p>
Actually, it's true.. What doesn't hurt you, makes you stronger.... That's my motto
<p>So a gunshot if it doesn't kill u make you stronger? i don't think so.</p>
now you are changing the situation. I'm talking about chemicals... But I guess it could make you mentally stronger to get shot... I would say to myself (if I survived) &quot;wow, I survived a gun shot&quot; and then be proud of myself... But still in physical pain
But then also if I survived a nuclear blast I would say to myself &quot;I must superman.. or a cockroach &quot; it feels good to be positive
<p>Trololololol xD true</p>
<p>Tom... xD</p>
<p>Wow... Just wow..</p>
<p>Why? There are so many ways NOT to.</p>
<p>I really do love this, but it's just not safe for little kids in my mind not for a whole bunch at a party anyways! I think for an at home project with your kids yes because you can just make it when there in bed and let them play with it the next day! but there is also other ways to make this which are safer! but still thanks for the post it's great!</p>
I actually mostly breathed asbestos when I was younger, I had my lungs tested 2 years ago and my doctor said they were in perfect condition
<p>I'm sorry to be a party pooper but there are some very serious health hazards to be concerned about when handling black oxide of iron! Please check out this health hazard warning before trying this experiment and use a breathing mask if you do plan on doing this for sure!! </p><p>It can even change your eye colour after some people have been exposed!</p><p>Follow this link for more info on the health hazards of using black iron oxide.</p><p><a href="http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1036.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1036....</a></p>
<p>My eyes changed from brown to brown&hellip;</p>
<p>xD</p>
<p>You realize the link you sent is for Iron Oxide, which is just plain ole rust, created naturally. Granted this is the same name (contains similar chemical composition), it is also a refined product which is produced artificially for the purpose of being a pigment. </p><p>Still, like any fine particulate, not good to be breathing in without proper respirator/mask etc. </p>
<p>But it's only the powder, right? Say, for ferromagnetic fluid, it's going to be suspended in a bottle of liquid. And with this silly putty, it's mixed in. Plus, why would you ever make repeated contact with the powder in the first place? It has no use by itself. You only need it to make whatever, and beyond that point it's safe. At least that's my hope. I don't want to order a big jar and mix it in only to find that I'm gonna up and die from handling the stupid stuff. :(</p>
<p>I also made two fluorescent colors of putty that glow nicely under black light. I rolled the putty into a ball and set it on top of a plastic container with a powerful cylinder magnet at the top and let it sit for hours until a nice 'bloom' developed. The third one is a ball placed directly on top of a 2&quot; square neodymium magnet.</p>
<p>These look amazing! Mind sharing your process for making them luminescent? It's really cool.</p><p>Thanks for sharing your pictures, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>The colors are fluorescent and need a black light to make the glow. I tried using phosphorescent 'glow' powder but with little success. I just add LOTS of fluorescent pigment mixed with a fine gray iron oxide to CLEAR putty from Aaron. I am thinking of doing an Instructable on it. BTW thank you for another 3 months PRO membership. I appreciate it.</p>
:(
<p>Sooooo, little kid friendly? I'd love to show this to my preschooler and kindergartener, but considering the contents, is that just a horrible idea?</p>
I once got some putty stuck on my pants and I washed it and it but it stayed in. Them I use some goo-gone. It it orange stuff you can buy and it is a miracle. If you ever get any goo stuck on something, no matter what the bottle says, USE IT!
<p>Goo-gone is awesome. Also good for erasing permanent marker.</p>
<p>I made it, but with less viscous silly putty. I had to add Dimethecone to allow the silly putty to flow better. Also, I used cast iron filings from my metal lathe.</p>
<p>Ha, I had just watched your YouTube video before seeing this comment!</p><p>I actually tried this project initially using iron from steel wool, since it was already very fine. <a href="https://www.instructables.com/preview/E578HMCGOZIPHLZ/" target="_blank">The results weren't great</a>. I'm glad to see you had much more success.</p><p>I saw your video about kinetic sand and was wondering when you'd tell us your hobby store solution to dimethicone. Watching your silly putty video was revealing, I'd never had thought that RC car shock oil would be the replacement. </p><p>Your channel is very entertaining and I never miss an episode. Stay awesome!<br>(also, for sharing a picture of your magnetic putty here you've got a free Pro Membership)</p>
<p>I mentioned using silicone oil over a year ago, a few comments down</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/magnetic-silly-putty/?comments=all#CZOMOAKHKTZMYGK" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/magnetic-silly-put</a><font color="#1155cc"><u>&hellip;</u></font></p><p>and even provided a before and after video about it</p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK9o-arYvKg" rel="nofollow">DIY Magnetic Putty 'Swallows' 1/2&quot; Cube Magnet in 32.5 Seconds!</a></p><p>Dimethicone is the pure silicone oil that is in RC shock oil and is way cheaper. I bought a half pint of it for under $10 on eBay.</p>
<p>Cheers man, thanks! Because it's a lot less viscous I'm hoping to have success manipulating it with some sequenced electromagnets... Stay tuned! I'll link back to your instructable too. (reach around FTW!)</p>
<p>I'm gonna mix it with some oobleck and see what happens.</p>
<p>While I was Outside this summer (Outside of Alaska, that is) I bought a small tool in a big box home improvement store. It looks like a small plastic blue &quot;thing.&quot; However, one can magnetize or demagnetize screwdrivers, knives, etc. by drawing them several times through one of the two slots. I found it fascinating. (And no, I will not put the magnetic putty that I will surely make soon into the tool just to see - whatever!) Pictures to follow... Thanks for this most interesting project. Very well explained and illustrated!</p>
Will a Home Depot or michaels have the iron oxide? When you call, the kids answering say they don't know what it is
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LEOMJC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008LEOMJC&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwmichaelsau-20&linkId=IUZHZBB6CRUWJGEU" target="_blank">Buying it online is probably easiest</a></p>
Thank you so much, I (unfortunately) figured that out after driving back n forth in rush hour traffic lol.. I guess on to new idea for project and try that when not in time crunch..THANKS AGAIN!!
