Websites for parts and services for building things

Parts and raw materials:

The BEST source. Ever. Period. But fairly expensive: http://www.mcmaster.com/

They’ve got metal (cheap metal but expensive shipping; limited selection of sizes; pretty good alloy selection): http://www.onlinemetals.com/

More metal (haven’t bought from them yet; looks like a great size selection; medium pricing): http://www.speedymetals.com/default.aspx?

Ball bearings (great selection for basic bearings; super cheap): http://www.thebigbearingstore.com/

More ball bearings (haven’t bought from them yet; mediocre website; interesting selection): http://vxb.com/

Super cheap composites, mainly carbon fiber (mediocre website; nice customer support; dirt cheap carbon fiber; good selection): http://www.sollercomposites.com/

Cheap Surplusy stuff (haven’t bought from them yet; looks super cheap): http://www.surpluscenter.com/home.asp

Super cheap RC parts (they have a Chinese warehouse as well as an American warehouse; generally good quality parts; good forum type comment system; often prone to long backorders): http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/index.rc

When you can’t find what you need anywhere else… (oh and they have some books too): http://www.amazon.com

It’s best to try to not give into the FIRST corporate machine whenever possible, but sometimes… http://www.andymark.com/Default.asp

Robot motors and wheels: http://banebots.com/

Robot parts (haven’t bought from them yet; looks like good selection; good community of customers): http://www.robotmarketplace.com/store.html

If you want awesome interface electronics, look here (great LED items, screens, and other high level electronics parts and kits): http://adafruit.com/

Huge selection of high level hobby electronics (high margins; slightly non-techy feel; bad product specs): http://www.sparkfun.com/

Electric scooter parts (just like what it says on the tin): http://www.electricscooterparts.com/

Bolts, so many bolts (haven’t bought from them yet; looks cheap; huge selection): http://www.boltdepot.com/default.aspx

Services (haven’t tried any of these yet):

Laser cutting of thinish materials: http://www.ponoko.com/

Waterjet cutting: http://bigbluesaw.com/

3D printing (expensive): http://www.shapeways.com/

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