DIY mountings and holders using Play-Doh

Created on Thursday, April 25, 2013.
Filed under Physical Objects.
 

Sometimes I need to make a custom mounting to hold an object in some non-standard way. I’ve been using Play-Doh to solve such problems.

 

Sometimes I need to make a custom mounting to hold an object in some non-standard way. Like maybe it has to be at this angle so I can see its screen, or it has to stay level on an irregular surface, or some other challenge. I’ve been using Play-Doh to solve such problems. Here it is holding a PS Eye camera to the top of my monitor, read to use for face tracking.

You just make a big blob, squish your object into it, and then wait for it to dry at room temperature (takes maybe 24-48 hours here in winter). Some notes about using Play-Doh for this sort of thing:

  1. Use a single blob. If you make something out of multiple pieces, it will probably separate as the Play-Doh dries and shrinks.
  2. No release agent is necessary. Unless you’ve molded it into some cervices, it will simply slip off. You can remove it when it’s still a bit flexible with no ill effect.
  3. Let it dry at room temperature. Letting it dry while moulded around something that creates heat, like the monitor above, keeps the heated parts of the Play-Doh soft.
  4. You need some protrusions. Remember to make lips around your object to stop it from falling out. If your object is completely smooth, maybe sticking some rubber feet onto it with double-sided tape is a good idea. Those rubber feet will push into the Play-Doh to make a peg-and-hole type of fit.
  5. You can re-use dried Play-Doh.
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