Every now and again a new product or invention hits the headlines that gets people excited. Sugru, a self-setting rubber that can formed by hand, like modeling clay, has recently been compared in terms of significance to Blu-Tack or Sellotape. It sticks to pretty much anything and is incredibly durable, can withstand very high and low temperatures, is waterproof and can also be removed from non-porous surfaces.
Sugru would seem to have appeared from nowhere, but is actually the result of over ten years of hard work and perseverance from its inventor Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, who began her first experiments with the material whilst studying at college and has spent a decade developing the product. Over the intervening years, she has been busy building the team around her, trying to attract investment and hone Sugru (which means ‘play’ in Irish) to become the product that is available today.
Her story in itself is inspiring, from the seeds of the idea, through the highs and lows, the ups and downs until her idea has become and will undoubtedly continue to be used by people all over the world to fix, adapt, hack and mend broken or existing products in inventive ways. To give you an idea, Sugru has been used as a car engine sealant, to send a camera in to space for a school project, on ski poles in the north pole and by a British fencer to personalize his foil during the 2012 Olympic Games. It seems to be quite useful for much more mundane things like sticking shoes together, protecting wires, to hang stuff from, patch bits together, protect fragile things and much, much more.
Because there seems to be no end to what Sugru can be used for, we are in no doubt that it will go from strength to strength and one day we won’t know how we ever managed without it.