Build Night FAQ

General Resources

What is the Build Night program?
Instructables sponsors monthly build nights at makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world. Each month we partner with a different company to send you materials and/or tools to run a workshop at your space. In return your space posts Instructables from your build night.

How can my makerspace get a group on Instructables?
Check out this forum post that list the guidelines for getting a group on Instructables.

Build Night Guidelines + Best Practices

What are the requirements for signing up?
Your makerspace must post at least 1 Instructable to sign up for a build night. We look at project quality when deciding on what spaces to accept. I suggest writing a feature worthy project. Check out the feature guidelines.

What does the process look like for signing up for an event?
Signing up is a 2-step process. You must complete both to fully sign up.
Fill out the google form at the bottom of the event announcement.
You will then receive a private message in your Instructables inbox by a specified date asking for your shipping information. You cannot receive the materials without completing this step.

What is the selection process for picking makerspaces to participate in each build night?
It is not first come first serve. We look at past build night participation, past project quality, and project proposals for the current build night. If you haven't participated in a build night OR haven't submitted Instructables for build night program we suggest your space create Instructables over the next few months and submit them on future applications.

Do build nights have to happen at night?
No! The only requirement is that you host 1 event with the materials provided during the month of the build night. This can be on a weekend, at night, during the day….literally anytime! You can also host multiple build nights during the month.

What happens if you don’t submit Instructables by the given date?
Not posting Instructables by the deadline will affect your chances of participating in future build nights. We keep very thorough records of who does and does not submit. It is VERY important to let me know if you are not able to submit a project by the deadline. I am much more understanding and willing to waive a missed deadline if I am given a reason.

What are the best practices for writing high-quality Instructables?
We want to see feature worthy projects! Check out this forum post with tips on how to create great tutorials.

As the event organizer the responsibility falls on me to post all Instructables. How do I motivate my community to help?
Check out this forum post with tips on how to motivate members of your community to get more involved.

How can we get more visibility for our build night event?
Use social media! Tweet at us. Mention us on Facebook. Share pictures of events on Instagram. Sponsors love it and will be excited to share your posts! So be sure to use #buildnight.

How can we hear about upcoming build night events?
If you are interested in being directly notified about future build nights fill out this form to join our mailing list. You will receive an e-mail when new events are announced. Please only sign up if you are not already on the mailing list.

Other Build Night Details

How many makerspaces participate in the build night program?
We have over 350 makerspaces, hackerspaces, fabrication labs, student groups, libraries, etc… subscribed to our mailing list. Each month we decide how many spaces will be able to participate. This depends on the sponsor and materials provided.

How many countries participate in build nights?
There are 45 countries represented in our makerspaces mailing list. Check them out:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, S. Korea, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Zambia.

By what criteria does Instructables measure the worth and success of Build Nights?
There are 3 parties involved with every build night: Instructables, makerspaces, and the sponsors. When evaluating the success of a build night I try to consider everyones experience. For Instructables, we're mostly looking at the number of Instructables we get in and the quality (feature rate, topic, pictures, etc…). We also look at the number of new authors and community involvement. Makerspaces that are heavily involved on Instructables have their own group page.

The sponsors are looking for brand engagement and authentic examples of their products being used. Sugru was thrilled to see lots of people talking on Twitter and Facebook about their build night experience. Voltaic Systems wanted a lower number of high quality projects made with their solar panels -- so we only accepted 15 spaces and made the acceptance process more difficult.

Its not always easy to know the success level for the makerspace because I can't attend the events. From what I've gathered these are the goals of the makerspaces: connect with other makerspaces, learn new subjects, attract new members, free tools/materials, and create more opportunities for their members.

In general, how successful have the Build Nights been? (Answered from the Instructables perspective)
Most build nights have a 50-70% project return rate. The feature rate has been all over the board. The 2013 sugru feature rate was around 20% (we received 250 Instructables) and the Voltaic Systems feature rate was around 90% (we received 9 Instructables). The more build nights we run the higher I hope to get the project return rate because I'm excluding spaces that don't have a good posting record. In every event announcement I say "Not posting these Instructables will affect your chances to participate in future build nights" and I'm serious about it. I have a very detailed spreadsheet where I keep track of who has and has not posted. When it comes time to selecting spaces to participate I cross check my spreadsheet. That being said, every build night I give spaces a chance to explain why they weren’t able to post in the past. I completely understand life happens and I like to give out second chances!

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SUGGESTION BOX: Have questions to add to this FAQ? Have suggestions for ways to improve the build night program or new features to add? Submit them to our suggestion box.
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LadySith2 years ago

Hey @Carleyy. Is the build night program over? Haven't received anything in my email for a while

ohoilett3 years ago

The link for the mailing list is broken.

Carleyy (author)  ohoilett3 years ago

It's working for me. Try this link: https://docs.google.com/a/instructables.com/forms/d/1Gp-4v6mUM7nCHcDaeHxi9Rs-dxw_TU6uZ2bt5sWQOX4/viewform

JM19993 years ago

Is there a list of upcoming build nights and how do I know when and where they are happening?

Carleyy (author)  JM19993 years ago

We do not post a list of upcoming build nights, but you can sign up for our mailing list to hear about events as soon as they are announced. You can find the form to sign up for the mailing list in the FAQ above. Cheers!

JM1999 Carleyy3 years ago

Cool, thanks for that.

I saw somewhere in the forums someone was talking about a live webcam?

Where is this webcam? I would love to see a build night take place before committing to going there.

Carleyy (author)  JM19993 years ago

We sometimes do google hangouts for build nights. But we don't have one for this event.

JM1999 Carleyy3 years ago

OK, I will just have to wait for the next events :)