Toys/ Materials

Originally Mod Squad was born out of the idea to use donated toys to create prosthetic arms because there is an over abundance of them in the US, they are fairly low cost, they provide a variety of materials, and children would enjoy the way they look as opposed to more industrial materials. However a big concern is their durability. Share your thoughts/findings/suggestions about using toys. Are there other existing materials that are easy to access and would be good to re-use but would also make something that a child would like?

Topic by CarliPierce 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Material Section

Hi there!I hope this is the right section to post this in, if not then i'm sorry i picked the most probable one (i hope D: ).First of all i love instructables, i'm using way too much time in on this page than i should, but then again if it wasn't or instructables i wouldn't have this cool new Hard Drive Speaker present for this cute girl i like ;)In any case let me get to the point; i would like to suggest a Materials Section for Instructables - basically it would include material stats and an in depth explanation of the material (or component if we're talking tech here, but that's a different area). Here's an example: in an instructable, the author mentions plexiglass and that it needs to be bent. Many don't know that plexiglass isn't class, but an acrylic hardened plastic substance with abilities much like glass (but not quite). Plexiglass can fracture, but wont leave extremely sharp pieces like glass will and it can be bent when under medium-high heat from a heatgun or the like. Also that high friction (from a drill or the like) will cause it to melt.Basically what i mean here is that this section would greatly reduce the time an author spends on making his ible by letting out basic facts. E.g. instead of writing "plexiglass is..blah blah" the user would be able to look up in the materials section and read in depth for him/herself what the characteristics are for plexiglass/plywood/capacitors/batteries and so on.The materials page could be powered by the "burning questions" competition i've seen on this page. I don't think material characteristics fit in ibles because it strictly isn't - it's a data sheet that lets you understand the materials and components you're going to use in an ible.PS: sorry about the lower case i's and the occasional typo or grammatical error i'm not a native english speaker . also i really hope this is the right section to post in...

Topic by Eirinn 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

waterproof material?

Can someone tell me what material I can buy that is lightweight, molds like clay, is waterproof and singeproof, and won't break the bank? does such a miracle substance even exist?

Topic by Karv 11 years ago  |  last reply 7 months ago

Dissolving material

Any material that dissolves in water after a particular period of time (eg:3000 litres) .. or any other way to achieve it..?

Topic by ursurya000007 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

Radioactive materials?

Hi all, i am wondering, are there any common household items that are radioactive? BESIDES SMOKE DETECTORS... Plz answer. thanx!

Question by sci4me 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Materials question? Answered

I know it is possible to by "flexible plywood" or "flexible MDF" - sheet material that can be rolled up in a single direction, whilst remaining rigid in the other. However, I have only found versions that roll with a minimum radius of about 15cm / 6". Does anybody know of a similar material that can be rolled with a much smaller minimum radius, say only 5cm / 2"? It doesn't have to be wood, any easily-worked sheet material will do if it can be rolled in one direction whilst remaining rigid in the other will do.

Question by Kiteman 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Crossbow Material? Answered

What kind of metal is very springy and springs back to place for the part that holds the string?  

Question by taz2020 8 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Tube Material

I started thinking about how the tube material could be improved. Although I love the ghetto look of pringles wrapped in the invincible duct tape, improvements can be made. You could use PVC or ABS for the tube, it wouldnt need pressure rating because Im sure this thing wouldnt have enough power to explode the pringles/tape team. This is rather cheap and you could just glue on an endcap. Then a BBQ ignitor can be threaded in, a ring to define the chamber and barrel and fuel sprayed in! However getting the perfect cost/durability/strength ratio is hard.

Topic by SNDM 11 years ago

What material is this? Answered

I'm interested in making a ring similar to the kind that Catherinette Rings makes with this pair of taxidermy eyes. I've sourced the the eyes (obviously), but I also like the little tubing they use for the ring itself.  Can anyone tell me what this is called if it's a commercial product, or is it custom machined by the ringmaker? Thanks, Noahh

Question by noahh 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Patterned materials..

Trying to get  a jump on my costume this year for halloween and I want to a) plan ahead better, and b) base it on my character in Second Life. Problem is I have been looking at everything from shower curtains to upholstery materials, trying to find a solution, without much luck. Mainly due to the "best" match for what I want to try being an upholstery category material (and even that isn't.. quite right), but I have a lot of yardage involved, and it costs like $27 a yard or something... :p Basically, what I am looking for is something rubber like, so flexible, not overly "glossy", with enough thickness it can be layered, but with fairly fine detailed patterning on it. The original "suit" this is supposed to mimic looks a bit like layers of flexible armor, layered over each other, but both due to the design not being mine, and the prospect of, once done, photoing the result, doing a bit of Photoshopping on it, and "replacing" the in-world version I currently have, I want to make it slightly different. The problem, of course is that I am running into a problem of finding any material, never mind what fits the bill, save for, maybe, buying just smooth, rubber sheeting, similar to inner-tube material, then trying to do something with it. But, how, if I had PVC rubber, do I add texture to the thing (other than, for example, trying to airbursh a pattern over it, which I have zero skill at)? Nearly everything is the wrong material, too big a texture, or just.. not one that will work. Mind, best possible texture would be something like: But, that ain't happening, so.. something like:,1310971434,2/stock-photo-hi-tech-background-blue-metal-texture-81298300.jpg or even a very small pattern or honeycomb, like: Would work. Heck even if I had to decal the stuff on, somehow.. But I am at a loss here as to what material to use (mainly do to finding a place to get it cheap, and not in some insane amount), and if I can get it, how to make the result not look something like the attached image, or better, add the texture to it I would like to see. Any ideas at all?

Topic by Kagehi 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Electrolysis Materials

I have been looking at electrolysis a lot, and recently made one, but because I used copper wire it corroded straight away.  I have been looking at alternatives and titanium sticks out to me.  Currently cheap, $10 for 16 feet, and the conductivity is fairly good along with the corrosion resistance (high).  However, I haven't been able to find very much of anything stating that titanium works or doesn't.  Does anybody have any input, thanks!

Topic by Cody Heiser 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

Materials Resources

It'd be helpful if we could create a permanent page to list recommended vendors of common supplies. If you have a favorite website for LEDs, magnets, electronics, or any other parts you could contribute to it. It would be a materials wiki, except one person updates it. An instructable wiki would be helpful as well, but one step at a time, eh?For example:PartsKlockit Clock movements and One-foot USB extension cables (so common!)Tap Plastics Acrylics. Scrap bins in stores are a great resource.digikey Gobs of electronics.MagnetsK&J; Magnetics Neodymium magnets. Check out their surplus items and eBay auctions for deals.Printing & Lasercut stencils. Never used, looks good.[http:///] Excellent full-color vinyl stickers with cheap die-cuts (batches of 1,000) Stickers are decently priced, but don't have glossy coat that protects Really great full-color, double-sided, round corner business cardsSticker Guy $20 for 250 b/w stickers, but delivery can take up to 8 Great free remixed video game music

Topic by fungus amungus 12 years ago  |  last reply 12 years ago

how to make perfume using indigeneous materials?

How to make a perfume using materials that can be found at home?

Question by elaine_1227 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

What all do I need to make the Desk Top 3 axis cnc Milling Machine?


Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Help needed for a project

Hi; sorry if the topic is posted in the wrong section; I need help with materials required for completing a project. My assigned project is about coming up with some pen like container. It has to be like those white out containers in malleable plastic that you can somewhat press (best case), or a hard one. The casing has to be transparent (not colored) One of my friends suggested making it using resin for the latter case. What should I use. Can you please tell me the materials and a possible process of doing that? Much appreciated! Thank you so much!

Topic by Rpie 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Dagorhir sword materials?

Kay, I'm gonna build a [url=]Dagorhir[/url] blue-category sword. Thing is, the [url=]tutorial[/url] I've been following is kinda vague on the materials I need. What size PVC pipe do I use? Where do I get the foam? I just want a definitive list of supplies for the sword. Thanks, GearsOfAwesome

Question by GearsOfAwesome 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

New materials at Ponoko

Just got the Ponoko newsletter and they've announced new materials for the US! You can now order up projects that include aluminum and stainless steel!  New materials at Ponoko!

Topic by Culturespy 8 years ago

Geodesic Dome Materials

My friends and I plan on building a geodesic dome at a small park, but we're not sure what materials to use. Our criteria are:it needs to go up fastit would be nice if it was semi-portableit needs to be cheapit needs to be secure enough that it can't be vandalized/removedSuggestions, please? Thank you!

Topic by threecheersfornick 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Materials Suppliers for CNC type work

Hi, I've been digging around for material suppliers for machinable plastics, foams and metals (aluminum, copper, brass). I found McMaster-Carr and got great service and it is next day delivery, but shipping can be expensive. Amazon has acrylics and other polycarbs at sometimes reasonable prices. Who do you use as a supplier and has it been a good experience? Thanks, Andy

Topic by AndyWilson 4 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

Don't know what materials to use to make this...

I saw a picture of this and really wanted to make something similar, curious of what materials and process you would suggest for making such things. Like, it looks rubbery and flexible but really I have no idea where to start to guess how to make it.

