It’s hard for exhibitors to stand out a Maker Faire, especially when you’re competing against umpteen over-hyped 3-D printers, choreographed Coke 2-Liters exploding via Mentos triggers and high-voltage guitar soloists shredding between Telsa coils. But sometimes, it’s the simple, quiet ones that stick out, or in Sugru’s case, stick on.
Described as the love child of super glue and Play-Doh, Sugru is a multipurpose silicone rubber that self-adheres to almost all materials and can be used to quick fix anything from cracked power chords and broken tool handles to missing pot lid grips and a car’s leaky cooling system.
Out of the package, it feels like modeling clay, but once it cures at room temperature for 24 hours, Sugru hardens, yet still remains flexible. Like other silicones, it’s completely waterproof, plus it can withstand temperatures from -120 degrees Fahrenheit to 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
Developed by Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, the chewing gum like rubber maintains it’s malleability for 30 minutes after it’s removed from its airtight package before it begins self-curing. Ni Dhulchaointigh says she wants to “make it easy for anyone to adapt, modify, repair and improve their stuff to make it work better for them.”
Taking advantage of prime real estate smack dab in the middle intersection of the main expo hall, Ni Dhulchaointigh and her colleagues humbly maintained steady crowds of curious onlookers all weekend at the 2013 Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif.
Because I’ve personally had a power cord ruined after exposed wires near the plug caused sparks to fly, I was particularly fond of Sugru’s cord reinforcing capabilities. On hand, developers had a variety of user-submitted examples of their product in action. For example, one man used Sugru to drop-proof his camera so his young child couldn’t break it.
Sugru comes in 5 colors and 8 mini packs costing $18, plus shipping and handling. So if you’re tired of waiting for your 3-D printer to painstakingly print a new grip for your pot lid, layer by layer, why not tear open a pack of Sugru and start making a new one right away?