A while back Labrigger covered some sources for alternative mechanics. Here’s a new one. MakerBeam is an inexpensive kit of construction rails aka T-slot bars. This would be a great thing to keep around the lab to construct various riggings. A $130 kit from SparkFun gets you all this:
The MakerBeam system’s best feature may be that the angle brackets are labeled with their angle in turns, a somewhat less used unit than degrees or radians. It doesn’t really matter (1 turn = 360 degrees, obviously), but it quickly ignited an impassioned discussion in the comments of the product page.
Here’s an excerpt:
Haha, oh open source. Only you would do something helpful like engrave the angle in each bracket, but render it useless by using some obscure unit…