Topic by TheRaider 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

What materials do you use for batik?

We are about to attempt to do batik painting at school and your example looks like the most simple one I have come across so far for primary school to do. I have a few questions to ask about this what sort of wax do you use? and what sort of paints do do use are they acrylic or fabric paints? I would really appreciate any answers Thank you Anna

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Semi-Solid Material? Answered

I was hoping anyone knew of or had a good suggestion for a material that fits my description. Either a rubber- like material that was softer (more malleable) than rubber, but tougher to prevent tearing or a putty-like material that would change to a firm solid when heat or a current was applied. I need something that can be molded to a specific shape and then hardened to hold that shape, but can later be returned to the non-molded shape.

Question by Sserdna 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

Slideboard...what material is this?

Would like to build a portable slideboard..I see tons of plans for plywood-based boards but dont have the space. Does anybody know what material this guy is using for his slideboard, or what I should get for a flexible and slippery board? Thanks!

Topic by boehnc 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

Semi-adhesive materials

Hi, I'm looking for some suggestions of what I'll call (out of ignorance) "semi-adhesive materials". I am looking for a large sheet that can be folded, or preferably tightly rolled (think a window blind) and a variety of shapes that can be stuck on and repositioned. I've had a look at display felt for use with hook and loop stickers. The felt is quite thick and expensive. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experimented with this kind of project. Flexible magnetic material, or some kind of static attraction or something? Cheaper the better really, but durability is a big concern too. Any pointers in directions to look would be greatly appreciated.

Topic by shockerty 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

Material to wrap a project with?

I am building a project that has dimensions of roughly 2 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch. There are plenty of LEDs, exposed wires, etc. that I want to cover up. Does anyone know of a material that I could wrap this in, perhaps a sort of heat shrink for it all? It does not need to be protect it from being submerged underwater or form a protective barrier for being dropped. Hopefully something a little more professional looking than bubble wrap. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Question by Hammock Boy 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Material to retain heat

Hi everyone,: I thought of something I could make for an Instructable. To keep the idea until I publish, I'll exclude the actual idea. I need a material for this project that will retain heat from a microwave oven for ≥20 to ≥30 minutes, Ideally Id like to keep the Temp around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. What can I use for this? We all know metal cant go in the microwave. Ideas??Thanks,Jari

Question by Jarib123 8 weeks ago  |  last reply 8 weeks ago

ball mill materials

I am making a ball mill it's a toss-up between glass barrel or a plastic barrel can somebody tell me what the static/spark risks are in both? I will be using ceramic media. thanks

Question by elmarchi 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Spud gun materials

I'm building a spud gun and all I could get was cellular core ABS, it seems pretty light and I'm not sure if I can trust it.  Would PVC be a better choice to handle the pressure?

Topic by loki610 8 years ago

Fiberglass material help

I have a few questions about using fiberglass: what's the difference in weight? i see cloth coming in different weights like 16oz, 20 oz, 1.5 oz, and i'm not sure the difference and what weight i should use for what purpose. does the price go up as the weight go up, or vise versa? as a beginner what weight would work best for me? what's the difference between fiberglass chop strand mat and fiberglass cloth? aside from a resin, a hardener, and a gel-coat (is there any other type of releaser?) what else would i need chemical wise? what's a good place to find all these materials online for low cost? does anyone know a good simple tutorial for making a fiberglass shell from a form?

Topic by Everfalling 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Building materials for kayak?

HI there I was wondring if anyone has ever considered/ tried building a solid bottom kayak out of recycled plastic (maybe a bin)? I loved the ease of carrying and price of my inflatable kayak but hate how easy it is to puncture in running water. I'd like to make something thats light to carry to the water and can stand being bashed around a bit. I was thinking of cutting some pannels out of any plastic I can get my paws on, stitch and gluing them together to form a sort of pea pod shape and then lining the edge with some of that foam stuff they make floats out of. Any thoughts?

Topic by moogle123 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

Flexible arm material

I'm looking to make a flexible arm that I can position however I want. I need it to have a fair bit of holding strength in that I don't want it to sag. It doesn't need to hold my body weight or anything like that and it can vibrate or move a little without being a problem. Immediately, two things come to mind: the plastic pieces used for coolant in machine shops that has now become a common material for something like this. The other is made up of stacked plates with a ball on one side and a socket in the other, I wire or something of the sort is put through it and a tensioning knob is used to pull it tight and keep it in place. Commonly, I see these in mag base indicators. I'd prefer to find the second one. Though, I can't seem to figure out what to look for in order to make my own. The best thing would be to find a modular kit that would allow you to make one fo any length (I need one that is about twice as long as a mag base indicator mount). Any thoughts on what or look for or anyone know where you could find something like this? P.s. this is going to be used as a way to hold a small screen. If it works well, I may adapt it to work for other things.

