My friend Eric Rosenbaum and I are trying to find out. We’re inspired by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims’s Free Universal Construction Kit, which allows anyone with a 3D printer to connect previously-incompatible construction toys. We love that Golan and Shawn released his designs with a Creative Commons license, but 3D printers remain far too expensive for most people.
The Toy Interface Construction Kit Learning Environment (T.I.C.K.L.E.) is a universal construction kit for the rest of us. It doesn’t require 3D printers or CAD skills. Instead, we’re using Sugru, a self-setting rubber material invented by our friend Jane. When we told them about the idea, Jane and James sent us some extra Sugru to try it out.
Over several weeks, Eric and I collected a basic set of construction kits: TinkerToys, Gears Gears Gears, wooden blocks, Zoob, and K’Nex. Some of the kits were new to us, so we played with them in the evenings to learn what they can do. Then on Monday, Eric and I started building in earnest.
This robot was my first attempt to use Zoob, Tinkertoy, and blocks together. It matches my tendency to explore design through narrative, structure, and form:
And remember that we offer sugru should you want to bond, well, anything to anything!
Sugru – multicolor pack
Sugru! Soft-touch silicone rubber that molds and sets permanently. Sticks to aluminum, steel, ceramics, glass, wood and some fabrics + plastics! sugru is the incredible new air-curing rubber for hackers, makers, gadget lovers & anyone else who wants to make things or make their stuff work better. Self-adhesive to most other materials, and flexible when cured, sugru is a versatile tool for hackers and makers – Repair and strengthen damaged cables and housing, mount components where you want them, strengthen attachments and protect against vibration, and a hundred other uses we’re sure youʼll find for it. This is great for prototyping. Please read all of the following before purchasing…
Multi-colour 8 x 5g minipacks inside a lovely big pouch for $17.95. You get two red, two yellow, two blue and one black and one white packets. You can smoosh the colors together to make new colors! Sugru does have a ‘use by’ date – we guarantee that you will have at least 6 months (and often its 9 or 12 months) to use your Sugru!
Top 10 uses of sugru for hackers and makers:
- Repair and strengthen damaged cables
- Mount components semi-permanently e.g. webcam / microphones / wires / switches
- Replace missing feet on speakers, laptops etc
- Mount components, and add feet to PCBs
- Repair casing / housing on computers and earphones
- Insulate wires
- Strengthen attachments, protect against vibration
- Enclose prototype electronics, make them waterproof
- Add feet under harddrives to allow air to circulate underneath
- Make awesome custom housing on USB flash drives
Properties, self adhesive sugru bonds to:
- Some fabrics
- Some plastics
- Form by hand – no tools needed
- Colors can be mixed
- Cures at room temperature to a tough flexible silicone overnight
- Waterproof and dishwasher proof when cured
- “Loves” a bit of heat or cold, sugru is resistant from -60 degrees C to 180 degrees C
- UV resistant
- Two 5 gram mini-packs of Blue Sugru
- Two 5 gram mini-packs of Yellow Sugru
- Two 5 gram mini-packs of Red Sugru
- One 5 gram mini-pack of Black Sugru
- One 5 gram mini-packs of White Sugru
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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