Video: Irish student invents 'best thing since Sellotape'
An Irish art student based in a warehouse in east London has invented a product already being described as the best thing since Sellotape and Blu-Tack.
Sugru is a silicone, which can be used to glue things together, patch leaky boots, or create a variety of custom-made handles, hooks, and feet for wobbly chair legs.
It has the appearance of children's modelling clay, which once out of its airtight packet, can be moulded into any shape and fixed onto leather, metal, ceramic, wood and plastic.
After about 24 hours it "cures" and will adhere to any substance with the strength of ultra strong glue but it does not become rock hard. Instead, it stays slightly flexible.
Sugru, Irish for play, has been invented by Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, a former art student determined to give old and broken household objects a new lease of life.
"I was inspired by the internet and the whole idea of user-generated content. I wanted something that people could make their own and use in their own way.
"A lot of stuff gets thrown away not just because it is broken but because it has stopped being useful or fashionable. If you can adapt it or hack it that's got to be better than putting it in the bin."
The product goes on sale this week but it has already caught the eye of design experts who have tested it out and hailed it as the most exciting product since Sellotape or Blu-Tack.
Guy Robinson, the head of the design consultancy Sprout Design, said: "I think this will really take off. I just hope people realise how great it is.
"It allows you to customise your own stuff by making it ergonomic. Too much industrial design is not ergonomic enough."
He said that he had already used it to make custom-made handles for hospital crutches.
The silicone is made from a new product trademarked as Formerol, which is far more flexible than the mouldable epoxy resins on the market, which tend to go rock hard when dry.
The material, once cured, is dishwasher proof and heat resistant to 180C (356F). A packet, containing 10 sachets of Sugru, costs £7 (€7.70).