Inventables exists to make it easy for vendors of materials and technologies to get an initial introduction to potential buyers. These buyers (engineers, designers, marketers) browse our online marketplace with the hope to find and work with vendors that manufacture materials and technologies ranging from water dissolvable labels to scented plastic. Microsoft X-Box, PING Golf Clubs, and Kraft Foods are examples of buyer companies using the marketplace. Dupont, 3M, and Eastman are examples of companies participating as vendors.
The site operates like a search engine. A large, friendly search box appears immediately, where you can quickly type in your materials search term, like "Rubber", "Polyether-Block-Amide Thermoplastic" or "Lego". Each material has a page describing its primary and secondary applications.
Materials vendors can register with Inventables and create a profile that describes their specific product. Then:
When a potential customer is interested in your product, they make direct inquiries. Inventables will email you the pre-qualified lead. You decide it’s value and only pay for leads that you choose to connect to.
That's correct: you can contact the vendor of the material right from the search result page.
Inventables seems to have an enormous variety of materials available, including several relevant to 3D printing:
Printing 3D Flexible Parts
One-Off, 3D Decoration
3D Lamination Stamping
A variety of Thermoplastics
Inventables is an interesting approach to materials marketing, and their site design is highly functional. You might want to check them out!
Via Inventables (Hat tip to Zach)