With Instructables you can share what you make with the world and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts.
The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects, connect with others, and make an impact on the world. One of these early places was a blog Zeroprestige, which was an open source hardware experiment for kitesurfing. Here they documented their hand-sewn kites, plywood boards, and other general mayhem that happens when PhDs and high winds collide.
As a result of freely sharing our work, we met a ton of great people, received great opportunities, and were smacked in the face with the need for a web-based documentation system.
Instructables became that documentation system in 2005, as an in-house project of Squid Labs. When they weren't solving interesting problems like solar panels for driveways, efficiently harnessing human power, or strain sensing ropes, you could find them sharing Instructables from the workshop. From cooking to 3d printing, to making just about anything fly, Instructables became the recipient of countless hours of tinkering, soldering, stitching, frying, and fun, making just about anything.
Instructables was officially spun out of Squid Labs in the summer of 2006, and has gone on to grow from a modest hundreds of projects to over one hundred thousand. The community that now calls the site home, is an amazing mix of wonder from around the world. Every day we continue to be amazed by the imagination, curiosity, and simple awesomeness of everyone who shares their creations with us on Instructables.
The Squid Labs founders, from left to right: Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Eric Wilhelm, Colin Bulthaup, Dan Goldwater. Photo by Quinn Norton
Squid Labs Emeryville.
An important part of starting a business is to keep your tolerance for risk high by keeping your cost of living low. For us, this meant owning few or no cars and biking everywhere, cooking our own food rather than eating out and occasionally eating from dumpsters, getting furniture and tools for free from Craigslist, making everything else we needed, and for some of us, living in the shop.
First version of Instructables website.
Dan holding a prototype 30 sqm kitesurfing kite.
Some of the many kiteboard designs we tried.
Solar pavement prototype.
Rope and Sound, one of the early squid labs projects. A unique interactive musical harp using electronic sensing rope. Built for the the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's Extreme Textiles exhibit.
The Squid Labs booth at the first Maker Faire. Photo by gfixler
Stealth Electric Monster Chopper - the batteries on electric bikes are bulky, let's try putting them in the fork...
3D Chocolate Printer made from LEGO, instructable here.
Self Assembling Robots, instructable here.
Candle powered hot air balloon, instructable here.
Eric J. Wilhelm
Ph.D., Co-founding partner of Squid Labs, Founder of Instructables, Director Of Communities
Eric J. Wilhelm(ewilhelm)Ph.D., Co-founding partner of Squid Labs, Founder of Instructables, Director Of Communities
Eric earned his SB, SM, and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where he developed methods to print electronics and micro-electromechanical systems using nanoparticles. Eric co-founded Squid Labs in order to have impact through early-stage innovation. He spun Instructables out of Squid Labs as an independent company, which he now runs with a passion. He loves building kite-powered contraptions, cooking breakfast, and demystifying technology so that even his Grandmother can use it.
Amanda Ghassaei(amandaghassaei)Software Engineer
Amanda recently earned her BA in Physics from Pomona College. After spending some time in the lab researching topics in nanotechnology, she decided to use her scientific prowess to build custom electronic instruments and other forms of interactive media. Check out her custom electronic instruments here.
Audrey Love(audreyObscura)Community Support Manager
Audrey is an artist, noisemaker, and crafter. She developed her skills as a photographer and videographer before an electric ukulele pushed her interests into the realm of music, sound, and interactivity. Currently she is working with the Robot Versus Future collective, and many other intersections of art, science, and electricity.
Bilal Ghalib(lamedust)Maker Advocate
Bilal Ghalib has drunk the DIY Koolaid. He has been helping cultivate the Maker Movement outside the western world in the Middle East through his project GEMSI.org. He's interested in personal fabrication, open source hardware and software and hackerspaces as an empowering ecosystem for entrepreneurship. He's currently working with Autodesk and Instructables.com sharing the new tools that the Autodesk Consumer Group is creating to help unlock the creativity in everyone. He wants to see a world with more creative people building, solving problems, and being lovely to each other.
Carley Jacobson(carleyy)Contest Manager
Carley Jacobson earned her BS in Computer Science and Visual Arts from Union College. She spent the better part of her time at school in the digital art lab building physical computing sculptures and in the sculpture lab welding steel and carving rocks. In her spare time you can catch her hot gluing shiny things like sparkles, beads, and glitter to what ever she can! Her art projects can be found here.
Christy Canida(canida)Sr. Mgr Partnerships and Community Marketing
Christy holds an SB in Biology from MIT, and has previously worked in the biotech industry, academic research labs, and an aquarium. She helps connect passionate individuals with free and low-cost design tools and communities to enable them to explore and expand their creative potential, and drives educational initiatives for the Autodesk Consumer Group. She regularly speaks about community, social media, open-source hardware, and the future of creativity. She loves cutting things up, experimenting with food, and making costumes.
Dave Worley(dworley)UI Engineer
Dave Worley has been developing websites since 1998. He's responsible for the visible elements of the site and making sure the user interface is intuitive and error free. He has only broken the site two three seven times so far.
