Known Sources of Material

The goal of this project is to regroup in one place the answers to the eternal question: where did you get that stuff?

There are plenty of lists of sources of materials on the Internet (list your favorite lists here if you like), but what we are really looking for here is information on sources that you have actually used at one point.

So, the rules are:

  1. Give adequate information on where to find the source or material. A URL is a very good start.
  2. Describe in general what material is available.
  3. Describe advantages and disadvantages of the source and the materials you found there.
  4. Give any other information that you think might be useful.
  5. Please give your name and examples of material that you acquired from the source.

Quincaillerie Perillat is a hardware shop in Acacias (walking distance) with a large selection of screws. - Magnus, 2015 OSM



http://fittingsandadapters.com has what the name says. I got some hose barbs from them to fit the SAE fitting of our vacuum pump (see Vide). - Magnus, 2015

Distrelec is a large “serious” distributor of electronic components, computer material, and some consumer electronics. I (Erik Rossen) have been using them for many years and I have never had a problem with them. They usually have what I need in stock (if it is in their online catalog), and they send it fast, within a day or two. The only disadvantage with Distrelec is cost; everything they sell is 10-20% more expensive than average. But if you are in a hurry, it is a good place to go.

ELV is a new source for me (Erik Rossen). I recently purchased some red and green LED traffic light arrays from them and at the same time they sent me their massive paper catalog. They have a fascinating array of gadgets with a few notable themes: LED lighting, surveillance gadgets, and hobbyist electronics. Advantages: Prices a bit cheaper than Distrelec (it seems), and much more “fun” stuff. Disadvantage (for me): everything in German - no French or English.

Conrad is like ELV, i.e. plenty of fun stuff, but more expensive. At least they have a French website now. I (Erik Rossen) honestly do not remember the last time I got something from them…

Deal Extreme specialises in importing/exporting gadgets, mostly from China. They also put together grouped offers to buy pallets of particularly interesting objects. Advantages: interesting stuff, sometimes quite cheap. Disadvantages: extremely variable shipping time. Quoting Simon Schubert:

Yes, I've used them, and they are reliable.  That doesn't mean that
every $1 item is of perfect quality.  You get what you pay for.

Don't combine multiple items into one shipment, rather buy them all
separately.  They will otherwise hold off until all items are available.

It takes them usually a week or so to ship the item (if they can get
it), and about 3 weeks or so to arrive from Hong Kong.  Don't use DX for
something you need next week.  Otherwise, all is fine.

They usually mark down the value, but you shouldn't count on it.  You'll
definitely have to pay tax on the scope.

hobby-board Bien que situé aux US, ils sont spécialisés pour les puces OneWire de Dallas semiconductor, sondes de température et d'humidité, compteurs, entrées sorties DI/DO - AI/AO, éléments de station météo etc … . Voir la liste des produits OW. le site http://owfs.org/ permet de récupérer le soft de gestion du bus OW. J'ai principalement utilisé ces puces pour ma domotique sur SheevaPlug, se compile sans problème. J'ai commandé 4 fois sans aucun problème, délais de 10 jours, dans des petits paquets (non contrôlé par les douanes francaises !). Je ne sais pas ce que cela donne en Suisse. (Daniel Sermondadaz)

radiospares Similaire et concurrent de Distrelec en Europe sauf en Suisse. Délais rapide mais reste assez cher. Moi j'utilise une adresse d'entreprise pour la livraison en France ou il n'y a pas de frais de port (même pour un composant!) J'ai commandé depuis des années sans problème. (Daniel Sermondadaz)

ch.farnell.com Équivalent à distrelec avec plusieurs centaines de milliers de références. En stock ou avec délai si importé. Les prix sont bien plus raisonnable que chez distrelec. J'ai commandé depuis la suisse en pré-payement sans souci. (Sebastien Chassot)

