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Mike writes – “For those who don’t know, Shapelock is a polymer (plastic) similar to polypropylene except that it has a very low temperature softening point. The idea is that you heat some water to around 160 degrees F and dump some of the pellets into the water to soften them to a moldable state. After molding, you then allow the plastic to cool and it once again takes-on its hard form. The label likens Shapelock to “modeling clay on steroids” and that’s a pretty good analogy.”Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. _soapy_ says:

    You can buy this stuff in the UK, from Maplins, under the name “Polymorph”. A little expensive but worth its mass in gold for so many things. I’ve made otherwise expensive or impossible repairs in seconds with this stuff, as well as using it for all sorts of job related things.

    Tough and hard plastic makes in minutes!

  2. Ferraridude says:

    I tried the free sample from their site, and it’s very cool! It melts at the very low temperature it says it does and is moldable by hand (meaning it won’t burn your hand when you take it out the water) for a few minutes until it cools down. I’ll start putting it to use when I think of some cool stuff for it…

  3. Giusp says:

    I got some of this stuff last week and have been playing with it a lot, here are some things I’ve found out recently…

    * With a pasta roller, you know, those silver machines you see at home goods stores, you can make nice even sheets for making good looking constructions. Making little planks also gives you ‘stock’ that heats up very quickly.

    * Fusion brand rustoleum plastic spray paint sticks to it very nicely, so it can be painted, if you should need to.

    * It has been advertised to be able to be machined, but since it behaves like nylon or delrin, that’s not really true. It didn’t like it when I tried. I haven’t tried drilling or tapping it yet (hmmm, that sounds not quite right)

    * With a hot putty knife you can connect new hot pieces to previously cooled constructions. I keep the putty knife in the same hot water pot where I’m heating the stuff. This gives you something to fish it out with.

    * It’s available in colors under the name ‘friendly plastic’

    * It’s very cool stuff with a ton of uses. After you play with it for a while you start to see all kinds of things it could help with.

  4. _soapy_ says:

    I wouldn’t bother tapping it. Simply heat it up, then wrap it around a threaded rod or bolt, then later you can simply unthread it, leaving the threads behind.

  5. matthew_kleinmann says:

    I wish the folks at makezine would stop publishing stories using this stuff until the manufacturer is willing to send out an MSDS when requested, or does the decent thing and puts one on-line. This is flat out against the law. I would be careful if I where playing with this stuff, as far as getting it in my mouth, on my skin, or breathing any vapors from it, or any smoke from burning it.

  6. philliptorrone says:

    hmm, you want -us- not post links to reviews?

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  8. caitlinrobb says:

    hi there, im new too all this and i was wondering if this is the stuff i would need to make hard plastic jewellery? does it come in different colours or anything? if anyone has any idea could they please reply to my email address caitlin_robb@hotmail.com as i might not find this site again! thanks! Xo

  9. Guardian says:

    Does someone know how to mold a Buddha (like the one shown above) with this clear palstic, and may like to make a few dollars?? :)? Maybe about 6 inches (15cm) tall?

  10. Zach Kaplan says:

    Hey Phillip, this stuff is awesome. I’m actually working on a project with it right now and trying to make a mold out of aluminum. I’ve found a bunch of these types of polycaprolactone (PCL) plastics similar to Shapelock:

    Here’s the wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycaprolactone

    Here are some vendors (including us)
    Instamorph – http://www.instamorph.com/
    http://www.amaco.com/shop/product-430-friendly-plastic-pellets.html
    http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/117/3718/=bhvcek
    http://www.inventables.com/technologies/hand-moldable-plastic

    Do you know of anyone interesting projects that have been done with it?

  11. Hi! your post is helpful for every one.

  12. Molds says:

    Continue the good work! Thanks for the post.

  13. Anonymous says:

    That Buddha looks like Jason from Friday the 13th.