Fixing Stuff With Thermoplastic (ShapeLock)





In this Instructable I fix my multi-meter plug with some thermoforming plastic. You can apply this repair to other items specific to your needs or you can make plastic parts for your projects. The stuff I am using is called ShapeLock but there are other brands out there. It come in little plastic pellets and when heated they become clear, malleable and soft. You can then shape it anyway you want, once it cools is becomes hard and opaque, which then can be sanded, filed and machined.

This stuff is super strong and durable, so the objects you make will last as long as you don't subject to high heats.

Step 1: The Item for Repair

The leads on my multi-meter broke where the plug meets the wire, just from flexing and stress over time. I re-solder the wire to the plug and will use ShapeLock to protect the wire from breaking again near the plug.

Step 2: Working With ShapeLock

I heated some water in a kettle and pour it into a container. Then I added some pellets until they turned clear, using a stick to stir the pellets, they stick together and are ready to be shaped around the plug. When the plastic started to harden I put it back into the hot water until it became clear again, I did this until I finished molding the plastic around the plug.

Once I was happy with the plug that I shaped, I let the plastic cool, I used some cold water to speed up the process.

The end result was very strong and ready for use again!

Step 3: Video

Here is a video I did of the whole process.



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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I did the same thing with mine a while back :p I added some black coloring to make it look neat. Reheating with a lighter helps adhesion to the object you're applying it too, I found :)


    3 years ago

    Ive got some of this. Mines not called shapelock. They sell it on amazon and ebay. I think mine is called polymorph but it has lots of different names. You can make it different colours. Its really hard once its cold and you can soften it again with heat (60 degrees c or above) and reuse it.


    3 years ago

    Interesting stuff. Never seen it before. How does it compare to Hot Glue? And could you make a mold from the good lead and then form the broken one into the mold with some black pigment to make that negative meter probe? And where is it available from? Thanks for posting it.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hot glue is more of an adhesive so it doesn't glue stuff back together but strength wise shapelock is much stronger and rigid. Google shapelock and it will be the first result that comes up, I bought it straight from the company. this was a quick fix but what you mentioned would work too. thanks for the comment.