One of the first questions we frequently field at demonstrations we do in the community (like the one at RVA MakerFest, pictured right), is, "Where do you get your parts?"The answer is an extensive list that varies from year to year. The best way to break that list down into easily understandable parts is probably to divide it into four categories: parts we fabricate, parts we have custom fabricated, parts we purchase from industry suppliers, and parts that were intended for other uses, but that we discover and repurpose for our needs.Many of the parts that our students fabricate in-house are made from industrial plastics like Delrin® and Lexan. Delrin® happens to be a product of one of our sponsors, DuPont. This year we received a generous donation of quantities of both plastics from our sponsor Trident Plastics. We also fabricate many parts from aluminum that we purchase from another sponsor, BMG Metals. We use tools and machines like saws, mills, and lathes at our build site host, Powertrain Control Solutions, to create the results that we need.When we purchase aluminum for use in our shop, we always buy more to ship directly to our metal fabricator, Watson Machine Corporation. After our CAD team finishes the designs for the large aluminum pieces of our robot's frame, they send the design files to the team at Watson that laser-cuts those pieces for us. Frequently Justin A. and his team come in over the weekend to do the job for us. We often test their patience, but they always come through for Team Blue Cheese.The bulk of our off-the-shelf purchases are made from three companies: AndyMark, Vex Robotics, and McMaster-Carr. However, the Ashland location of Fastenal has been a longtime generous sponsor as well. We can't say enough Gouda things about them. They donate many of our bits and pieces like rivets, screws, nuts, and bolts. Our pneumatics are purchased from Bimba Manufacturing which has always been really nice about expediting our orders when we are getting panicked late into build season.Depending on the year, we may purchase nontraditional parts from almost anywhere. We have been known to buy flashlights, stove drip pans, seatbelt material, rubber sheets meant for slingshots, pool noodles, etc. Sometimes we go to the store and wander the aisles looking for inspiration to help us solve a design problem. Sure, we have an account at Amazon, but you might find us at Dick's Sporting Goods, Harbor Freight Tools or somewhere else. So, the short answer to the question may just be, "Anywhere we can find something useful."