Dshop Swiss distributer for Arduinos and other sensors and bits and pieces, including the free runner open source mobile phone. Prices a little elevated, but in Switzerland so no customs hassle. Quick delivery. I've used them for multiple orders without problem. (Paul Bristow)

Sure electronics Based in China (ships worldwide). Sells class D amplifier as complete device, amplfier board or kit. They also have power suplies and various electrocnics board (sensor…) as well as matrix LCD and led displays. I and a friend of mine both ordered amplfier board with no issue. The shipping is not the fastest (comes from China) but the price are atractive. Note: They also sell on Ebay. Usually prices are higher but include shipping so it can be cheaper overall. (Alexandre Rosenberg)

Generation Robots French robot specialist, including lots of specialised servos and other robot-y parts. You can also buy plenty of complete kits including Poppy, DARwin-OP and Metabot.

RF PARTS Good source for vacuum tubes. I got some 12EK6 from there (to test with the uTracer. - Magnus, 2015

http://dirtypcbs.com The lua-stick was produced with them. Be patient, but the price is hard to beat. - Magnus, 2014

http://oshpark.com Good-quality, distinctively coloured, cheap PCBs. Took me a week from Gerber submission to PCB reception in Geneva (for the USB basis AVR programmer) - Magnus, 2014

http://www.wedirekt.de Very high quality, but pricy PCBs. The 386 coffee heater is made with a PCB from them. - Magnus, 2014

http://www.leiterplattenservice.com “Leiterplattenservice” of conrad.ch. Relatively good combination of speed and price. Cheaper for single-sided PCBS. The PCBs for the 7-segment digits of the OpenWrt on HLK-RM04 application were made here - Magnus, 2014

https://www.seeedstudio.com/fusion_pcb.html Run by Seeed Studio, is a good place to order custom boards.

A very interesting conversation on the mailing list that has a lot of links and compares providers: https://www.posttenebraslab.ch/lurker/thread/20160628.073456.a1a505e5.en.html#i20160628.073456.a1a505e5

Reactolab fourni des produits chimique ainsi que le matériel, vaisselle, etc nécessaire. La liste complète des articles avec les prix est disponible sur le site. Le seul défaut est que la livraison ne se fait que en Suisse, et par un chauffeur, donc il faut être présent a la réception de la marchandise. (Michael - 2012)

http://www.123roulement.com is a great source of bearings for things that need to move. They'll quite happily send out a single bearing without the delivery charge being too outrageous. I bought a bearing for my shaper cube from here when I lost one. (Paul - 2013)

http://reprapshop.com is where I bought my Shapercube kit. They also have parts for Repraps as well as heated bed kits and various hot-end designs. You can also get a metal-geared extruder design. They sell filament too - both ABS and PLA (Paul - 2010)

Fabber-Parts is where I bought plastic filament for my Solidoodle. The price is correct, the shipping fee too, and the delivery was fast. They also sell spare part for Reprap. (Michael - 2013)

Swiss RepRapThey sell parts and plastic for 3D printer. Beeing a swiss company, it will avoid expensive tax with the custom if you ship it to Switzerland.

reprap.me is where much of the parts for the Cyclone PCB factory V2 were bought. Quick delivery and source for the Sanguinololu.

http://www.metallbau-pietrzak.de is a great source for hardened steel rods cut to size. Cyclone PCB factory V2's rods are from there. Good price, quick delivery (also to Switzerland). - Magnus, 2014

motedis online shop en fr, ch, de, uk. On a les meilleurs prix en se faisant livrer en France. Tout pour construire à base de profile alu ; profile alu, tige filetée, arbres, roulement, galet, visseries, pieds, poignées, ex. d'utilisation PTL-cyclonev3 - Sebastien (sinux), 2016

http://polyplast.ch Fournisseur à deux pas du PTL - Route des Acacias 11 (au début de la rte des Acacias juste après le pont des Acacias en venant de Plainpalais) - vente à la coupe de plaques, barreaux,… plus rapide que des commandes par internet. Ils peuvent tout avoir en moins de 3 jours - (2016 Paul/Sebastien)