Gary Lu(thirtytwoutside)Interactive Designer
A former ski bum who at one point somehow managed to get his act together long enough to graduate from college with a degree in graphic design, Gary makes things look nice on the internet when not schlepping a pair of skis or snowboards between San Francisco (where he grew up) and Tahoe (what keeps him from growing up).
Jason "Quincy" Bucy(bakunin)Señor Software Developer
Quincy earned his SB in Geology at MIT. He previously worked on cheminformatics, cookie-less click-tracking, and CMS customization & data migration. He likes photography, spoooky oontz, and overbuilt shade structures. He spends his spare time playing competitive softball, being a crazy uncle, and giving himself haircuts.
Jessy Ellenberger(jessyratfink)Community Manager
Jessy earned her BS in Public Health Education from University of Louisville and is a total CHES! She enjoys Nicolas Cage and quilting more than anyone should. She also enjoys kitties and feeding people.
Leander HardingL33t Software Engineer
Leander is a graduate of several challenging technical programs including the Northeastern University College of Computer Science, the Legend of Zelda, and the Marathon series. He has previously worked on everything from experimental command-and-control tools for USCG operations to the #1 (or #2 or #3 depending on who you ask) web mail service in the world. In his spare time he tweaks his Linux installs, studies programming languages, and plays overly baroque German board games. His keyboard weighs more than your whole computer.
Lisa WuSoftware Engineer
Lisa graduated from UC Berkeley with an Architecture degree. She then went on to do software and web development. She has illustrated a published children's book. She does photography, sews, knits, crochets and paints with watercolors. She also creates unique ceramics in her own ceramic studio.
Nicole Smith(Penolopy+Bulnick)Community Support Manager
Nicole discovered and fell in love with Instructables and tatting at the same time and right from the start she knew she would want to work there. She spends much of her time tatting, crocheting, knitting, cross stitching, scrap-booking, and has even been experimenting with cooking and baking. She loves that working for Instructables has really helped her create the many things she just thinks about and usually doesn't make time to create!
Noah Weinstein(noahw)Senior Editor
Noah makes all kinds of things, like speakers out of trees, soap out of bacon, computer mice out of real mice, and giant toys for both kids and adults. He is a self-proclaimed pizza enthusiast, and transcontinental pizza mover. Noah graduated from Brown University concentrating in Environmental Studies and Visual Art, and has worked at a variety of jobs including tractor driver and white water rafting guide. He is a co-founder of SF Media Labs and is back at Instructables for Round 2.
Phil Seaton(pseaton)Interactive Designer
Architect by training, Phil is a designer who codes. He abuses CNCs and industrial robots while building fine furniture, mixing digital fabrication and craftsmanship. He likes thinking about energy use with the lights on, building web-apps for obscure fabrication processes, and working to make Instructables more attractive, more fun, and more useful.
Randy Sarafan(randofo)Technology Editor
Randy is author of the internationally renowned book 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer, and Simple Bots. He is a Fellow with F.A.T. Lab and a co-founder of SF Media Labs. His work has appeared on the Today Show and Tonight Show. If there was an Afternoon Show, it would probably have appeared there too.
Sean Cauley(sdcauley)Midwest Sales Manager
My love of constructing and de-constructing things goes all the way back to my first Lego set. Truth be told, I'm slightly better at deconstructing, than I am constructing, but I'm working on it. These days I spend most of my time constructing toys for my 4-month old daughter. I'm still waiting on the Instructable that teaches me how to get her to sleep through the night. Anyone...
Thomas J. Nolan(tjnrancor)East Coast Sales Manager
The creative audience of the Instructables community paired with the Fortune 50 muscle of Autodesk make it a special place to work. I learn something new and am part of something special every single day here.
Wade Wilgus(wilgubeast)Education Editor
Wade is a former Oakland middle school English teacher who appreciates a good trebuchet almost as much as a well-constructed sentence or a properly placed hyphen between compound modifiers. He swears that project-based learning and state-mandated curriculum can coexist peacefully.
Angie Chua(angelabchua)Sales Manager
Being a fan of the site for years makes working for Instructables a dream. Before coming here, I was a sales director in the pharmaceutical industry for 5 years, and have been in sales one way or another for most of my career.... but my true passion is food. And when I say "food," what I really mean is "eating." And when I say "eating," what I really mean is "stuffing my face."
Bradley Powers(bradpowers)Instructables Intern
(Summer 2008) Brad is an Engineering Major at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and is designing his own curriculum in robotics. He likes robots, helicopters, robot helicopters, sushi, and MINIs. Brad also enjoys making things out of metal. Especially robots.
Colin Bulthaup(colin)Co-founding partner of Squid Labs, co-founder of Kovio, CEO of Potenco
Colin earned his SB and MNG in Electrical Engineering from MIT. He did his Masters work at the MIT Media Lab developing processes and materials to print transistors and later founded Kovio to commercialize this technology. He loves taking pictures, making laser-cut gifts, and good food.
