Stardate: 20210513.0142
Location: xiled rumination concentrator
Input Device: Fujitsu P1610
Audio: Everything But The Girl - Tempermental
Visual: Flashing LEDs of the xrc, mamono
Emotional: Meh.  Do not want to sleep.


Fujitsu LifeBook P1610 (UMPC)

I decided to make one last entry on this version of Debian before I 
blow it away.  The laptop battery is crap and doesn't really last 
long enough to get any real work done when mobile, but I do have an 
external battery that I can tether to.  It is currently running 
Debian 7.11 (wheezy.)  I will be installing AntiX.  No real concerns 
with updates since I do not attach this machine to the network.  
Perhaps I will with AntiX.  I still have Windows XP Tablet Edition on 
its own partition and will keep it there since I use it for old 
hardware that is not compatible with linux or newer versions of 

Repurposed Styrofoam Skull

The other night I melted down some dissolved polystyrene into a cast 
of a skull.  I cut up one of the sheets of dissolved polystyrene 
that I had drying out from months earlier.  I cut the sheet into 
tiny pieces with scissors and put them in a silicon skull mold for 
ice cubes.  Then I put it in the toaster oven I got from a church 
rummage sale and let it cook for over an hour at 300F.  Afterwards, 
I let it cool for a few hours before I broke the mold.

The skull turned out ok.  The hardened skull appeared to have 
discolored and had a tan color to it.  There were a bunch of pock 
marks, probably from trapped air.  The skull it pretty solid and has
some weight to it, especially compared to expanded styro.  It is
brittle where the molding flash is and is not squishy/rubbery like
traditional hot-melt adhesive/hot glue.  Maybe next time, I will 
try a lower temperature and see if it keeps its original off-white 
color.  Also, the back part of the skull is hollow, which I will 
probably fill with hot glue or something.

It just amazes me how much space polystyrene takes up and how you 
can dissolve it into a small puddle of maker goop.  The goop can be 
used as glue or you can cast with it.  I think it's better to cast 
it into something else instead of it taking up space in a landfill.  
The goop is non-toxic since I used D-Limonene to dissolve the styro.

Next time I will probably try making new "feet" for my hiking poles 
so they're not so noisy on pavement.  I also need to find a better 
way of shredding the sheets since cutting them isn't the best and 
is time consuming.  I saw online that people have been using paper 
shredders for cutting up plastics.  Maybe I'll look into that.  It 
would be even better if I could grind the sheets into a powder so 
it would be easier to fill the mold.  

I wonder if there is an easy way to do injection molding with the 
goop.  Maybe with an improvised caulking gun or something.  I've 
casted skulls with hot glue before, which was easier to work 
with since the glue isn't as thick and comes out of a glue gun.  
I thought about trying to make polystyrene hot glue sticks, but I 
don't think it would work as well as regular hot glue.  Well maybe 
I should try it sometime.    

If you are interested in repurposing styro, this Instructable page
by killbox is a great place to learn.[1]

Here are some pics.  These were taken at different times, but shows
the basic process:

Putting polystyrene in bucket with D-Limonene.	

Styro dissolving.

Pouring dissolved styro/maker goop into foil-lined baking pan.	

Dried and hardened goop after >1 month.	

Goop cleanup in repurposed toaster oven.
     Goop was not as runny as I thought it would be.
     Temp set at 300F for 30 minutes.

Sheets of dried goop.

Cutting goop sheet into smaller pieces.
     Pieces are in a can on a repurposed coffee burner.
     This did not work well with goop and works better with hot glue.

Putting goop chips in silcone skull mold.

Stuffing hole in the back of the mold with goop chips.

Mold after cooking for over an hour @ 300F.
     Looks like there was a bubble that puked out the hole.

Skull unmasked!	

Skull front

Skull side

Skull back with pour hole.
     The skull is a little hollow in the back.

Skull side view with penny for size reference.

Skull front view with penny for size reference.

[1] Recycling Styrofoam (EPS) Into Useable Castable Styrene Plastic at Home

.:[ HOME ]:.