To better reflect the real-world and promote mindfulness of actual material costs, a new policy of the MechSE Innovation Studio is that, except for fasteners or materials in the “Free” bins, all other materials obtained from the Innovation Studio will be charged against the team’s budget. By presenting your I-card, members will be able to “purchase” materials from a Studio staff member.
The following materials can be purchased from the studio:
Acrylic 24” x 12” x 1/8” — $10
Acrylic 24” x 12” x 1/4” — $20
Acrylic 24” x 12” x 1/2” — $30
Acetal Delrin 24” x 12” x 1/8” — $16
Acetal Delrin 24” x 12” x 1/4” — $30
Plywood 24″ x 12″ x 1/4″ — $10
Plywood 24″ x 12″ x 1/2″ — $20
Marine Plywood 24″ x 12″ x 3/8″ — $20
Plywood 12” x 12” x 1/2” — $2 (ME 371 students only)
A vast selection of common fasteners, washers, sleeve bearings and shafts are also available.
Teams can also purchase materials from external vendors. Students can either purchase the materials themselves and then get reimbursed, or have the MechSE Business Office (142 MEB) place the purchase order. For reimbursements, use the ME 370 reimbursement document located below. Each team should appoint ONE PERSON to make all purchases. That person should be a U.S. citizen. If no team members are U.S. citizens, the MechSE Business Office should place all team purchases.
Online catalog companies:
McMaster offers an extremely comprehensive catalog of almost everything you could ever need for your projects. Their products are very well documented and come with free engineering drawings and CAD models. Unfortunately, their pricing and quantity per order can be quite high. Fasteners, for example, usually come in boxes of 50+ for the more common sizes. Shipping is also an important factor to keep in mind since it isn’t free.
Grainger is an industrial supply company that offers an equally impressive list of products in its catalog. Unlike McMaster, Grainger stocks mainstream brands for all of their supplies. While their documentation isn’t as extensive, Grainger may have some more specific supplies that Mcmaster doesn’t stock. It is worth checking both websites for items you can’t find locally. Grainger also has stores that can have products shipped to be picked up from.
Local hardware stores:
Do It Best Hardware (107 W Springfield Ave, Champaign) – 15% discount with I-card
Do It Best Hardware is a great store to go to for fasteners and more specific material and tools. They have a large selection of both standard and metric fasteners that normal hardware stores don’t stock. A good strategy would be to use McMaster to model and design your project, and then purchase the lower quantity parts from Do It Best. Your I-Card will get you a discount on everything outside of fasteners.
Menards (620 W Town Center Blvd)
Lowes (1904 N. Prospect Ave)
Home Depot (820 Bloomington Rd)
Menards, Lowes and Home Depot all offer your standard hardware store experience. Purchasing wood, PVC, wire or any other “home” product is possible at all of them. A nice benefit of Lowes and Home Depot is that they will cut any wood you buy to whatever length you need. It might be hard to find certain fasteners at these stores, as they mainly stock household sizes.
Materials can also be purchased from Campus Storerooms. Use the Campus Storerooms Purchase Form located below. An instructor’s signature is required.