<p>Is this safe/easy enough for a 7 year old to take to school and combine the 2 there? He has an assignment to make a magnetic toy.</p>
<p>It's messy. Though the iron oxide won't stain once it's in the putty, if any gets spilled before mixing it's going to stain.</p><p>Would not recommend without supervision. </p>
<p>Really cool. I'll have to do this with my son when he gets a little older!</p>
<p>this just makes me smile all over. A great, fun, STEM project I think.</p>
<p>Holy cow. Great project for kids...</p>
<p>Really cool project. Thanks for sharing this</p>
Thank you ! <br>This looks a lot safer than the Kerosene and chemical acid tutorial on you tube. <br>LinuxPusher.
i have a question is the stuff you get off the ground when you place a magnet in the dirt the same as Ferric iron oxide and even if it isn't, if you were to collect enough of it and mix it with the putty would it work the same? (possabily with out turning it black?)
When you sweep a magnet over dirt you are likely picking up rust, which is exactly what iron oxide is. This should work, but a powdered iron oxide will produce more favourable results, as the consistancy will be uniform, and you won't have any potential sharp bits from an unknown substance that you collected from the ground.
I made a batch of this with some putty and some black iron oxide (Fe3O4) I had on hand and it is pretty cool. I left a blob of it on a glass tabletop with a couple of strong neodymium magnets under the glass and it morphed into some kind of alien-looking black magnetic 'fungus'. :)<br> <br> <a href="http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/195/xrop.png" rel="nofollow">http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/195/xrop.png</a><br> <br> <a href="http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/5794/dmsk.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/5794/dmsk.jpg</a><br> <br> <a href="http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/55/zo5t.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/55/zo5t.jpg</a><br> <br> I thought it would just flatten out, but it turns out that the iron oxide particles try to align themselves to the magnetic field, impeded by a viscous fluid, so they form random &quot;regions&quot;. Pretty neat.<br> <br> Some commercial putty I have behaves differently.<br> <br> <a href="http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/2517/ztzu.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/2517/ztzu.jpg</a><br> <br> It has magnetized powder in it so the particles are able to align themselves more uniformly despite the viscous fluid. Interesting.<br> <br> BTW the putty I made is too stiff, so I later added some silicone oil to it to soften it. I posted on this in the other Instructable:<br> <br> <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Making-Better-Magnetic-Ferrous-Silly-putty-with/?comments=all#CPFRG5ZHKTZMYEP" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Making-Better-Magnetic-Ferrous-Silly-putty-with/?comments=all#CPFRG5ZHKTZMYEP</a><br> <br> Here's a video with a side-by-side comparison:<br> <br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK9o-arYvKg" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK9o-arYvKg</a><br> <br> <div> <object height="360" width="480"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/uK9o-arYvKg?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/v/uK9o-arYvKg?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480"></embed></object></div>
Wouldn't it be completely amazing to crush neodymium magnets into a powder, and mix the silly putty with a combination of that and graphite? You should come out with a conductive and highly magnetic putty.<br><br>Real world uses for a substance like this...GO!
Be careful. Neodymium magnets are extremely brittle which means they are likely to shatter violently if you try crushing them. The pieces also have very sharp edges (I know that from experience!). To make matters worse, the powder produced is highly reductive and can oxidise so rapidly that it ignites.<br><br><br>You also need to bear in mind that if the attraction between the magnetic particles and the surface you put the putty on is greater than the adhesive properties of the putty itself then the particles will be left behind and you'll eventually end up with magnetic powder all over your house.<br><br><br>As for they idea of the putty becoming conductive with the addition of conductive powders, there would need to be a continuous path of conductive particles from one terminal to the other. I doubt that there would be enough putty in such a mixture to retain its putty properties.<br><br><br>Sorry to be such a downer.

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