Intro: How to Make Your Own Magnetic Construction Set
Sugru is good for this hack because :
- it bonds well with wood and metal
- it creates a layer between magnets that makes it easy to do and undo sugru bonds
- I could color code my sticks :)
This instructables was made for sugru.com at TechShop San Francisco.
Step 1: Cutting the Wood Sticks to Size
You could use other wooden sticks but barbecue bamboo sticks are great, they are long, light, strong, flexible, and cheap. I bought 150 sticks for one british pound (~1.5 $) at the corner shop.
The magnets are coming from Firstformagnet.com, they were the cheapest one doing next day delivery in the UK.
For USA delivery, you can get them here really fast : http://www.getbuckyballs.com
I use sugru : 8 coloured mini-packs in a lovely large pouch, each mini pack allowing me to coat at least 4 single heads.
- £ 16.66 (~$ 25) : SuperCool GunMetal Magnet Xtreme Neodymium Puzzle 1 Premium N42 Official 5mm Size Spheres
- £ 12 (~$ 18) : Sugru Multi-color 20g x3 and had 2/3 of sugru extra for other fun projects!
- £ 1 (~$ 1.55): bamboo sticks
First you want to cut the wood sticks to size. Because we are cutting many small things, I highly recommend using a metal saw (small teeth) to have a rather clean cut and avoiding cutting yourself. Wear gloves - not like me :)
Step 2: Assemble Sticks + Magnet + Sugru
- the barbecue bamboo sticks
- the magnets
- with sugru
- First position the magnet at the end of the stick
- apply a generous amount of sugru on top of the magnet sphere.
- form sugru with your fingers so it covers completely the sphere and starts to cover the stick
- go down the stick, pushing sugru delicately.
- make a nice finish of sugru so it does not rip off.
When working with sugru, I recommend you clean your hands with a disposable paper towel when sugru is still fresh on your fingers. I say "disposable paper towel" because sugru is really good to make a protective layer on fabric. Typically you have 30 minutes to work with sugru before it starts to harden : prepare little batches you can do in that amount of time.
Step 3: Let It Cure
Magnets are often very strong and they will destroy your project if your sugru is still fresh and start sticking together. I recommend to let sugru cure overnight before you try to manipulate it.
For this instructables, I took a long beam and installed curing sugru magnetic sticks at distance so they would not attract each other and cure "in peace".