I was wondering what sort of companies you contact to get material samples of elastomers and/or softgoods like felt, leather, or other fabrics? CMU doesn’t have a materials library, so it’s tough for me to do good CMF on any of my projects.
I’m not 100% on the soft goods aspect, but for elastomers definitely check out GLS, they’re in Illinois and super helpful regarding samples and information about their product lines and abilities. If you’re a little more specific about your needs I could probably point you in more of a definitive direction, since I’ve been working on the materials aspect of a bunch of projects involving elastomers the last few months.
Here is GLS website: http://www.glstpes.com/index.php
I literally drive to fabric stores and steal their samples.
Not the most helpful piece of information, but this is a good time to point out that I think we should start initiating our own materials library at CMU. I brought it up with a professor and he said that they’re “working on it” which for me translates into “not in your academic lifetime.” We can use professor connections to get materials from companies and then we just need a shelving and labeling system. It would be an IDSA chapter project.