Where to Get Stuff

Places we've bought components, materials, supplies


  • Adafruit: https://www.adafruit.com/ - similar to Sparkfun, but with more kits, and more oriented toward wearables/crafts.
  • McMaster-Carr: http://www.mcmaster.com/ - Screws, pipe, tubing, industrial equipment, material of all kinds. Can be slightly expensive, but you know exactly what you are getting.
  • Amazon Supply: http://www.amazonsupply.com/  - Amazon's version of McMaster-Carr. Selection isn't as good and things aren't very well organized. But often much cheaper.
  • Jameco: http://www.jameco.com/ - We buy lots of small components from here, like resistors, capacitors, ICs, connectors, wire, and breadboards. They are often much cheaper than Digikey or Mouser, but have less selection. More selection than Sparkfun though.
  • Digikey: http://www.digikey.com/ - One of the world's biggest distributers of electronic components. They sell pretty much everything and anything, which can make it hard to find something unless you know exactly what you need. But it's great for hard-to-find items. Read descriptions and specifications very carefully. Digikey is mostly used by large-scale manufacturers, so sometimes it is expensive (more than Jameco) unless you are ordering in large quantities.
  • Mouser: http://www.mouser.com/ - Like Digikey. For some reason they have great selection of piezos. And lots of mechanical components like switches, encoders and pots.


  • Umich Property Disposition: http://www.finance.umich.edu/procurement/property-disposition - where stuff from the University goes to die. Not always the cheapest, but you can find lots of random old medical and laboratory equipment, hundreds of computer peripherals, furniture. Once they hat a hot tub from the Athletics Department.
  • The Scrap Box: http://www.scrapbox.org/ - cheap, surplus craft supplies. Not the place if you're looking for something very specific, but they have lots of fun materials.