Inventables

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12 Responses to “Inventables”

  1. SamSam says:

    This was actually posted on BB a couple months ago: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/23/inventables-new-mate.html

    When it was first posted, we quickly realized that this site actually just sells companies’ free “samples” — the same things materials-folk get at trade shows — for huge markups.

    They’ll sell you a “sample” of the transparent concrete for $134 — the “sample” is a miserable 4″x4″. Or a 17″ “sample” of translucent foil for $260. Or a tiny spool of conductive thread for $124.

    My heart was in my mouth too when I first saw this, thinking how cool it would be to use this stuff. Then I hit reality.

  2. TimmerCA says:

    Somebody needs to start manufacturing wallets made out of this:

    http://www.inventables.com/technologies/shielding-fabric

    to block RFID cards. :)

  3. patrikd says:

    Yes, Inventables is an amazing website with some really cool stuff to simulate the imagination. My main peeve is that you can often find the same product elsewhere for much cheaper.

    But in terms of sheer density of crazy materials – can’t been Inventables! It’s an excellent source of inspiration, but do shop around…

  4. Anonymous says:

    The impact absorbing gel details page gave me a great idea for how to quiet down the SLAM of my screen door. I’m gonna buy some Dr. Scholl’s inserts, cut some slices out of them, and put them in the door jamb and see what happens.

  5. teapot says:

    That site is amazing! The mind fizzes at the potential applications of some of these items. Best cool tools post, ever.

  6. Anonymous says:

    While a nice catalog, the prices are definitely a rip-off.

    They have a “Translucent White Concrete” sample available for 134 dollars. You can order the same sample (in 10 different colors) from LiTraCon for ~85 dollars. Furthermore, they intentionally strip all vendor details from the materials, in order to discourage searching other stores. The pricing on the bamboo is especially shameful.

    Please put a disclaimer on this post.

  7. Thomas Palmer says:

    What?!?! A “Self-Cleaning Brush” for $16.95

    Pet stores used to sell these for a dollar!

    Some of this stuff is cool, but I think they made a mistake when deciding to carry that brush or when pricing it.

    • penguinchris says:

      That one does seem strange… I haven’t looked through the whole catalog, but that’s the only *really* weird/out of place or overpriced thing in there so far. It says right in the description that it’s intended as a pet brush, and it’s obvious from the picture that it’s an inexpensively made plastic thing, so where they got the $17 price is anyone’s guess. It’s hard to tell but it may be that the product vendors submit their products to sell, and it’s not entirely hand-curated.

      Also, I find it amusing that there are things from classic 80′s and 90′s children’s toys like the talking tape (I’ve got several early 90′s action figures that use that) and this which most people will probably recognize as a common toy from the 90′s. If you don’t have one collecting dust in a box in your basement that you can reuse, I guess it’s probably easier to get one from here if you want something like this for your project.

      After having looked at several more pages of their products, most of this stuff is not stuff “from the future” as the cool tools blurb puts it (inventables.com doesn’t make this claim themself) – it’s stuff that you’ve probably seen used in products or other applications before. They’re offering it to you in a “virgin” state so to speak, direct from the manufacturers, so you don’t have to buy some product you don’t want to get the materials. The high cost reflects the low volume they’re ordering from the manufacturers (the pet brush still doesn’t make sense, but the cost of the other products does).

      I mean, for a lot of this stuff it would be very difficult to obtain it in usable quantities if you had to rip it off of other products. I think this store will be quite useful to a lot of people looking for exotic materials, but it should be promoted as what it is, not a “hardware store from the future”.

      • redesigned says:

        wow…a geeks dream hardware store of the future…i love it!

        Also, I find it amusing that there are things from classic 80′s and 90′s children’s toys like the talking tape

        I noticed that as well…the waterproof sand is sand grains that have been colored and coated in a fine layer of wax or silica. they used to sell this for kids as a product called “Magic Sand”, or “Mars Sand”…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_sand

  8. Chinny Racoon says:

    Their $14.99 USB rechargeable batteries look suspiciously like the one you can get in poundland and are rubbish.

  9. gwailo_joe says:

    Transparent aluminum?

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