Treat Yourself To Some Giant, Rubbery, Homemade MacBook Feet

What’s the little white blob?

Pretty much every MacBook owner I know has lost at least one of those little rounded feet on the bottom of their computer at some point. For such a tiny, inexpensive part, it sure has a big impact on your experience — wobbling while typing, scraping and scratching the bottom of the case, and not being able to maneuver your computer like you used to, among other annoyances.

Although my original feet lasted for years, I’m embarrassed to admit that after one of them finally succumbed, I didn’t replace it for around 8 months. I know, I’m a monster.

But when I did finally do something about it, I didn’t just replace it with another flimsy piece of plastic that would fall off again. Instead, I removed all of the original feet and popped open several packages of Sugru.

Sugru calls itself “mouldable glue.” I think I’d describe it as “binder clips from the future.” A Play-Doh-like substance when you remove it from the package, Sugru limits playtime to 30 minutes, because after that point, it will harden into whatever form you’ve shaped it into and stick to the surface it’s attached to! Henceforward, it will serve almost any rubbery purpose conceivable.

Why did I bother to create my own giant MacBook feet?

To tell you the truth, it was an accident. I meant to use my Sugru to approximate the size and depth of my MacBook’s original feet. But I had opened three packages before getting a sense of the volume of Sugru each one contained. Even then, I didn’t realize how much I had, and how little was needed for each foot. I actually attached two of them before realizing how enormous they looked.

Make sure you don’t cover any screws!

But it’s ok! It was such a happy mistake that I’m now advising other people to do just what I did! So, even if your original MacBook feet are still kicking (heh heh), here’s why you may want to make your own oversized feet out of Sugru:

1. Your MacBook will be stable on virtually any surface.

Uneven table? Weird lip on your working surface? Want to put your computer on a slanted drafting table without it sliding off? Sugru’s gripping ability combined with the height of your new feet will keep your computer sturdy on surfaces that previously irked you.

2. The extra height will help your MacBook disperse heat.

Heat isn’t only expelled by the computer’s fans — it also radiates passively through the aluminum case. I don’t have any hard data to support this, but common sense says that having a larger pocket of air hanging out under the machine will improve heat dispersion.

3. You’ll actually be able to use your laptop on top of your lap.

…without burning yourself, that is. The extra height keeps the hot parts farther from your legs.

You can see the spot where my MacBook used to rub on the table as I tilted it back to move it around without scratching the bottom.

4. You’ll push, pull, tilt, and generally maneuver your MacBook much more easily.

I used to do this thing where I would tilt my MacBook up on its back legs so that I could slide it somewhere else on my workspace without scratching the bottom of the case or lifting it up entirely. Now, both of those movements are easier: I can slide it without fear of scratching it on something 1mm tall, and I can fully grip the underside of the computer when I do need to lift it.

5. You can slide things under your computer to get them out of the way (or hide them quickly).

On the rare occasion I interact with physical pieces of paper, it’s surprisingly nice to be able to push them out of the way under my computer. I can even stick a pencil under there so it doesn’t roll away! You’ll occasionally be surprised by how useful this is.

With the increased clearance, you can slide all kinds of stuff under there!

After modifying my MacBook, I’ve definitely become a convert of Sugru. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for more Sugru projects now!

I work as a one-man creative agency for small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals — doing design, photography, writing, you name it! I blog about my self-employment journey to help other freelancers on www.ericdalecreative.com, Celebrate or commiserate by clapping or commenting. Or send me an email to collaborate!

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Eric Dale

Eric Dale

Designer, photographer, writer, you name it — my career journey never ends. ericdalecreative.com