Intro: Heat Gun and InstaMorph
InstaMorph is a special crafting thermoplastic designed to heat up so that it can be manipulated like modeling clay. Once it cools, it hardens into place. Later, it can be reheated to be manipulated again.
You can see find out more here:
This was part of an Instructables Build Night with our Hackerspace:
In this tutorial, we will show you an alternate way of heating up InstaMorph using a heat gun.
This tutorial can be dangerous. Your heat gun and everything it touches can get VERY hot. Be very careful! You can cause or receive serious burns to your body, melt or catch things on fire that are not supposed to melt or catch on fire, or all kinds of horrible things.
If you use a container like metal to hold your InstaMorph while heating it up using this method, your container will get EXTREMELY hot.
We have included an image of someone heating up InstaMorph with a heat gun while dangling the InstaMorph blob from their free hand. We do not recommend this. Our participant was a trained and experienced adult artisan who still risked bodily harm by doing this.
Please remember, whenever your heat gun is hot, watch where you touch it. When not in use, make sure it is not touching anything that can burn such as wooden surfaces, plastic, people and animals, or its own electrical cord.
Even though InstaMorph recommends this as one alternative heating method, it is easily possible to heat up InstaMorph to a point where it compromises the integrity of its physical state. It may scorch, bubble, and become brittle. Forever. It may not reheat like it is supposed to. It may also not heat evenly, and you may find cold pockets that are very hard to manipulate and then very hot pockets that are too hot to touch.
However.. with EXTREME caution and trained adults..
You can get some cool effects not normally possible, such as colored pellets melted into place in beautiful ways and better plasticity overall.
Step 1: You Will Need..
For this project, you are going to need:
- A tray or container that will not burn easily (metal gets hot, so watch out)
- A heat gun
- Olive oil
- First aid kit with burn treatment (just in case)
Step 2: Start Heating!
Remember to coat all tools and surfaces with olive oil first. This includes your tray.
We used metal trays, but we were very careful. If you use a metal tray and a heat gun, it is very easy to get burned very badly. Please be careful.
Start off with the lowest setting on your heat gun.
You can read more detailed instructions here:
Step 3: Stir!
Stir the InstaMorph pellets up and try to get them heated evenly.
You will know it is working when the pellets start turning clear and running together.
Be careful not to leave large globs of InstaMorph unmixed. The inside may not be hot enough and will just be plain, raw pellets. The outside may even be too hot!
Step 4: Don't Do This!
Jason is a trained and experienced professional artisan.
He does not recommend trying to heat up InstaMorph while holding it for anyone, especially for kids.
Use this method at your own risk.
This was a technique Jason used to stretch out the InstaMorph for a specific form he had in mind.
Step 5: Go Wild!
Add colored pellets at whim, stir up your creation, twist it about, pull it like taffy, and see what kind of art you can make while trying to heat the pellets evenly!
You might end up with something you want to keep!
Step 6: Knead!
Now that you have evenly heated the pellets into the desired consistency, knead it out to make sure everything really is heated evenly.
Mash it all together, stretch it out, and really work it into itself.
Be careful not to burn yourself, it may still be hot.
Step 7: Make Things!
Now start making things!
Remember that when the InstaMorph cools, your project will harden into place.
If this starts happening before you are doing creating your project, try heating it back up a little.
Step 8: Bonus: Try Heating Colored Pellets Directly on InstaMorph Projects!
Kelly figured out that you can place colored pellets directly onto projects, use a heat gun, and get them to melt in cool and beautiful ways!
Check out that lotus of hers!
Step 9: Bonus: Try Heating InstaMorph Into Other Objects!
Jason took an animal skull he had collected and melted colored pellets and plain InstaMorph into neat designs that filled in holes and anomalies in the skull!
Try doing this with other objects, just make sure you are OK with your object potentially being ruined!
It might be close enough to impossible to remove InstaMorph that has been melted onto an object with a heat gun!