Instamorph is a really neat product. Basically, it’s moldable plastic that simply requires hot water. You pour the plastic beads into some hot water (Pyrex beaker works great) and in a few seconds, the beads become clear and soft. Use a spoon to mush them together (they tend to clump naturally) and then extract from the water. In about 10~15 seconds, it’s cool enough to touch. You have about a minute to start molding it into the shape you wish.
InstaMorph is a lightweight polyester thermoplastic which acts like clay when warm, but when it cools, it’s a strong plastic. Mold it with your hands, tools, or press around an object to make a mold. It can be painted, machined, carved or attached to other materials.
I’ve used it to repair a microwave door handle that suffered a few small pieces flaking off due to stress (bad design). The replacement handle was absurdly expensive… so I just filled the hole with Instamorph. It’s actually superior because I molded it to conform to fingers. It has a nice comfortable smooth texture. In another case, I took a steel shelf unit where a welded connector detached from the metal basket attachment, and then used Instamorph to create a “support socket” that tightly wraps about the connector. It worked great and remains tightly in place.
I also made a pen part with it. Well, a minor one. My old Fisher Bullet Space pen had a stylus tip out of the top of the cap. That plastic tip wore down and then broke apart. The pieces fell out and then seating the cap on the pen resulted in the ballpoint end sticking through it and staining pocket bags. I was using a vinyl pole cap that fit perfectly but it kept popping off no matter what I did (Shoe Goo, double-sided tape, etc). So I took a little Instamorph, rolled it into a little peg shape, dropped it into the cap, then used a No. 2 pencil (eraser end) to push it down until the Instamorph pushed through the opening. I then slid the pen into the cap all the way to create a totally conformed shape around it. Within 5 minutes it hardened. Perfection! The piece is nicely tight in place.
Instamorph will remain tough until it is soaked in boiling water again… then it becomes clear and soft once more. It’s an amazing material. I chose white as the base color, but you can also get it in black. You can also paint it if you wish.
Absolutely wonderful stuff to keep in stock.
Here’s the one I use…
Nice. I’d not heard of Sintron before. I imagine it must be a very similar formulation. Will have to check and see how prices compare to Instamorph.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they were made in the same facility and just white-labeled.
Quite possible. It appears there are a number of other vendors selling this stuff under different names. One is “JXE JXO”. Weird.
Anyway, it looks like Sintron is the cheapest. You get 8oz for less than the price of the 6oz of Instamorph. The other brands are resold by all sorts of sellers with mixed reviews. Sintron appears to be sold BY Sintron and has a 99% rating. I’d go with them next time.
There’s also a thermoplastic brand called Jett Sett we use in jewelry work. There’s also a version that’s a bit harder and less pliable that has ceramic in it.
What’s the version called that has ceramic in it? Could be very useful for high stress applications.
Btw, do you design your own jewelry, or do you have someone in your team do the designing and you implement them?
Lastly, have you ever used Marine Tex?
Oops. I got that mixed up. Jett Sett has the ceramic and Jett Basic doesn’t.
My wife and I design and fabricate our own pieces. It’s not our main craft or business but one of the things we also do.
Nope, I’ve never used Marine Tex. I’m familiar with it but haven’t had a use for it. Yet. That’s some serious strength stuff.
So here’s just one little, and I mean tiny, example of putting this Instamorph stuff to use.
I have an older Fisher Bullet Space pen, one that came with a plastic stylus bit sticking out of the top end of the cap. Over time, the plastic weakened and finally snapped off. The result was the ballpoint tip sticking through it. Nasty. It would leave marks on pocket bags of my pants. I used a few different solutions and none would work for long enough periods. FINALLY, it dawned on me. Why not try Instamorph?
It’s a bigger “blob” on the top end than the original, but I wanted to make sure there was enough material to give sufficient strength. And wow, is it tough! I pressed super hard with my thumb in an attempt to snap it off–no go. It’s on there, solid. Now… I just have to make sure I don’t drop it in any boiling water.
I think you’re safe from an accidental drop into boiling water.
Yep, I’ll make sure I don’t do any writing with it near a pot of boiling pasta.
Do you have any Fisher pens? At one point I’d lost this one and almost bought another when it finally turned up in the pocket of my shorts (it slid into a position making it hard to detect by feel). The black anodized one looks sharp… but I think those coatings will be begging to be scraped by any hard objects in your pocket. And I expect it’ll look pretty unsightly, metal peeking through. Unless of course, they came up with a revolutionary scratch & gouge proof coating!
[Raises hand] My silver bullet is pre-stylus, so I have avoided this fate. Mine was hiding in plain sight for a couple years in a misplaced pencil case, no shorts involved there.
Always wanted one, got one, very rarely use it.
I think you mean post-stylus. They don’t seem to make them with the plain stylus any longer and it might’ve been for quite a while. There is now one with a conductive stylus, but it’s a different implementation.
It’s small, so it’s easy to tuck into a pants pocket. I keep it handy when I’m away from home and traveling light.
When I bought mine, the only reasons to use a stylus were: cunieform clay tablets (an older technology unsupported by the “Space Age!” Space Pen); a Palm Pilot; MAYBE a Wacom digital drawing tablet.
Back in the Before Times.
Yeah, those non-capacitive styluses are useless. Can’t use them on any modern touch-screen tech. I can see using a capacitive stylus, in order to minimize fingerprints.
Here’s the ol’ Space-age-er in all its nubbinless glory.
My photos above don’t reveal the extent of scratches on mine. It looks pretty scuffed up and has shallow dents in the cap and body, with a couple of heavy pinpricks near the top of the cap. The wabi-sabi of thorough use. The cap fits so snug… that there’s actually a suction resistance as you pull on it to uncap, which releases with a little “snap” sound. So handy to carry and when posted, feels great. The spiral cut on the section gives excellent grip. Really nothing to complain about except for the lack of any indentation to help keep the clip in place. I had to bend the prongs a good bit to get a very tight hold.