Phone case & zipper guard

Today you get two Plastimake examples for the price of one! Terry [dot] Cornall [at] synchrotron [dot] org [dot] au (Terry Cornall) has been using Plastimake for a range of projects, he writes: "It lets me try ideas that would never get off the drawing board any other way, and really quickly."

Terry has sent in two interesting Plastimake examples, a zipper guard for his jacket and a waterproof phone case. He explains them best:

Have you ever been caught in a zero-visibility, gale-force blizzard, unzipped your jacket to get your over-gloves on, closed the zipper to keep the weather out and then spent a nasty five minutes trying to unjam your zipper? All with gloves on? I have and it isn't fun. The jacket in question is an otherwise lovely piece of gear, it's just that the designer tried too hard (or not hard enough) to keep the water out of the pocket. The fabric edging covers the closed teeth but when the material is under tension the edging tends to jam under the metal zipper every time you pull it closed. So I heated a blob of Plastimake and moulded it into a flattish shape around the metal of the zipper that pushes the edging out of the way and now I can open and close it without jamming. I put a bit of detergent on the zipper teeth beforehand to stop the plastimake from binding to them. So far it doesn't seem inclined to come off the metal of the zipper. It appears to get enough grip from the piece of metal that the zipper handle goes through, even though I wiggled the handle whilst the plastimake was cooling, to ensure it would be able to freely move to let me pull both up and down on it with the attached cord. Has been field tested. (i.e. I stood in a paddock and tried it) Works well so far... Now to go find a blizzard.

Another idea that has already saved me from having to buy a new phone is a phone case. I got a clear plastic tube, softened it in hot water and pushed it into an oval shape big enough for my Nokia to slide into, then made two endcaps from Plastimake. One is stuck on very nicely just from the properties of the plastimake and the plastic tube. (Dunno what the plastic tube is made of, sorry, but Plastimake really sticks to it.) For the other end I used gladwrap to stop it from sticking. It slides on quite firmly and off fairly easily. I doubted that it would be waterproof, it was really just intended to keep rain out and give a bit of protection from crushing, dust and scratching when I went on a hike to the Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory, Australia. However, whilst climbing in a water-blocked gorge, I had to swim a 50 m stretch and I forgot I had the phone in my bum-pack. Fortunately, absolutely no water got in, despite the pack being flooded. Some work with silicone would probably ensure a more reliable seal, but already it has done a wonderful job. (BTW, that water was bloody cold...)

Awesome work Terry, and thanks so much for sharing your handiwork with us all. Based on your idea, we're going to try detergent next time we need a mould release agent. It should be easier to clean up than olive oil!

Phone case & zipper guard

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