The next part of my TV control project was to cover the TV’s IR sensor. I have an IR transmitter stuck to it, but the TV gets confused by signals from other remotes. I needed some sort of nodule to cover it, which also had a cavity in it to hold the transmitter. Additionally, it was important it should look unobtrusive when stuck to the TV.
I immediately thought of FIMO as the solution; I’ve actually been wanting to play with it for a while, so this was a good excuse. I headed to the artist’s supply shop on the bridges at lunchtime and got a wee block of black. As it was much cheaper than I’d expected, I got some red and purple to play with later (hmm: black, red, and purple: who could have guessed I’d go for those colours initially eh? 🙂
Later, at home, I opened the packet. I thought it looked similar to plasticine, but it doesn’t feel or work (or smell 🙂 the same. I had to cut a piece off with a stanley blade as it seemed quite stiff. I started moulding it into the slug-like shape I needed with my fingers, and it quickly became a lot easier to work: must have been the heat from my hands. I finished off the slug, made the transmitter cavity, and then bunged it on a piece of alumiunium foil in the oven for 30 minutes (at 110C).
After the time was up, I retrieved and let it cool for a while. It didn’t look very different. However, it was now hard to the touch, but still slightly rubbery at the same time. I tried putting the IR transmitter in the cavity, but it no longer fitted: there must be a small amount of shrinkage during the cooking process. Therefore, I got out my dremel drill with the carving head and started to hollow it out. It was really easy to do so: FIMO seems to retain a degree of flexbility even after cooking, so I didn’t feel it was going to shatter (as long as I was careful).
Here’s a pic of the underside with the hollowed cavity:
Oh yes, after cooking, it still looks matt and slightly rough. I see you can get a variety of coatings to put on FIMO objects before cooking them so that they’ll look glossy etc,
I attached it to the TV with a piece of double sided sticky tape: I’ll see in the morning if its still attached, but the end result is quite light. The slug is just visible next to the green LED near the corner of this picture:
As it turns out there are two types of FIMO: Classic and Soft. I had bought soft, which is apparently er.. softer and easier to manipulate, but is also less strong. Classic is supposedly better for fine detail work, but I’ve yet to try it out myself.
So, this wasn’t the most artistic of creations, but it performs its function perfectly, and was great as a quick test of the cooking process and gaining some confidence with the properties of the material. I now want to do something more artistic with the rest of the FIMO.