Question by pmk222 2 months ago  |  last reply 2 months ago

Hobby Online Store

I found this place called, and I was curious if anyone has bought anything from them and what the quality was.

Topic by silenus 8 years ago

Electromagnetic attraction

The site in exasperating to use. I tried to past my question but it doesn't work either, so I attached it. Please let me know. Thanks.

Topic by Bretina 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago

Where can I buy foam like this?

I am looking to buy something along the lines of this (but larger) to pad the inside of some oversized gauntlets that I am making and was wondering where i could get a 2ft x 3ft x 6in (roughly) sheet of the stuff for cheap. Thanks.

Question by ClockworkMonkey 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

What kind of glue can be used to stick the plastic used in milk containers?

I would like to use the plastic of milk containers for modelling. These seem to be the same make up in UK and USA. What kind of glue could be used? Will this also work on plastic of drinks bottles and containers used for bleach, detergent, dishwasher powder etc ?

Question by davee52uk 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 weeks ago

US source of thin polypropylene sheets?

I'm looking for sub-mm thickness polypropylene sheets for use in plastic origami projects - sort of like the Orikaso folding dishes and polyscene's work. I need sheets that are at least 14x14" without creases. Colored stock would be great, white is just fine - but black won't work. So far I've struck out with the local plastics fabricators, signmakers, and printers, but hope springs eternal - any suggestions would be appreciated.

Question by brossa 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Bird Bath Build Possible Materials? Answered

I just got some birds. Three zebra finches and two fancy finches, to be exact. I noticed that they like to dip their heads in their water bowl. I wanted to make them a bird bath so they wouldn't dirty their drinking water as much and so I can just give them something fun to play with. I wanted to make the bottom a mirror and i figure I would epoxy it to a block of wood for the bottom. But I am not sure what to make the walls out of. It would need to be waterproof but also fairly cheap. I would like to hear what you, the good people of Instructables have to say. Thanks in advance for any idea you give or advice !

Question by Street-Wise Irish 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago

What would be a good material to line a hot tub with?

      Im working on building a hot tub near my house. Its going to be a pit with a layer of mud, clay and hay for some insulation as well as a solid wall for the tub. Now im just looking for a material for a lining on top of that. I've looked at cement and epoxy resins which both look like a tricky and expensive way to do it. Now im thinking I'm going to have to just use some plastic like visqueen or something but I'd like to see what the great instructable community has to brainstorm on the matter.       One thing to be taken into account is the fact that im building this hot tub 300 yards up a mountain so whatever materials I use must be able to fit in a 4X5 cart. I have pulleys and things to make weight not too much of a concern. Thanks for your help guys!

Question by golben 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

First project, Need help with materials selection :)

Hey everyone! This is my first post here and I hope someone can give me a hand, or I can contribute in the future.  For now I need some expert opinions.  For a project in school me and my partner came up with the idea of making our own air filtering baby canopy.  I made a drawing of what I imagine it would look like.  I just for the life of me can't come up with an idea to make the frame out of. Here's an image so you can see what I'm talking about... (side) (top) So I'm pretty sure I can make the base and the supporting frame out of 1/2inch PVC pipe with 45degree elbows.  The electrical and fan for the filtration unit and netting we have have sorted out already. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what to make the "filtration unit" out of.  It needs to be a shell basically so I can fit the filter and fan inside.  First I thought maybe use thin aluminum sheet metal and form it to a desired shape.  (I've even found stuff for air conditioning ducts that is almost in the shape and size where it would work for a prototype.  I even had an idea of using foam.  Use a foam cutting tool to make a top and bottom piece, paint them with an acrylic coating to harden it.  Then gluing the top and bottom piece. *Any idea what I can use to make some sort of "box" that doesn't look like junk to hold my internals? Also, taking any ideas of how I can make the folding joint for the supporting arches.  I was thinking maybe just making them less wide than the frame, so they can be lined up towards the center, and drill a hole through them and bolt them.  Any comments? If you've made it this far in my post, thank you!  And I look forward to any of your craft ideas. tl:dr; What material can I use to make a "shell" of a desired shape that can hold electronics and stuff? -Mike

Topic by de312 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago

does anyone know where i can get any of the below materials for cheaper than normal???? Answered

-A vacuum chamber, preferably in a spherical shape -A roughing vacuum pump capable of reaching at least 75 microns vacuum -A secondary high vacuum pump, either a turbo pump or oil diffusion pump -A high voltage supply, preferably capable of at least 40kv 10ma - Must be negative polarity -A high voltage divider probe for use with a digital multimeter -A thermocouple or baratron (of appropriate scale) vacuum gauge -A neutron radiation detector, either a proportional He-3 or BF3 tube with counting instrumentation, or a bubble dosimeter -A Geiger counter, preferably a scintillator type, for x-ray detection and safety -Deuterium gas  -A large ballast resistor in the range of 50-100k and at least a foot long -A camera and TV display for viewing  -Lead shielding

Question by garagegenius 6 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


I need some ideas for materials to use to make a cool wallet, give me anything that can work for a wallet.

