Available Materials

Innovation Studio

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” — $15
Acetal Delrin     24” x 12” x 1/4” — $30

Several sizes of round and square dowel rods — $0.5 per foot

Plywood 12” x 12” x 1/2” — $2 (ME 371 students only)

FOR 3D Printing:


University/Employee: $0.03/gram

Non-University: $0.04/gram

A vast selection of common fasteners, washers, sleeve bearings and shafts are also available.

Screws Shafts WScrews


External Vendors

ME 470

ME 470 teams can also purchase materials from external vendors using the Purchasing app that can be found in the my.mechse.illinois.edu website.  Purchases should be approved by the TA and faculty adviser of the group before being entered into the app.  Some useful vendors include:

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. We can order items from Home Depot online using the Purchasing app and use the “Pick Up at Store” option so that you may be able to get certain items as quickly as the same day, if the order is placed early enough.

Campus Storerooms

Materials can also be purchased from Campus Storerooms by visiting them in person and providing the appropriate CFOP (BANNER account number) for your project.

Campus Storerooms

School of Chemical Sciences Store

Electrical and Computer Engineering Store

Material Research Lab Store