Our Friends and Confidants
InfoAge.org - Science and history learning center and museum that is home to IXR.
MidAtlanticRetro.org - MARCH, the Mid Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists, is also stationed at InfoAge, and we have some members in common.
Hackerspaces.org - The nexus of hackerspaces around the world. Maintains a public list of spaces, and other resources related to starting/running a space. Also links to the main lines of communication for hackerspaces.
- Mouser.com - Mouser Electronics - A huge electronics distributor, their catalog is 2300 pages and they stock 1.8 million items. They can be great if you know what your looking for; but if your just window shopping, the huge selection can be overwhelming. They're aimed at engineers, and have datasheets online for just about everything, and they have no minimum order.
- Digikey.com - Digi-key - 2 million items and a 2900 page catalog. Ships from Minnesota.
- AlliedElec.com - Allied Electronics - Another big distributor, like Mouser. North American branch of RS Components, who also offers the free DesignSpark PCB design software.
- EleXP.com - Electronics Express - Not the prettyist website, but their prices are insanely cheap. Great for tools, equipment, component kits, educational/hobby kits, and surplus. They especially cater to education, hence the great selection of kits and hobby packages. Their sister site is SciencePurchase.com, which also has some electronics and robotics stuff, along with other science stuff. Plus, they are in and ship from Rahway, NJ.
- Jameco.com - Jameco Electronics - Very hobbyist-friendly, their selection is much more manageable, as their stock is narrowed down to the most popular and useful items. (200-page catalog.) They also have a great selection of parts-kits, to stock your lab with commonly used components. Ships from California.
Discount and Surplus Suppliers
adafruit.com - ADAFruit Industries. Kits, Microcontrollers, EL Wire, Wearables, Badges, and other assorted bits of awesomeness. Everything they create is open source - from their kits to their own storefront Zencart mods. They even have tutorials on how to strat your own kit business. There's great tutorials, great videos, and be sure to check out their weekly show "Ask an Engineer". They also have one of the best maker news RSS feeds here. They're located in downtown Manhatten, so orders arrive quickly and cheaply to NJ.
UPDATE: IXR now has a wholesale account now with Adafruit.
Instructables.com - All kinds of DIY projects, technical and general.
Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others.
- InMojo.com – Make. Share. Live. Open Source Hardware - InMojo is a community market, collaboration, and project support site for Open Source Hardware (OSHW) and DIY makers. We built the site to help individual makers with the less-than-fun side of sharing their ideas (manufacturing, licensing, selling, etc.) and leave them to the part they like: designing hardware.
- MikroElektronika - Development tools and compilers for most microcontrollers.
- DIYDrones.com - Make your own self-piloting (autonomous) model aircraft and flying machines!
Arduino / AVR / Atmel
- NerdKits.com - Sell ATmega kits - roll your own microcontroller circuit! These are great learning kits; instead of buying a prefab'd Arduino, you can build your circuit from scratch on a breadboard and learn about how it actually works. Your kit comes with the downloadable Official NerdKits Guide, a PDF book which contains step-by-step information on how to build the kit, plus actual explanation of why you're being told to perform each step. Lots of projects and expansion options on their site as well. One nice feature of the kit is that it comes with a big 20x4 LCD display, which I think would be useful even after you upgrade from your Nerdkit and start using Arduino's and shields. 4.8/5 stars on Amazon.
Software for Engineering and Design (General)
PCB Design and Fabrication
- CadSoftUSA.com - Home of the popular EAGLE PCB Layout Editor. Available in a freeware version, with the following limitations: 4"x3.2" board size, 2 layers (top and bottom), schematics editor limited to one sheet. The freeware version can load and print designs that exceed these limits, though. I should mention that people complain about the user experience being very awkward. Available on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
- DesignSpark.com - free yet powerful, PCB design software. Windows only.
- IBFriedrich.com - Target 3001 - Another freeium PCB designer, this software comes in 7 tiers, from free up to unlimited, so if you need to expand your capabilities, you can purchase a tier that is affordable yet increasingly capable.
- PCB-Pool.com - PCB Manufacturing, specializing in prototypes and short runs. They offer a free laser cut stencil with your order. Ships from Ireland.
DIY 3D Printing and Fabrication
- Sketchup.Google.com - Google's SketchUp is a very popular 3D modeling program, offered in a free version, and a Pro version for more advanced work.
- RepRap.org - free, open-source 3D printer that you can build. A main goal of the RepRap project is to be able to replicate parts for the printer, using the printer.
- Makerbot.com - Sells the popular open source MakerBot 3D Printer kit for $1,299. This is the printer you see in almost every hackerspace. (along with RepRaps). Created by the guys from the NYCResistor hackerspace.
- HobbyCNC.com - Sells plans and parts to make your own CNC machines.
- Shapeways.com - is a 3D printing service that can 3D print a great variety of materials and colors. Geared towards hobbyists and DIYers, Shameways also has a marketplace where you can sell your creations and buy others, and also has a 3D parts database. Based in New York City.
- I.Materialise.com - Another 3D printing service. Lots of wonderful artsy stuff on display in their galleries.
- Ponoko.com - Laser cutting and 3D printing service. Ships from California, and they also have facilities in New Zealand, Germany, Italy, and UK.
Audio, MIDI, Computer Music
- DesignSpark.com/ETech - ETech Magazine - e-zine published online and for I-OS.