You may not have heard of Sugru, but it's an amazingly useful material now for sale at the MakerBot online store. It's not something you use in your 3D printer, but it definitely adds a lot to 3D printing. But first, what exactly is it?
It's a secretly formulated air-curing rubber compound sold in small 5g packets. Made in the UK by some brilliant entrepreneurs (be sure to read their amazing tale here), this stuff is moldable by hand for about 30 minutes. During those 30 minutes it can be manually affixed more or less permanently to almost any surface. After 24 hours it has completely cured - but it's still flexible. That's right - it "hardens" into flexible form. How can this mysterious substance be of any use to a 3D printer operator? Let's look at some ideas:
- Print two or more parts in plastic, then use Sugru to join them together
- Make a flexible hinge for moving parts in your project
- Create colourful grips for handles that precisely match your fingers
- Place some shock-absorbing feet on your object
- Print a mold and press Sugru into it to create a precisely shaped flexible object
- Build something out of Sugru but use 3D printed parts as a skeleton for support
And we're certain there are many more imaginative ideas possible with Sugru.
The news today is that this substance is now very conveniently available at the MakerBot online store. They're selling 12x5g packs both color and black & white packets for USD$18 and USD$20 respectively. Of course, you could have obtained Sugru directly from their online store, but shipping could have been difficult from the UK to North American locations.
How will you Sugru?