Materials information - future website - input needed

We are looking to start a new website to adress the specific needs for us ‘the industrial designers’.

For which information do you often have to look for but is hard to find?
Which information would help you in the design process?
Is there a need for information about different design methods / techniques?

We are hoping for your input so we may provide more support

Thanks in advance!

new materials information

specific information on materials (cost, weight, tensile strength, abrasion resistance, UV resistance, etc etc etc etc)

who to contact directly about sourcing the materials

Hi Taylor, thanks for your reply.

Basically you would like to have a platform that offers info about the materials and where to get them (who offers them). Is that right?

Would it be all materials or mostly plastics? Which resources are you using at the moment?

Thanks again for your input.

Plastics are a great start.

Personally, I’m really interested in fabrics, metals, foams, and non-oil-based plastic alternatives. The stuff like material properties is huge. But with ID, nearly every material should be covered. Limiting the scope here would be a bad thing with the endless facets of ID.

This suggestion is going to be difficult to achieve, but it sure would be nice.

We are going to investigate the possibility to start such a platform. Question; Which resources do you use at the moment?

Thanks again for your input everyone!

I agree, good materials and manufacturing database is needed.

One of the biggest problems with materials etc is that the information is usually engineering based rather than providing the material qualities/characteristics towards designers.

I’ve mentioned this book a lot…

… because it’s aimed specifically at designers rather than engineers, gives great visual explanations etc.

A resouroce purely for ‘new materials’ would be good too, by the time a ‘new materials’ book comes out it’s already 6 months out of date, so an up-to-the-minute resource would be great.

Thanks georgeous for your input, I will look into the book. Do you also use other resources besides books, e.g. online pages?

Thanks again for your input!

I don’t really use online pages for materials and manufacturing because it’s so ‘bitty’, little pieces of information here and there but there is no core site for materials (i.e. where I think you could expand into). Core posted a cool video about 2 weeks ago of ‘how injection moulds are made’ which was interesting, and there have been a few other videos highlighting around manufacturing since then (milling/coke can manufacturing).

Thanks again for you input, if others have similar or different experiences feel free to comment! This helps a lot, we will further look into it.

Hi there! As promised I would keep you all up to date with our ongoing developments.

We are happy to announce that we have made an initial layout and platform where we want to publish the information. Since we are building this especially for the industrial designers we want to know what you think of it.

Your input is especially welcome on which variables you find important regarding the materials (e.g. tensile strength, density). We have made an example of the material database which we want to fill in the future in cooperation with manufacturers of materials. Please give input and make suggestions regarding the categories and things you would like to see there.

The first draft can be found here;

Thanks in advance for your input!

For plastics I find is useful to have things like:
density and tensile strength but also the molding characteristics, thickest and thinnest parts that could/should be made, shrink rate, etc.

The biggest things i look for though are who makes the material ,who manufactures with it, and what their capabilities are. Manufacturers have terrible web sites.

The materials should also be sorted by process. what can be injection molded, thermoformed, welded, punched…


I would like to see information on fabrics (Nylon, Polyester, Cotton, Wool, Mesh, and Webbing), as well as hardware for softgoods (Buttons, zippers, snaps, buckles), oh, and foams (PU, PE, PVC, EVA), etc.

It would also be cool if there were primers, or links to videos as introductions to new types of materials. For example, I know nothing about wood, but if I could get a basic overview or recommendations on how to use it in a new project by looking at your site, that would be really cool.

Cool project, hope it goes somewhere!

Thanks ‘mega’ and ‘5fortyPJ’ for you contributions. It was really helpful, I did not consider all variables you mentioned. I hope others want to contribute as well. I will keep you up to date on the progess of this project!

I like the section you have for ‘featured designers’, and I like the fact you have broken that into material sub catagories as opposed to saying ’ Konstantin Grcic’s work’ etc.

As I’ve said before, you should really look at that materials book I gave you a link to, the visual content is brilliant and explains so much.

I was just thinking, it may also be a good idea to show ‘what can go wrong!’ in manufacturing, i.e. have visual examples showing flash buildup / plastic sink/ material scrape from mould etc, and explain why these things happen. This sort of thing would be particularly useful for students / amateur designers with little hands-on knowledge. It could be really interesting to see all the things that happen that designers need perceive to happen.

I’ve got it.

If you can develop a system similar to the Periodic Table, things would be incredible.

So it can all be standardized (to an extent)- but not as bleak/confusing as an MSDS for example.

Name, Photo, Example, Material Properties, Cost, Who to Contact Directly, References/More Info, suggestions?, etc.

this would be really difficult to do (categorizing a large amount of the various man-made and natural materials on Earth that could be used as material for design), but that’s the challenge isn’t it?