Dalton middle schooler invents non-permanent LEGO glue
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — One Dalton middle schooler already has his name on a U.S. patent. Tripp Phillips invented a a non-permanent glue intended to keep your Lego creations together but designed to easily dissolve in warm water.
Martha Thomason of Westwood School challenged her third grade students to create an invention three years ago.
Then nine-year-old Phillips sought advice from his dad, who told him to pick a problem and invent a solution.
Like many kids, Tripp instead went back to his room and played with some Legos. But there, he found his problem.
“Whenever I was playing with a spaceship or something like that it would fall apart, and I said “I need something to keep this together, but I don’t want it to be normal glue because then it would be useless and I could not build anything else,” Phillips explained.
He had an idea. A glue strong enough to hold the bricks together but temporary to build new designs easily.
“My original thought process was ‘this is a million bucks, buddy, I mean this is a really good idea,” Phillips’ dad Lee said. “And he came up with it in probably thirty minutes.”
Ms. Thomason informed Tripp of the International Torrence Creativity Awards, a contest for students of all grades to submit their inventions.
Tripp entered his glue idea, now named Le-Glue, and brought home first place.
“Once he won the award, we really decided to commercialize it,” Lee said.
“It started we were selling maybe two a day,” Tripp remembers. “But then it started being three or four, and me and my dad just thought that was awesome. But then it started getting up to ten and our minds were blown.”
“We had to start sitting around the table and making some almost every night,” Lee said.
Now they’re running out weekly.
Through Amazon, Etsy and other online sites, Le-Glue has sold in over 100 countries, and according to Lee, selling about 7,000 units in 2017 alone.
The U.S. Patent Office granted Tripp and his dad the exclusive rights to Le-Glue last April. The $10,000 patent was paid for completely with the business profits.
“I was just so excited and happy that we finally have a patent. No one can steal our idea. It’s just a reminder of how far our business has come,” Tripp said.
You can buy Le Glue on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay, as well as Le-Glue.com.