Materials and Processes Books for Industrial Designers

pile_of_booksOkay, I get this question all the time: “What are some good material and processes books for industrial designers?” While there have been many attempts to right the ultimate m&p reference book for use as a textbook in ID programs, I’m not 100% sure there’s one book that does everything perfectly… Let’s face it: material and manufacturing is a massive subject and condensing it all into a single volume that doesn’t weigh a metric tonne is quite a challenge. Also, there’s the added challenge to create a book that is compelling enough to hold the attention of your average industrial designer longer than 12 milliseconds (we get bored easily and like lots of pictures).

So here’s a starter list. I have most of these already and plan to do a proper review of each over the next weeks. Also, I thought it would be a good idea to divide these into three main categories:

  • Textbooks – a complete overview of all the major materials and processes
  • Reference Guides – more technical information (e.g., specifications, standards. etc.)
  • Inspirational – not terribly technical, but provides great examples of how specific materials and processes are used

So here we go (by the way, these are in no particular order right now)… Also, I’ve provided links to these book on Amazon out of convenience only.


Making It: Manufacturing Techniques for Product Design by Chris Lefteri


Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design by Michael Ashby and Kara Johnson


Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals by Rob Thompson


Industrial Design: Materials and Manufacturing Guide, Second Edition by Jim Lesko


Industrial Design Techniques and Materials by Raymond Guidot (Editor), Jean-Baptiste Toulard (Contributor), Jean Grenier (Contributor) and Jean-Jacques Salomon (Contributor)


The Design-Bites Series by Andrew Taylor


Reference Guides

Machinery’s Handbook


Process, Materials, and Measurements: All the Details Industrial Designers Need to Know But Can Never Find by Dan Cuffaro



Materials for Inspirational Design by Chris Lefteri


The Plastics Handbook by Chris Lefteri


Plastics 2 (Materials for Inspirational Design) by Chris Lefteri


Metals by Chris Lefteri


Wood by Chris Lefteri


Glass by Chris Lefteri


Ceramic by Chris Lefteri


Making It: Manufacturing Techniques for Product Design


1 Response to “Materials and Processes Books for Industrial Designers”

  1. 1 Justin Schneider July 14, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for the great list. I have already ordered a few of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: