Materials selection in mechanical design is one of the most critical (and often overlooked) aspects of a good product. Oftentimes when evaluating required strength parameters of a new design engineers will ask themselves where they can find a good material selection guide. To date, we have found that there are very few resources available that are comprehensive and affordable at the same time. Companies like Granta Design provide a wealth of materials information, but cost several thousands of dollars in subscriptions to maintain. Free services like www.matweb.com are fairly well established and contain a plethora of data, but it’s often too specific and not as user friendly than we’d like it to be.
Often engineers and designers resort to a blind web search for a specific material property. It was during such a search that we came across www.makeitfrom.com. What a breath of fresh air. MakeItFrom.com has an impressive database of common (and not so common) materials and presents them in a clean, easy to use interface. You can even compare different materials side by side, in multiple units. The site will also suggest alternative material choices similar to the one you’re currently viewing. And oh, yeah: it’s free.
For all you designers and engineers out there in need of materials selection for mechanical design, we highly recommend you check out MakeItFrom.com.