Portland Resources for Dorks



  • DorbotPDX - A group that just keeps getting better. Technically and otherwise. As a resource DorkbotPDX, provides:
    • a bi-weekly group parts order.
    • Semi-regular events with guest speakers
    • a series of workshops on topics such as Arduinos, PureData, and more to come
    • an arduino clone called the dorkboard
  • Flux - Feminist hackerspace
  • PARTS - Portland Area Robotics Society
  • FreeGeek - inner SE mecca for recycling electronics and encouraging dorks.
  • bRainSilo - a non-profit Hacker-space established to provide a place where artists, hackers, experimenters, average joes, non-average joes, and pretty much anyone else, can come to work on, contribute to, and share their projects and ideas.
  • SCRAP - School and Community Reuse Action Project, more on the crafty side but they have a lot of cool misc. stuff in large quantities for cheap that may come in handy. Sometimes you need a couple hundred cassette cases or straws or wood blocks or ??? to finish a project.
  • The ReBuilding Center Whether you need a doorknob for your project or you need to build a little shed in your friend's backyard to even start your project, the ReBuilding Center has it. Lots of construction materials for cheap.


  • PNCA - The Pacific Northwest College of Art has gallery space and offers a large number of continuing education courses.
  • OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is always a fun and inspiring visit.
  • PSU IEEE - The have a component/parts vending machine and parts store


  • Surplus Gizmos - Great resource but in the boonies. Has a web store which is a lot like what the retail store is like.
  • URS Electronics - Right off of Burnside on East 7th. Now carries Sparkfun products that are comparably priced to the website. Also,
  • Oregon Electronics - The old Norvac closed and became Oregon Electronics, located in both Eugene and Beaverton.
  • ENU inc - Local computer retailer with warehouse/shops in both Portland and Hillsboro. Good stock, competitive prices, and local.
  • General Tool - Up on NW Nicolai in the industrial/warehouse district. Knowledgeable staff with good selection of tools and supplies.
  • Laird Plastics - All kind of new materials but the most exciting thing are the four huge bins of cut-offs in the showroom. Sold very inexpensively by the pound, there is everything from small squares of sheet acrylic to huge blocks of poly.
  • TAP Plastics - Portland and TAP Plastics - Tigard - Also a good resource but their remnants selection tends to be smaller. Their specialty is custom acrylic fabrication. Pretty reasonable rates.
  • Multicraft Plastics - Large scrap area (bigger than a whole Tap Plastics store?) in the warehouse. Larger pieces than can be found at Tap. A bit further out of town though.


  • Wacky Willys - Gigantic surplus store that carried all manner of weirdness. Moved to a smaller location and had a much smaller customer space before giving up the ghost. Was a great place to get inspired
  • Cascade Surplus - They stopped selling parts online in July 2012.