This is a curated list of resources that will be most helpful to our students, colleagues and collaborators.  

Makerbot Thingiverse: Free 3d models for 3d printing - a massive repository including gears, rack and pinions and much more. Download and/or share your work!

Wolfram Alpha: massive collection of computational knowledge including material science, physics, geometry, and much more.

Visual Introduction to Machine Learning: Great link to visual collection. - understanding how various mechanisms work. Useful for inspiration as well.

Machines & Tools








Learning about gears and machines:
1. Types of Gears and terminology
2. 507 Mechanical Movements
3. How to make your own Gears 
4. Gears, Chains, Pulleys, Belts

Previous Creative Architecture Machines: 

1. Swarmscapers (Cation, Muhleman)
2. Stratum Networks (Sanchez, Fulton)
3. Geoweaver (Maeshiro, Wu, Sek)
4. CAM Fall 2014 @ CCA (Blog Post)
5. CAM Fall 2013 @ CCA (Blog Post)



Adafruit Industries - Mail-order electronics with amazing tutorials and other resources. Located in Brooklyn, NY.

Sparkfun - Mail-order electronics with amazing tutorials and other resources. Located in Colorado.

Robot Shop - Mail-order electronics. Located in Vermont and Quebec, Canada.

Inventables - Mail-order electronics. Located in Chicago, Illinois. Much of our hardware comes from here, so if you see something you like and want to know what it's called and where to get it, check out under Machine Components.

McMaster Carr - Amazing all-in-one source for prototyping supplies big and small.

PBC Linear - selection of high precision linear bearings, shafts, rails

Oddwires - Mail-order electronics. Located in San Ramon, California. *This where we get our kits made.

Makershed - Mail-order electronics. Located in Sebastopol, California.

Jameco - Mail-order electronics. Located in San Mateo, California.

Servocity - specializes in motors and related accessories, especially bearings, hubs, and motor mounts

Pololu - Electronic modules, motors, and mechanical fixtures like bearings, hubs, and motor mounts

Seeed Studio - Mail-order electronics. Located in Shenzhen, China.

Nordson EFD: automated dispensing systems, syringes, injectors and more

CUI Encoders - Optical encoders in a handy kit form - Absolute, Capacitive Modular Encoder Kits


Arduino - programming environment for Arduino micro-controllers; open-source

Processing - user-friendly programming and visualization environment used in the visual arts; open-source  

Firefly - plug-in Grasshopper that connects Arduino and various inputs, to Sensors, Motors and Computer Vision tools to Grasshopper & Rhino.

3d Printing Related >>>
Repetier - Open source slicing software
Meshmixer by Autodesk Research: 
Makerware for slicing and g-code
Replicator G Open Source

Silkworm - Silkworm is a plugin that translates Grasshopper and Rhino geometry into GCode for 3d printing. 

Rhino - 3d modeling package

Grasshopper - plug-in for Rhino that serves as a graphical editor for a range of parametric and generative design tools

1. Grasshopper Primer | Mode Lab
2. Grasshopper Forum | David Rutten

McNeel / Rhino 3d Printing Wiki focused on creating .stl files using Rhino softwares for 3d printing

Monolith - voxel based topology optimization, coloration and many other functions for analysis and mesh gen. related to multi-material 3d Printing

Local Hardware Stores

Center Hardware - 999 Mariposa St
Discount Builder's Supply - 1695 Mission St

Lowes - 491 Bayshore Blvd.
Home Depot - 2 Colma Blvd.

Misc Local Materials

Douglass and Sturgess - Resins, casting supplies of all kinds, fibers. Located near CCA at 730 Bryant Street.

Clay Resources - we have used Aftosa and Clay People.

ARCH Art Supplies at CCA - great selection including acrylic sheets, laser cutter plywood, papers and much more. 

Tap Plastics - our best local SF source for plastics and various supplies. 

Web Resources

A great link that details easy ways to make snug acrylic joints: