Material Vendors

Below you will find a list of Material Vendors with a short description of each one. 

  • Owl lumber - best for all of your lumber needs for the Project Lab or Fablab. If you are buying plywood from here to laser cut, make sure that it is 1/8" birch plywood.
  • Wood World - best for furniture grade lumber. 
  • Home Depot - Last resort, Do not buy anything from here for laser cutting!
  • Horigan Urban Forest Products - Great for large furniture projects 
  • R&RS - selection of domestic lumber and SKYBLEND particle board
  • Harry's Lumber - selection of construction lumber, select pine boards, and cedar
  • Lee Lumber - plywood and lumber options. Specialize in building materials

            For metal ordering advice or faculty ordering requests, email Natalie at

Industrial supply
  • McMaster-Carr - Everything from hardware to cleaning supplies
  • Grainger - Industrial supplies, hand tools, everything
  • Inventables - Hardware store for designers, we suggest that you buy all your acrylic from here or from

  • Inventables - Hardware store for designers, we suggest that you buy all your acrylic from here or from Petersen Brothers Plastics

  • Petersen Brothers Plastics Inc  - Chicago's oldest plastics distributor, we recommend you buy all of your acrylic (cast only) from here. 
  • E & T Plastics - great for vacuum forming. They cut material to size to save on shipping
    • For vacuum forming, PETG or Styrene only
    • Order material to be cut to 18.5 in x 18.5 in for Vacuum Former

  • Home depot - Pink Styrene foam, great for CNC and prototyping. 
  • Lance Construction - Blue Styrene foam, for use in Project Lab only. 

Paint + Supplies
  • Momentum art tech - best place to buy spray paint in the city of Chicago. It is off of the oak park blue line, be sure to check their hours online before going.
  • Blick Art Materials 
  • Midwest Airbrush  - Airbrush supplies as well as model paint.
  • Aselart - small art store in Dallas, Texas that specializes in high end canvas and model paint. 
  • JC Licht - great for painting supplies, paint, and glue. Blocks from UIC campus. 
  • Schauer Hardware - Forrest Park hardware store with spray paint

Electronics/ Tech
  • - all things nerdy and tech related. LED's, stepper motors, Arduino's, rasberry pi's, instructional kits, robots, 3D printers, CNC, etc...
  • SparkFun Electronics - Similar to, not as user-friendly but normally cheaper, not as reliable of parts as adafruit. 
  • - Similar to the previous two, except more variety in buttons, and basic components. 
  • American Science and Surplus - American Science & Surplus offers science kits, educational toys, school supplies, arts and crafts items, hobby tools, scales, lab glass, housewares, electronics.

Paper/ Sticker paper
  • French Paper Company
  • Lewis 
  • Sticker Companies 
      • - High-quality Vinyl stickers, they produce supreme and obey's stickers.
      • - Similar to, high-quality vinyl stickers. Plus side about them is you can print min 25 stickers and they deliver within a week. 
      • eggshell - Extremely hard to remove outdoor stickers. - Custom screen printed from vector art. 
      • - High-quality vinyl stickers with artwork screen printed by hand. High print volume for a cheap price. You can print 500 2" x 2" stickers for $35 dollars ($45 with shipping included). 

 Composites / Mold making 
  • Eager Polymers - is your one-stop source for all mold-making and casting projects. You will find that our Web Site is the most comprehensive in the industry, filled with hundreds of pages of How-To information, technical data sheets, and helpful hints.   Double check with a projectlab/fablab specialist before getting anything from here. Make sure that it is ok to use materials in the labs. 
  • Smooth-On - variety of casting material, great introduction videos and tutorials
  • Reynolds Advance Materials - the Project Lab's preferred vendor. Start kits and supplies. 
  • Freeman Supply - mold making supplies and composite materials. Great for CNC stock material. 

  • Rebuilding Exchange , Do not use anything from here in the shop or fablab without first checking with Nathan, Natalie or Nick. Everything here is salvaged meaning that there will most likely still be nails, screws, stain, etc.. still in material. 

Architectural Materials + Sheet Materials
  • Wrisco - good for purchasing aluminum sheets. Several options for architectural panels.