Corwin Hardham(corwin)Ph.D., Squid Labs partner
After designing snowboards and almost becoming a professional windsurfer, Corwin earned his PhD from Stanford developing vibration isolation control systems and actuators for the LIGO project. Corwin loves nearly impossible mechanical design challenges and riding his bike to the beach to find big surf and strong wind.
Eric Nguyen(nagutron)Instructables UI Engineer
(2007-2009) Eric earned his BS in Computer Science at Harvard and has been building UI toolkits for the web ever since. Eric loves community-building, loud music, and industrial design.
Geo Homsy(geo)Ph.D., Squid Labs partner
Geo earned his SM and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, working on biological computing. He co-founded Permabit, and has appeared multiple times on Scrapheap Challenge (Junkyard Wars) as a member of the 2000 Finalist team, the NERDS. Geo loves robots that drop your jaw and making physics and all things mechanical accessible.
Jacob A. Rogers(shadylogic)Community Support
Jake is in charge of shipping and ordering for Instructables. He has a passion for boxes and postal codes. During his free time Jake memorizes international customs restrictions and import law. He spent 7 years t raining with Scottish monks learning the ancient technique of uline-justu, or "The Art of Sellotape". Jake once mailed a package to himself that arrived before it was sent. Wisely, he didn't sign for it.
James studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey, England. He loves climbing, walking, electronics, cooking, woodwork, power tools, clever design and bad puns.
Jessie Phillips(jessiep)Instructables Intern
(Summer 2007) Jessie Phillips is a graduate student in the designed objects program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She loves sharp x-acto knives. And puppies. But not together.
Matt Borgatti(bofthem)Instructables Intern 2007
Matt is a graduate of RISD who likes inventing and mechanical design. He recently worked in the special effects industry (he had a hand in Snakes on a Plane and Alien vs Predator 2) and has his own IMDB page. He makes guitars (homemade Guitar Hero controller Instructable is coming soon) and etches brass.
Matthew (Tadashi) Ebisu(Shift21)
Matthew Tadashi Ebisu is a dedicated maker, hacker and independent researcher. Studied sociology and cognitive systems at UBC, he is an avid enthusiast of human robot interaction and enjoys spending his spare time analyzing how people connect with technology. Readily enjoys the art of paper-crafting and prop making, he loves making larger-than-life scale models. Actively participates in Maker Faires and is happily married to PIXAR.
Mitch is a Designer, hacker and artist who joined Squid Labs as their first intern in 2006. Lending a hand wherever needed, Mitch has since been an employee of nearly all of the Squid Labs companies including Instructables, Potenco, OptiOpia and Makani Power. His current interests include smart geometry, bicycles and cocktail robotics.
Oliver studied medicine and biomedical engineering in the UK before realizing he'd much rather get excited and make things than pretend to be a grown-up. Highlights of his career have included delivering babies in hospitals, throwing axes on stage and wrangling ferrets in the name of neuroscience. He spends his spare time crawling through caves, dancing the Lindy Hop and accidentally gluing himself to his chair.
Rachel McConnell(rachel)Instructables Senior Engineer (2006-2012)
Rachel previously built web-based carsharing tools with EngineGreen and VoiceXML applications with Indigo Egg. She is a cofounder of Noisebridge, a San Francisco hackerspace. She wears funny hats and t-shirts, eats suspicious food, and doesn't sleep.
Ryan McKinley(ryan)Squid Labs partner
Ryan earned his SM degree in Media Arts & Science from MIT, working at the MIT Media Lab building open tools to monitor governments. He developed the initial Instructables platform, building upon his experience with The Center for Land Use Interpretation and other mapping systems. Ryan loves independent radio, kittens, and living on the fly.
Sarah James(scoochmaroo)Editor, Living
Sarah James earned her MFA in Design and Technology for the Theatre from UT-Austin where her favorite class was maskmaking. Her lifelong dream has been to make cool stuff. She just can't believe her luck.
Sam Calisch(calischs)Instructables Intern 2011
Sam earned a BA in math at Grinnell College and brought home the bacon working on a farm, managing a public bikes program, and running a handyman business. In his free time he likes to combine all of the above, making awesome stuff to eat, wear, ride, watch, launch, play with, live in, and otherwise augment his life.
Saul Griffith(saul)Ph.D., Co-founding partner of Squid Labs
Saul earned his SM and PhD from MIT working on self-assembly where he built electromechanical and mechanical self assembling devices. He loves cars without computers, designing kites, and a differentbicycle for each day of the week. Saul was named a 2007 MacArthur Fellow.
Tim showed up at MIT begging for old robots he could teach to paint. Before long he had built the first starch-based 3D printing system, and co-founded Z-Corp to commercialize the technology. His current goal is to document and record the world's ancient and traditional methods - known as heirloom technologies. Tim loves simple living using stuff he finds for free, innertubes, and a boat for eachday of the week.
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