CNMAT Resource Library

The CNMAT Resource Library is our fast growing collection of materials, sensors, gestural controllers, interface devices, tools, demos, prototypes and products - all organized and annotated to support the design of physical interaction systems, "new lutherie" and art installations. As well as resources typical of comparable libraries in industry (e.g., IDEO's tech-box or Nike's materials library), our library includes a unique collection of working musical and artistic applications contextualizing the materials.

The library includes one of the largest collections of musical instrument gestural controllers including most of Buchla's controllers, a Radio Drum, and many new controllers invented at CNMAT.

Software to support many devices in the library is available in the MMJ depot or uOSC.

Materials in the library includes a large collection of specialty fiber and fabrics ("e-textiles") for developing wearables and for rapid prototyping of sensor systems.

Many of these resources are available for loan from or use at CNMAT. The physical materials and devices and their containers are numbered so you can quickly find the supporting tags and applications information in the database:

Find a node by number:     
Search resource library by keyword:     


Instructables can be made using CNMAT’s “recipe” nodes. These have the advantage over of no advertising. Please include links to items in the library when listing materials in your instructables.

Teacher’s demonstrables

Many items in our collection that are expecially useful for teaching concepts in tangible, “Physical computing”, and interaction design classes are tagged as “demonstrables”.

Library Donations

Please contact Adrian freed (adrian [at] cnmat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu), our collections curator, before sending donated items to avoid duplication. Items of current interest include:

  • Historically significant gesture controllers such as devices from Fingerworks, a Monome, or the Mattel PowerGlove.
  • Fabric, fiber and malleable materials suitable for building sensors and actuators, e.g. 8 mil Velostat, piezoresistive materials, woven organic leds, conductive thread.
  • Hexaphonic (“divided”) pickups for our Guitar Innovation Group.

Sponsors and Donations

Thanks to our recent sponsors and donors:

  • Josh Boughey for his Stribe
  • Brian Schmalz for his Bit Whackers
  • Bill Buxton for helping us tackle the formidable taxonomy challenges
  • Nathan Seidle at Sparkfun who supports us by responding to our feedback for improvements to Sparkfun products
  • Sennheiser who support our curation of inertial sensing resources