Profile of creator of Sugru, the super fixum gunk

Wired UK has a nice profile of Jane ní Dhulchaointigh, the inventor behind Sugru, a polymer clay that dries to a dishwasher-safe plastic that you can use to fix pretty much anything. I've used it to fix cracked cups, suspend fossils from my walls, and repair cracked picture frames. Love it.
"I was making things with silicone sealants and sawdust, and started using the leftovers around the house," she says at her east London base. "I modified a knife handle to make it more comfortable. My boyfriend said, 'Imagine if everyone could do that -- like with stiff jam-jar lids.'

It was a great idea." It took seven years, two experts and the materials department at Queen Mary, University of London, to create a silicone that would be sticky but would also set rock hard without heating.

The result is a substance officially called Formerol. Each pack includes hack suggestions, but ní Dhulchaointigh has seen some original uses: "Someone sculpted a pair of hands coming out of their bathroom sink to hold the soap." This enthusiasm, she says, is influenced by user-generated online suggestions. "If digital stuff can be manipulated then people are going to expect it from physical products as well."

Wired meets the woman behind Sugru (via Wonderland)

(Image: Perry Curties/Wired UK)


  1. Can I just say what a wonderfully Beefheartian word Folmerol is.feels nice in the mouth. Formerol. mmm.

  2. I hear that 5 of the 7 years was due to the inventor accidentally sugruing her whole left hand, as depicted.

    Seriously speaking I really hope they get it in stock very soon so I can get me some.

  3. I had a look at the site, and the instructions-video, but could not find what makes this better than the kitts that have been about for years now. Price? Generic Kitt

  4. I’m a bit skeptical of the story, I think the interesting story is actually how this product has been marketed. Although I guess maybe the PR story presented is part of that effort. But the invention itself- after all, just about anyone could just mix silicone sealants and sawdust, but getting a ready-to-use product on shelves is something else.

  5. I did some searching, as the kind of material is interesting to me:
    Sugru, and normal 2 component kitt (n2ck) seem to differ in various niches:
    Sugru : bonds to everything exept unspecified plastics, n2ck: bonds to everything except specified plastics (differnce in documentation)
    Sugru: slightly flexible after curing , n2ck: hard, sandable
    Sugru: store for up to one year in 5g packs, n2ck: store for unspecified time in cool and dry place
    Sugru: dosage in multiples of 5g (package size), n2ck: dosage as wished.
    Sugru: cures with moisture, n2ck: cures anywhere, after kneading.
    Sugru: up to 180degC, n2ck: up to 300degC
    Sugru: painting like normal silicone (like hell), n2ck: paint.
    Sugru: 7GBP/75g, n2ck: 11Euros/64g
    The main kicker seems to be the residual flexibility as opposed to the hardness of n2ck.

    1. Completely different stuff. The other is a two-part epoxy that dries hard. Everyone makes that. This is a one-part silicone that dries soft. I can see how it would be nice to use this on anything that needs softness.

      The example in the video of applying it to the toe-piece of a flip-flop shoe is a fine demonstration of why soft can be better than hard in a patching compound.

      Painting silicone is not practical, as you point out; that’s why it comes in colors (or it will when they get it into production).

      I hope they export it to the USA.

  6. Nice stuff. Now we need to be able to use this as the feedstock for a Makerbot, or some other 3D fabber.

  7. I’m amazed they can keep the buzz going on a product that one cannot order and has not been available for almost a year.

    I wonder if they are having trouble getting enough Unicorn tears to mix in. I guess Apple has the market cornered on this magical ingredient.

  8. Unicorn tears! So thats what’s been missing from my secret proprietary compound….(heads off into the forest….)

  9. sounds like caulk with attitude! -wonder if it can be used as bondo for automobile dents??/

  10. I’ve used it to fix cracked cups

    Really? But its own documentation says it’s not food-safe

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