Topic by Thelonelysandwitch 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Searching on instructables

This is more of a sugestion to the people who run instructables. It would be really cool if you had a materials search as well. I know it would require some sort of entering process on behalf of the posters, but i think it would be neat.

Topic by g-tech 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

Transparent Conductive Film or Resign

Hi, I am looking for a transparent yet conductive material similar to what older touch screens use. It can be film, sheet, paint or resign. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

Topic by Switch 10 years ago

Searching on instructables

This is more of a sugestion to the people who run instructables. It would be really cool if you had a materials search as well. I know it would require some sort of entering process on behalf of the posters, but i think it would be neat.

Topic by g-tech 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago

Any ideas for achieving a Bakelite appearance?

Hey guys. So I'm in love with Bakelite, but not with the price of the raw material. I also want to form my own projects with a Bakelite aesthetic and don't want to deal with shaping such a fragile material. My question is: does anybody know of a recipe for making Bakelite? I also don't have much in the way of workspace or tools, which I'm guessing makes the manufacture of real Bakelite rather difficult. Because of this I'm willing to settle for something that isn't Bakelite but has a similar appearance. Any ideas about how this can be achieved? I've thought of maybe adding sawdust, dye, and finely ground plastic into clear resin, but I'm not sure if that would really look like what I want. What do you guys think?

Question by rozmusway 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

An Indistructable Basket!

Hi guys, I have a habit of destroying my washing baskets, they're either too fragile and crack or bend or tear under the weight of the wet clothes, or they're too small to use. On top of that it has to be able to fold down either small, or preferably flat, and be able to stand on its own. It's an engineering challenge! At the moment, I'm thinking maybe wood, but it might be a bit thick, but I also had the idea of making a weave basket out of that thin metal cord that you can buy at B&Q, do you guys have any idea what methods/conepts/materials i can use to make something like this? Thanks, ParadoxDetected :)

Topic by paradoxdetected 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago

Selectively magnetized (hemi)sphere

Hi everybody! I'm looking for a way to construct a hemisphere, - maybe 1.5" to 2" in diameter - ideally with no moving parts - where any of a number of areas on the surface could be magnetized at will I thought of having an array of tiny electromagnets starting from middle and radiating to under the surface, but frankly, that would take a long time, and I figure there would be insulation issues. Any suggestions?

Topic by drmab 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago

String experts please help!

First time poster sorry if do something incorrectly! Anyone who knows a great deal about string I need some help! It needs to have certain qualities. 1.  <5mm diameter. 2. Does not stretch. 3. Can be compressed to a smaller diameter. 4. Returns to size when decompressed. 5. Maintains shape after repeated compression/decompression. I am currently using oval shoelace which works perfectly save for one flaw, after a short time it "breaks in" and loses its sponginess, no longer returning to it's normal size if compressed then decompressed. The compression comes from two parallel lines of shoelace being twisted together until wound tightly then untwisted fully and re-twisted in the opposite direction, this process will continue through the life of the device. The shoelace starts excellently but then quickly degrades over time. I need to accomplish the same effect with no degradation of the sponginess of the string, or greatly reduced. Any method or material suggestions are greatly appreciated! 

Topic by saronson 3 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago

where to find: casters?

Hi everyone, I need to buy four good casters for a project I am working on. I will mount them on a wood plank using screws. I need them to have decently large wheels, perhaps 4-5", and to function well even when the load per caster is around 15lbs. Can you recommend me a place to get these? I have never bought casters before, and don't know enough about them to choose from all the suppliers that Google shows me. Thank you in advance for any help : ) James

Topic by james.kirin 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Where to get basic materials

Anyone know a site that lists what household item contain useful materials to use in various instructables? I'm not explaining it too well but I live in a small town and can't get many of the materials needed to make things like the LED cubes, so I was hoping there was a site that tells where I can find things like LEDs, 100 ohm resistors or momentary button switches in everyday objects. like NiChrome wire in toasters or 330volt capacitors in disposable cameras.

Topic by grantdevine 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago