Materials sample library?

I’m trying to remember the name of a company / consultancy that collected different and new materials and then created libraries or kits, often sent to subscribers on a monthly basis - the actual physical sample not just a weblink. I seem to remember the company being hq’d in Chicago. Any help here?

Or suggestions otherwise? I’m not looking for online libraries but a source for actual physical material samples. I’m looking for a wide range of samples, rather than having something specific in mind.



I tried to call a number that was on an Inventables sample, and it didn’t go through… weird.

Some other options…

Material Connexion has an online subscription, but also a shop in NY where you can check out the samples (with a pricey membership)

Ecolect has a “materials petting zoo”. I saw it @ Better World by Design in 08, but i’m not sure how the pricing works.

Inventables has discontinued the material sample subscriptions. Other companies that offer a similar service are Materials Monthly, Stylepark Material Editions, and Ecolect’s Green Box.
Also, a complied list of physical libraries:

I am from Inventables our phone number is 312-274-9941. We have moved to a model where we offer our service for free on our site. You can request samples on demand from the vendors. We do have a limited amount of inventory available in our office for sale. It is true that we have discontinued the quarterly sample boxes in favor of an approach that is customized for each client.

If you have any further questions give Mary Lucas from our sales team a call.


I don’t think they do physical libraries for individuals (besides libraries at their facilities) but there is also

quickparts offers a kit. I believe it’s $75. For $75, you could just order a real part for a project from halfpriceprototypes

looks like MaterialConnexion has started a sample subscription service called ActiveMATTER, costs $2000/yr

Hey guys (and gals),

How much would you be willing to spend on a samples kit of popular prototyping materials. Currently there are over 40 technologies and even more materials emerging everyday. It would be beneficial to see the a same part in different materials so you can compare apples to apples if you know what I mean.

I’m not talking about a kit of hundreds a pieces, but maybe 20 of the most common and unique materials. I know 1 thing I recently stumbled upon is that a prototype can be vacuum metalized, not just plated (this allows you to have large metal parts at a lower cost than DMLS and still have high res than plated part). I’m getting off topic here, but my point is I can see it being beneficial to have a sample kit, but hey its going to cost time/money to make them and we don’t want every curious high school wanting free ones, so we have to put some dollar amt. on it. Any suggestions?

If the kit was large enough, could you see parting with $100?