The Amazing Test: Bricked! may be over, but our love for LEGO lives on. Now that we've conquered some of the biggest LEGO kits on the market, it's time to look at some alternative uses for the little bricks. With a material like sugru, LEGO designers can do more than just build with LEGO pieces. They can combine LEGO and other objects with the moldable silicone, wait 24 hours for the rubber to harden, and end up with something simple and brilliant like a wall mount for a car key fob.
LEGO hacking is awesome, but it's just one of many homebrew hacking uses for sugru, an air-curing rubber that bonds to "aluminium, steel, ceramics, glass, wood and other materials including some plastics like perspex and ABSand rubbers like silicone and butyl rubber."
sugru is a unique hacking success story. Inventor Jane ni Dhulchaointigh developed the idea to create an easily moldable silicone way back in 2003 and dreamed of making it something that creative people everywhere could use. It took six years of lab time, iteration, and asking for funding to turn sugru into a reality, but the first thousand packs of sugru sold out in six hours in December 2009. After that, funding was easy to find, and sugru became a business.
It took six years of lab time, iteration, and asking for funding to turn sugru into a reality, but the first thousand packs of sugru sold out in six hours in 2009.
sugru's creators realized they had a power to shape and direct a creative community much like Makerbot Industries. Where the latter is all about creating new things, sugru focuses on combining and improving objects we already have. Both have this in common: allowing users to share recipes, or designs, is the perfect way to demonstrate what the product's good for.
sugru's main site hosts some designs broken into categories like gadget lovers and home improvers, but in November they launched a project dedicated to community-submitted designs like MakerBot's Thingiverse.
The hardened rubber material withstands temperatures from -76 to 356 degrees Fahrenheit. And it's pretty strong.
12-pack bags of Sugru run $18 and are shipped at cost, which brings the total for a package up to just over $20 for US residents.