Let's Make Robots!

Epoxy, the hobbyist's hot glue

I agree hot glue is much easier to use and is a good way to get started.  At some point you should consider moving on to epoxy.  The most common type of epoxy that you will use is a 2 part epoxy consisting of a resin and a hardener.  When separate they remain in liquid form.  When you mix the two a reaction occurs and after a little while (times vary depending on what type of epoxy you use) solidifies into a rock hard bond.  Epoxy is fairly cheap (I've found it at "Everything's a Dollar Stores" often) and even the cheap stuff with 5 minute drying times holds up much better than most hot glues.  I have used it on many non electronic projects and to seal up BEAM robots that were intended for outdoor use. I've even used it in molds to create uniquely shaped braces and mounts.  A warning though, READ THE WARNING AND USES LABEL.  Some epoxies are corrosive and will damage circuit boards and melt plastic.  Most of the damaging epoxies will clearly state this so if you check the label you should be safe.

 Reasons you should consider epoxy for your next project:

  1. Very durable
  2. Longer lasting (parts won't eventually start falling off)
  3. Cheap (less than $3 US in most places)
  4. Creates a more professional look
  5. Dries harder than hot glue (less chance of flexing joints)
  6. No heat (no burned fingers or chance of messing up solder joints)

I'm sure there are some other high points and warnings I've missed but this should give you a general idea.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
I'm still working on this if anyone's interested.  I picked up the materials but I got some parts in for phase 1 of another project with another delivery expected in the next few days.  Also doesn't help that I've been puttin in extra hours at work lately due to some major screwups by one of our ISPs and a couple of hardware vendors.  (cancel the order does not mean ship it and send me a $50,000 bill)
Ok I'll run by the hardware store today and pick up some materials. It will probably be next week before I can post the tutorial. There's a couple of ways it can be done and I only have an hour or so a day to "tinker." Being an adult really cuts into my playtime :)

Good advise.  I have always used those cheap paper plates (the ones that come in packs of 100 not the nice Chinette ones).  Cardboard is also good.  If you're going to use paper make sure it is the thick rigid kind.  Even before mixing Epoxy gets pretty sticky and thinner paper will crinkle and fold up while mixing.  The first time I used it I tried mixing it on notebook paper and made a damn fine mess of things :)

 Also, don't try to mix a large batch and do multiple joints.  Only do one or two joints at a time and make sure everything is ready to go before mixing.  Once that stuff starts to harden you will end up with big globs of mess like trying to work with concrete that's been mixed too long. 

if you don't understand the concrete thing I apologize.  I'm a southern boy, we do a lot of our own home building/remodeling. Just be glad I'm not trying to promote Duck Tape as a building material :)

ducktape is a very handy building tool....I've used it for quite a few automotive.....fixes...  :) now putting it to use on a bot....hmmmm...that could be interesting....
Wonder if I should create a tutorial on using Duck Tape as belt tracks.

of course we need a tutoral on Duct Tape belt tracks.

 / vzz-clck-"Maneuver"

Hail & yes!

When mixing epoxy do so on a 3x5 card or trash pice of paper with a stir stick or simailer pice of trash. NOT on anything you will use later .