I received an email this morning from a friendly fellow Australian named Keith. He had googled his way to a short post on my site Jaymis.com looking for a source of Friendly Plastic/Shapelock/Polymorph in Australia. After a couple of emails back and forth I figured out that he’s Keith from plasq/Comic Life/Rax, and he figured out that I’m Jaymis from CDMu/CDMo, but we still didn’t have an Australian source for useful thermoplastics.

Update!: Paul wrote in to tell us that he’s found a source of polymorph in Australia, at the soldergeekly favourite Jaycar! It’s reasonably expensive at $10/100g, but the material is infinitely reusable, and if you have an ABN you can get it through Jaycar’s wholesaler, Electus.

How is this relevant for CDMu readers? Well if you’re able to browse a few pages of CDM stories tagged “DIY” and not end up with a brain full of custom controller ideas, then you must have a much more focussed brain than I do. I’ve been working on a more visually focussed prototype, and as I couldn’t get my hands on any thermoplastics I ended up using casting resin.

LEDs and ocean-ground glass embedded in casting resin

Resin gives you a very pretty result but it’s not much fun to work with. Unless, of course, you enjoy inhaling noxious fumes, getting dizzy and spending the rest of the afternoon on the sofa with a headache (I’ve purchased a proper fume mask for my next batch). For a prototype it’s way too time consuming and permanent, so I’m still looking around for thermoplastics. The fact that Keith found my site and has had similar troubles locating any in Australia indicates that there may well be others out there in our situation.

So if there are any Australian readers who can help us find please hit the comments. If you’re also looking for this stuff leave a comment too and we’ll notify you when we’re successful in tracking some down.

Ed: I definitely want to make sure Jaymis gets some of this stuff in Australia because then he and I can work on DIY projects using it and share the results with you loyal CDMers! I’m also interested in hearing if any of you know about this material or alternative materials and want to tell us about your experiences with it, so non-Australians, please hit comments, too! -PK