Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Sugru

I discovered Sugru just before Christmas and immediately jumped on the preorder queue hoping to nab a great present. As it turned out, lots of people did the same thing and they needed to ramp up production, so it was only recently that I finally received my pack.

Sugru is awesomeness disguised as plasticine/playdoe/Mála/exercise putty. It’s a sticky putty substance that air-dries into a solid, hard (non-tacky) surface that remains stuck to whatever you stuck it to. If you can’t think of a million uses for something like this (shame on you!) then the Sugru blog has some ideas.

My immediate idea was to fix the ergonomics of my Sony a200 DLSR. You see, camera manufacturers think that cheap cameras should only be bought by people with small hands and the rest of us can just upgrade to their pro range of cameras. Or, you could sugru-ify your entry-level camera! I decided to improve the finger grip (particularly around the little finger) and fill out the palm rest to provide a bit more stability — I’m even more concerned about the ergonomics since my wrist is only out of a cast since last week.

Problem #1: Not enough support for the little finger

Insufficient finger support

Problem #2: Space between the camera and palm

Missing palm support

Stage 1: The hand grip

Sugru'd hand grip

Sugru'd Hand Grip

Stage 2: The palm rest I left enough space to ensure that the battery and card compartment doors still worked.

Both palm and grip hacks

Palm and Hand Grip 2

“But… but… why did you use those colours? Didn’t you just ugly up your camera?”
Well, I could have used black but there’s no point in hacking something unless everyone notices it. I’m sure it’ll make a good ice-breaker at a photo walk (it also makes it damn obvious which camera is mine!).

Bonus Hack #1: The AF/MF button is waaayy too fiddling for a cold, dark night in the middle of a field. I added a blob of sugru and made the grip surface using a cocktail stick

Sugru'd AF/MF button

Bonus Hack #2: Replaced the missing feet off my laptop battery

Sugru feet for the laptop battery

In all, I used 20g of green sugru and another 10g of orange… so there’s still plenty left in my 75g multipack. I’ll be testing the durability of my hack over the coming weeks to see if the sugru starts to come apart, detach or get very marked but so far I’m really pleased. In fact, I think I might add a further piece around the thumb grip and base of my hand.