Plaast is the most inexpensive source of polymorph that I (Erik Rossen) have managed to find, about CHF18/kg when bought in 10kg quantities and shipped to someone in France. Polymorph is the most common brand name for polycaprolactone, a biodegradable polyester with a low melting point of around 60°C, useful for rapid prototyping. Advantage: cheap and focussed. Disadvantage: non-Swiss company so shipping and duty can get expensive if shipped to Switzerland. I actually bought my first kilogram of polymorph from MUTR in England. It cost CHF36 (!), delivered to Switzerland.

Sugru is a hand-moldable silicone rubber that hardens to a tough rubber after about 1 hour of exposure. It is sold in little 5-gram envelopes for about CHF1.50 per envelope, so it is very expensive per gram. The Sugru gallery has hundreds of user-submitted ideas for hacks that are doable with a few grams of the material. So far I have used 4 envelopes to replace the knob of a bathroom sink, to fix the handles of a pair of window blinds, and to add non-slip bumpers to my portable telephone. WARNING: Sugru has a 6-month shelf-life! But if it is kept cool, it lasts longer apparently.

Feel free to add other source for second hand computer and other IT equipement.


Fairstore “Entreprise de l’économie sociale et solidaire, réalise vient d’inaugurer fairstore, un showroom flambant neuf où trouver du matériel informatique reconditionné, performant et accessible. Un concept local qui cherche simultanément à lutter contre l’obsolescence programmée, privilégier la durabilité au travers de l'économie circulaire et favoriser l'inclusion numérique.” (Realise.ch) Présent au 13ème rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre à Genève. Dispose d'un magasin au Acacias (Rue Viguet 8). Heure d'ouverture : Lun – Ven 12:00 – 18:30 (2012 - Alexandre)

Budgetcomputer.ch Sells second hand laptop, desktop LCD screen and accesories. Bought a ThinkPad X61s with docking station from them. I would say the price are fair overall. They also list on ricardo.ch but you're probably better off buying directly. (2012 - Alexandre)

Ricardo.ch Bigest auction site in Switzerland (similar to Ebay). You might find some good deal (or not). People listing desktop computer, server or other heavy items quite often don't want to ship them. You can sometime get a good deal by picking them up (obviously only practical if you're not living too far away). Payment is usually in advance by bank or postal transfer, which offer no protection but I've never had a problem. Don't forget to check seller's feedback. (2012 - Alexandre)

benno-shop.ch Matériel informatique d'occasion. Écran, machine complète, accessoire, clavier, souris… (2012 - Alexandre)

Itopie Matériel informatique d'occasion. Plutôt Linux, mais aussi les Mac Pros. Pas trop loin de Gare Cornavin. (2015 - Paul)

Bijoutil Bijoutil est un vendeur de materiel de bijouterie/horlogerie proche du Hackerspace, à la route des Acacias 47. Le catalogue complet est disponible sur le site internet (malheureusement sans les prix).

We're looking for sources (preferably local for the heavier stuff) for materials for use on the CNC machine.

We're thinking blocks of wood (different types), plastic and metal, perhaps stone.


Materiuum 2nd hand wood/metal, they are in Jonction but check opening hour


Metallica.ch Metal supplier recommended by Badog CNC (2013 - Paul)

It turns out you can make Machinable Wax relatively easily from candle wax and HDPE/LDPE plastic. This is much cheaper than shipping it. Machinable wax is used to testing CNC designs, because you don't wear the tools and you can recycle the wax again simply by melting it.

Try this link or this link for details. We'll update when we've tried it.

Swiss Composite have a huge collection of everything related to epoxy, polyster, resins and others. They do not have a minimum order surcharge. Check their catalog for ordering, available in german, english and french.

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