Intro: Sugru and Straws Marble Maze
Sugru and Straws? Yes indeed, just what the doctor ordered to add a little fun to your weekend. We decided to take some of our Sugru at the Tampa Hackerspace and combine it with straws to create an old school marble maze. Twists, turns, ramps, speed bumps? You bet. Here's how you can have fun making your own!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Tools and Materials
- Sugru (about 3 packets)
- 1 large piece of wood, or thick cardboard
- Pipe Cleaners (a couple will do)
- Straws (about a full handful, 5-10 will do. Get the ones that bend, makes your life easier on the curves)
- Scissors to cut the straws
- 2 Marbles (or equivalent)
Step 2: Mock Up Your Layout
Time to have some fun designing your maze.
Start by cutting up some pipe cleaners as well as some straws and mock up your maze. Whatever you want to have, just place them down on the board until you have the layout you want. This is a dry run so make all the changes you want until you think you have your layout completed.
Try to do your mock up in a still area as the straws have a tendency to blow around really easily.
Another suggestion, when you have the layout done, take a picture. It'll help for reference in the next steps as you put the maze together in it's final layout.
Step 3: Time to Add the Sugru
Open your packs of Sugru and start to place single dots underneath the straws. You don't need a whole lot for each one, maybe about 1/4 inch thickness. Once you have the ball, press it firmly to the board then place the straw on top of it until it too stays firm. For the larger straw lengths, you will want to definitely add more Sugru than just one dot.
If you want to get fancy, create some ramps (like we did with the yellow Sugru, if you notice the pictures). Form the ramp and place some support structures underneath it (small bits of the straws work great and can be removed easily after it hardens).
Finally, take a large chunk of Sugru and take one of your marbles, then place it on the bottom. This will be the pivot point of the board.
Rather, Rinse, Repeat until you are all done with your maze.
Step 4: Time to Let Everything Dry
Sugru only takes about 24 hours to completely harden, in our case we let it go for 48 hours as it was still a little loose after the first 24. Since we live in Florida, this could have been due to the environment. Feel free to check it after 24 hours and see how everything is holding up.
The straws should have firmed in place, and the ramp should now be solid.
Step 5: It's Playtime!
If everything has dried up, it's time to play.
Put the other marble you have onto the board and see how far you make it.
Did you make it too easy? Too hard? That's the great think about Sugru, just pull it off and grab a new packet. Adjust the maze as you like and let it dry.