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Polymorph - A simple way to mold plastic

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  • Polymorph - A simple way to mold plastic

    Hi guys,

    I've been reading over everything here in the DIY forum over the last week or so, doing a little more research before I start building my own e-drum kit. I'm going to build something nice and cheap (might be an entry for the 'Cheapest DIY Kit' competition!) since I'm yet to actually *learn* to drum.. haha. Once I get past the beginner stage I'll look at building a really nice set of drums. I'm also going to build a Megadrum Trigger-Midi unit, so when I get that done I'll put up pics. So, hi, and enough of the introduction.

    Anyhow, I've been looking around at all the designs, approaches and ideas, and I've been trying to find some way to make my own custom molded plastic parts for whatever I need - and I came across this stuff:

    It looks to be a totally simple way to make your own molded plastic parts - it comes in packets of small cubes which are put into hot water, the plastic then heats and becomes moldable. It cools to room temperature and becomes a solid plastic which from what I've read is similar to Nylon.

    It wouldn't be all that hard to make molds of whatever you want for this - right now I'm thinking about rack clamps for drums and cymbals, clamps to join pipes together to make a rack, you could even go as far as making your own shells, cymbals like the high-end Roland ones, whatever you can dream up. When set, it can be sanded, drilled, machined, so with enough imagination you could probably make some impressive things.

    The only downside to this stuff is that it is solid at room temperature, but becomes moldable at around 65 degrees celsius. When using it for drums, my main thought would to be careful with your kit around stage lighting.

    Just thought put it up here and add to all the awesome knowledge you guys have put up. Cheers too to everyone that's contributed their ideas, I've got a massive head start on building my own kit. Pics will eventually follow


  • #2
    Mitch, Thats a great find, I bet making trigger boxes for e cymbals and maybe even baskets could now be possible. Opens up alot of possibilities.

    Thanks again for posying that link, Tom Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community


    • #3
      that stuff looks like fun i don't know if it's worthy for some diy edrums but if you like it or want something stronger check out tap plastics website. or for trigger boxes i tried altoid casings until i got some nice lil project boxes from fry's.
      more over i think the arduino/ megadrum is cool but i see it more suitable for electrical savy hobbyist. and the money will add up i went for an alesis trigger i/o then got tired at looking at my computer so i went and bought a dm5. now i can hook them up together for a total of 20 something triggers more if i split the dual zones. and it works with or without my computer. though i do get excited when ever i boot up toon track superior.

      I'm looking into building a kit for a friend and we are thinking of cutting up shells from cheap toys r us kits nothing fancy. but if your goal is to be cheap glue some piezos to some cd's and your set.
      binary solo! 000001 0000011 0000111 0001111 (oh)
      000001 (oh oh) 0000011 (oh) 00000111 (one) 00001111
      come on sucker lick my battery.
      Boogie,boogie, Robo boogie!
      boogie, Robo boogie


      • #4
        "PCL has been known to become brittle, lose its tensile strength and fall apart after several months so is not suitable for permanent or critical applications."

        That sounds like bad news.


        • #5

          Not exactly cheap either.


          • #6
            Gentlemen, where are our manners?

            Welcome to the forum AwDeOh!

            The moldable stuff you showed us looks pretty neat, but doesn't seem to be the kind of stuff that will take lots of stress, and is comparitively expensive.

            Good old-fashoned wood has proven to be strong, versatile, cheap, and often beautiful. You will see lots of good examples of its use for racks and clamps in the DIY section.

            A cheap drum set from a garage sale can provide a decent set of shells, hardware, stands, etc. As Alexzeegreat alluded to, you can make a pad out of just about anything you can glue a piezo disc to.

            Keep thinking outside the box, and be sure to keep us posted!
            Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.


            • #7
              Another company that sells this is ShapeLock, looks like they are cheaper:



              • #8
                I've got a pot of the polymorph stuff upstairs but haven't used it yet. In the UK you can get it from Middlesex University. As has already been said, it's not cheap so I think you would only make use of it for small, one off items.


                • #9
                  I was thinking about this over night, and I got to wondering about using this stuff to make the initial shape for whatever you wanted, then looking for something to coat it in. I guess the problem will be finding something that can provide a tough and durable outside shell that'll negate the heat problem.

                  But then the cost and possible loss of strength over time are other things to overcome, so that'd cut down the application.

                  Still.. pretty cool stuff.