Fix You

A sugru-reinforced MacBook power cord, courtesy sugru

Meet the fix-it-all of the future from sugru

There are the makers, the breakers, and the fixers. And while the last few years have been good for the makers (cf. MakerBot and Maker’s Row) and breakers (cf. the ubiquitous denial-of-service attack), it seems the fixers have been forgotten.

The UK’s sugru is making up for that. sugru is a multicolored Play-Doh-like substance that allows people to hack or fix everything from an iPhone to a dishwasher.

First conceived in 2003 by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh while a student at London’s Royal College of Art, perfecting the self-setting rubber was no easy task.

“We were trying combinations and ratios and potential ingredients in a long series of designed experiments lasting a number of years,” Ní Dhulchaointigh told us via email. “We now have our own in-house R&D lab who continue to develop new formulations, increasing the shelf life and generally experimenting…”

All that testing seems to have paid off. The miracle rubber has been featured in The Economist and Time and has sold to over 140,000 customers in three years.

You can pick up eight mini packs of sugru for $18. Get ’em here.

Now go forth (and get fixing).

Nitty Gritty:

1770: Year Joseph Priestly observed rubber was good for rubbing pencil off paper, hence the name “rubber”

Olmec: Word meaning “rubber people” in the Aztec language

Charles Goodyear: The (possible) inventor of the vulcanization of rubber


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