Inventables: A Hacker's Dream Come True

Inventables: A Hacker's Dream Come True

Sarah Coffey
Apr 28, 2011

Store History

  • Founded by: Zach Kaplan
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Ever wondered where to buy LED light-diffusing plastic compounds, glow-in-the-dark thread, or photoluminescent film? Inventables has all of these things, along with stainless steel yarn, conductive elastic fabric, and aluminum foam. It's like Michaels for geeks. CEO Zach Kaplan studied mechanical engineering before becoming the "serial entrepreneur" who founded Inventables, a website that describes itself as "the innovator's hardware store, selling all kinds of materials in small quantities for purchase." Their inventory is searchable by six main categories: coatings, electrical, fasteners, ingredients, properties, and raw materials. Looking for glow-in-the-dark stuff? That would be under electrical illumination. Self-assembling magnets? Check the 'magnetic' section under fasteners. Even if you're not a skilled hacker, it's fun browsing random sets of materials and imaging how a visionary designer might put them to use. Any first hand-reviews of Inventables? Share them in the comments below. SHOWN ABOVELED Light Diffusing Plastic Compounds, $18 • Thin Wood Veneer, $6 • Light Diffuser Films, $20 • Suction Cup Tape, $46 • Electroluminescent Lamp, $109 • Transparent LED Film, $141 • Glow in the Dark Thread, $9 • Stainless Steel Coating, $9 • Antimicrobial Polyurethane Fabric, $55 • Wireless Battery Free Controllers, $155
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