Physical Computing

This book includes guides and how to guides around Physical Computing.

Where to buy materials & parts

Electronics, componants

Bigger Shops - large and often complex catalogues
Supplier Material Website Note
RS electronics, componants, tools http://uk.rs-online.com/ Fast delivery, huge selection. Free delivery. Collection also possible from Bow
Rapid online electronics, componants, tools https://www.rapidonline.com Fast delivery, huge selection, student pricing + free delivery over £30
Mouser electronics, consumer stuff https://www.mouser.co.uk/ Fast delivery, some items overpriced, Free delivery over £33
Farnell electronics, componants, tools http://www.farnell.co.uk Free delivery over £20 (ex VAT)
CPC electronics, componants, tools http://cpc.farnell.com/ Free delivery over £8 + VAT
Bitsbox https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/
Smaller Shops - stock products locally, so not shipping from the EU/US
Supplier Material Website Note
Proto-Pic electronics, componants https://www.proto-pic.co.uk/ Offers 10% student discount
Cool components electronics, componants http://coolcomponents.co.uk/
Pimoroni electronics, robotics, kits https://shop.pimoroni.com/
Robotshop electronics, robotics https://www.robotshop.com/
Active Robots electronics, robotics http://www.active-robots.com/
Hobbytronics electronics, componants http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/
Hobbyking radio controlled electronics https://hobbyking.com/ RC control, BLDC motors, battery packs etc
SKPang electronics, componants https://skpang.co.uk/
#DigitalMeans electronics, componants http://digitalmeans.co.uk/
Oomlout electronics, componants https://oomlout.co.uk/
Spiratronics electronics, componants http://spiratronics.com/
Bright Components electronics, componants http://bright-components.co.uk/
Kitronik electronics, robotics, kits https://kitronik.co.uk/
US/EU based
Supplier Material Website Note
Arduino kits https://store.arduino.cc/
Adafruit electronics, componants, kits https://www.adafruit.com/
Sparkfun electronics, kits https://www.sparkfun.com/
Seeed studio pcb and electronics components http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/
Digikey (USA) electronics, componants, kits http://www.digikey.co.uk/
China based
Supplier Material Website Note
Seedstudio (China) electronics, componants, kits https://seeedstudio.com/
DF Robot (China) electronics, componants, robotics http://dfrobot.com/
DealExtreme (China) electronics, componants http://dx.com/
Ali Express (China) electronics, componants https://www.aliexpress.com/

Machine Elements

Supplier Material Website Note
Motionco Machine elements http://motionco.co.uk/ Great source of gears, pulleys, belts, chains, bearings etc
Model Fixings Machine elements http://www.modelfixings.co.uk Poorly made website, but a great range of mechanical fixings and bearings
HPC Gears Gears http://www.hpcgears.com/ Gears and power transmission
RS Machine elements http://uk.rs-online.com/
Spring Masters Springs https://www.springmasters.com/
On Drives Gear boxes http://www.ondrives.com/ Med - Heavy duty gearboxes
Cross Morse Transmissions http://www.cross-morse.co.uk/
SDP-SI Transmissions http://www.sdp-si.com/ Massive range, USA delivery only, but great for finding 3D CAD models of parts
Simply Bearings Bearings http://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/ Specialise in bearings, wide variety: miniature, loose, bushings, etc.
Igus Plastic Bearings https://www.igus.co.uk/ All things sliding, rolling and polymer. Expensive
Bearing Boys Bearings http://www.bearingboys.co.uk
S3i Wire ropes https://www.s3i.co.uk/ Wire rope and attachments

Model shops

Shop Material Website Address Phone Number Note
4D Model Shop General Model Making and laser cutting services http://www.modelshop.co.uk/ 4D modelshop Ltd, The Arches, 120 Leman Street, London, E1 8EU 020 7264 1288 Best shop for model parts in London. Can be expensive
London Graphic Center General Model Making
Charles Cantrill Cork http://www.charlescantrill.com
Atlantis Art Supplies ‘Europes Largest Fine Art Supplies Retaile http://www.atlantisart.co.uk Britannia House, 68-80 Hanbury Street,London E1 5JL
EMA Model Supplies modeling shop http://www.ema-models.co.uk
Blueprintmodelshop model shop and laser cutter http://www.blueprintmodel.co.uk really cheap but not good quality (20% off on material for students)
Cassart modelshop http://www.cassart.co.uk 10% for students. Lots of shops in London
Canonbury art supplies art shop http://www.globalartsupplies.co.uk

Raw materials

Aluminum

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Dore Metals Aluminium https://www.doremetals.co.uk Aluminium and non-ferrous metals.
Aalco Metal http://www.aalco.co.uk
Park Side Style Steel http://www.parksidesteel.uk.com Rod, tube, bar, sheet, plate, steel
Smiths Metal Metal http://www.smithmetal.com College has account
Fays Metals Unit 3, 37 Colville Road, South Acton, London, W3 8BL 020 8993 8883 A traditional metal warehouse situated a 10min walk from South Acton tube or on the 440 Bus route, Fays stock all different types of Steel, Aluminium, Brass etc in various forms of extrusion, sheet and billet. They're reasonably priced and if you talk to them nicely they'll let you look around for what you need. They also have a large shelf of various offcuts you can obtain for reduced prices.
Aluminium warehouse Aluminium https://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk Metal cut to order

Wood

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Moss&Co. Wood http://www.mosstimber.co.uk/ 020 8748 8251
Capital Crispin Wood Veneer http://www.capitalcrispin.com Amazing stock of veneer, and cheap

Plastics

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Hamar Acrylics arcylic, laser cut services http://www.hamaracrylic.com Sell cheap offcuts in shop
Amari Plastics large acrylic sheets http://www.amariplastics.com/amariplastics/default.asp 2 Cumberland Ave., Park Royal, London NW10 7RL 020 8961 1961
Hobart acrylic and plastic https://hobarts.com/

Paper

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number
John Purcell Paper card and paper http://www.johnpurcell.net 15 Rumsey Rd., London SW9 0TR Tel: 020 7737 5199
PSG Group Various Sheet Material incl. Nomex (Fire Retardent Paper) http://www.psggroup.co.uk Polymex House, 49-53 Glengall Road, London, SE15 6NF

Foam

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number
Pentonville rubber Foam (upholstery) http://www.pentonvillerubber.co.uk 104-106 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB 0207 837 7553
Foam supplier foam cut to size and other type of foam http://www.foamsupplierslondon.co.uk 26-27 Shepherds Bush Market London W12 8DF 07429 212 415 or 07411 653 301

Hardware

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Margaret Mills 48 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4QT Small hardware store on Gloucester Road who carry a suprising amount of stock in the locality of Imperial. They carry the usual household items as well as tools, basic wood stock and PVC tube. They are however the most expensive for these items, so best used if convenience is a premium.
Leyland SDM Wood http://www.leylandsdm.co.uk/ Leyland are a large chain of hardware stores all over London
B&Q http://www.diy.com/
Homebase http://www.homebase.co.uk/

Resin

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number
Tiranti resins, molding, sculpting http://www.tiranti.co.uk 27 Warren Street, London W1T 5NB 020 7380 0808
Notcutt resins http://www.notcutt.co.uk
Mold life resins and silicone http://mouldlife.co.uk/
John Burn Resins http://www.johnburn.co.uk

Misc

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Arthur Beales ropes, chandlery http://www.arthurbeale.co.uk 194 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JP
Inoxia Wire Mesh http://www.inoxia.co.uk/rw/section/1.aspx
Metamark vinyl http://www.metamark.co.uk/pages_sv/7series.htm
Clerkenwell screws Screws 020 7405 1215 Really good screws wide range

Textiles

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Alma Leather leather offcuts/ leather supplier (apparel & upholstery) http://www.almahome.co.uk/almaleather.htm 12-14 Greatorex St, London E1 5NF 020 7377 0762
Gold hawk road (many shops) fabric, pvc sheets https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=goldhawk+road+fabric+shops&oq=goldawk&aqs=chrome.4.69i57j0l5.8836j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 Gold Hawk Road Price can be negotiated if you are canny, and its cheaper than Berwick street
Berwick Street (many shops) Fabric, sewing supplies http://www.borovickfabricsltd.co.uk 16 Berwick Street, W1F 0HP 020 7437 2180/0520 Nice fabrics, buttons, thread, sewing materials. This is just one store but there are some nicer places on the same street.
MacCulloch + Walis haberdashery (high quality) http://www.macculloch-wallis.co.uk 25-26 Poland Street, London, W1F 8QN
Bag of Love Digital print https://www.bagsoflove.co.uk
Fabrika pattern cutting and toiling http://www.fabrika.london/
London pattern bureau Design/product development, CAD sketches, Pattern cutting, Toiling, Fittings, Sampling, Design & manufacturing consultancy, Womenswear, Menswear, Outerwear, Tailoring, Separates, Sportswear, Childrenswear, Wovens & knits http://www.londonpatternbureau.co.uk
The sampling studio ​​Pattern Cutting, Toiles, Sampling, Grading, CMT, Production, Design https://www.thesamplingstudio.com
William Gee Haberdashery https://www.williamgee.co.uk 520-522 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AH

Glass & Ceramics

Vendor Material Website Address
Dixon Glass Borosilicate Glassware http://www.dixonglass.co.uk
London Glasswork Ltd http://www.londonglassworks.co.uk 545 Garratt Lane, London, SW18 4SR
Ceramic studio co-op Ceramic work http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/chemistry/people/operationsinfrastructure/technicalresearch/stephenramsey 14, 17, Block C, Juno Way, New Cross, London, SE14 5RW
Stephen Ramsey glass blower Imperial College

Painting

Vendor Material Website Address Phone Number Note
Stockwell Motor Accessories cellulose paint http://www.capitalcrispin.com 226-236 Clapham Road London SW9 0PZ 0207 582 3666
Colorite paint http://www.colorite.co.uk/colourmatching.html 169 Boston Road, London, W7 3QJ 0208 579 3381
Armourtex Ltd. -powder coating 16 Rowe La, London, E9 6EL 020 8986 2028
Purpose Powder Coating powder coating Old Kent Road Pick up and drop off in person. Can drop your parts into existing production runs if small, and you're OK with standard colour (white or yellow) and charge the minimum cost. Say you're a student.

Where to buy components

The following list is of common suppliers, other than eBay...

Electronics

UK

Arduino boards, shields, etc...

Components

Robotics + components

International

Materials

Craft materials

Model shop

Mechanical parts

Digital and e-textile design at the CCI

This page is a guide to different techniques that can be used in digital and e-textile design, resources we have at the CCI, places to source materials, and possible sources of inspiration/research references.

Here, 'digital design' refers to textile equipment that works with CAD, and e-textiles specifically to the integration of electronic components within textiles. Both of these things are well-supported at the CCI and can also be done in combination.

Equipment

At the CCI we have two main pieces of digital textiles equipment:

Both of these machines require training to use. Please check Orb for upcoming tutorials, or contact Agnes for more information. Additionally, we have a Brother sewing machine that can also be used for student projects. If you have used a sewing machine before you may use this without training, otherwise ask the technicians.

Programmable knit sample: