Web 2.0 Expo Ignite Talk: Budding engineers design, build, and share their rubberband-powered creations on Instructables

On Sunday, April 15th at the Web 2.0 Expo Ignite session, Christy gave a great 5-minute talk titled "K'Nex Guns: Open-Source Hardware on Instructables: Everyone wants open-source hardware, but how do we get there? A group of K'Nex gun-building kids has actually done it on Instructables; I'll explain how." It was fun, people liked it, and she was asked to give it again today during the Wednesday Keynote presentations of the Web 2.0 Expo.

In light of tragic events at Virgina Tech, we wanted to reaffirm our message and ensure that no one mistakes it as glorifying violence.

The community that has formed around rubberband-powered K'Nex guns is a positive community. They are using their energy to build, document, collaborate, and share their ideas. They help, support, and encourage each other. They innovate on each others designs, and are meticulous about sharing the credit. These are great qualities we respect and encourage. So, we ask you to look beyond the surface and past the rubberband-powered guns to what's beneath. The users' gun fascination will fade with age, but the underlying positive qualities instilled by this community will not. The skills they're building here are exactly those required for a successful engineer, and for a responsible, mature member of the innovation community.

We're against violence, but for innovation and design and creativity.

One of the chief reasons we started Instructables was because we saw a community growing and thriving around open-source designs for kitesurfing. The K'Nex community is very similar and grew organically, so we wanted to highlight it and share our insight into it.

Check out the slides from Christy's talk, here in the attached PDF, and links to some of the things mentioned:

The longer user-innovation talk that this talk is based on.
toulvus's Making 3d knex models using mlcad
mepain's knex tripwire, huge knex crossbow, and XW30K 8-1/2 cm shot Shifle
Most Innovative K'nex Gun Design Contest
oodalumps's Knex Machine Gun
Trainman 2000's The VORTEX
Innovative Knex Guns group
No guns K'Nex group

The K'Nex projects are impressive and inspiring, but Instructables is the platform for for a wide variety of great projects and ideas. Check out some of the other projects on our site: We have other great communities building around bikes, boat building, homemade gifts, micro-controllers, recipes, recycled materials, and many more. Join in, learn something, and share your knowledge with the community.

Enjoy your time here on Instructables.

Added: Thanks to Fumi Yamazaki for letting me link to her video, which includes a brief hello to her Japanese audience (taken at the end of the conference) then a little bit of my talk

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canida9 years ago
Due to popular request, I've edited the post to include my notes from the talk. We weren't allowed to speak with notes, so I probably didn't get everything in, but this was the plan! Thanks to all of you- even if I didn't mention you specifically in the talk, you're a part of the community I was describing.
Mepain canida9 years ago
Where are the notes? I dont see them up there, even though i tried clicking on every link, i couldn't find them. Oh, and thank you very much for the private message : ) I'll get right on that.
canida Mepain9 years ago
The .pdf labeled "Ignite Notes.pdf 10kb". It's an attachment at the end that should be just under the original .pdf of the powerpoint presentation.
Mepain canida9 years ago
Oh ok : ) Thank you very much.
Vendigroth9 years ago
the K'nex gun makers are a contribute to instructables' positive ethos, i think. they are for the most part quite meticulous in their work and achieve simply astonishing results with a common material,and are kind enough to share the plans with the rest of us. When they recommend improvements to one another, they are polite, and the improvements usually vastly improve an already superior design. Instead of glorifying weapons, they are being creative and uncovering incredible things, continously refining and upgrading their constructions for the maximum of performance with the least possible complexity or use of materials. In short, i believe the K'nex-using groups are exactly what Instructables stands for; sharing what you make and how you make it.
yea i think we have come a long wa from simple firing pin pistole to fuly automatic gatlin and chain guns i think alot of thes guys ,like me, want to continue to build these mecanical and enginering creations in our real world job to i think some people (i heard killerk & fuast talking(im working on it 2)) are working on compleatly revolutionizing the knex gun world witih aoutomatic premade cartigis i think wer in order for a bolt action gun like this but im to busy with my m-32
m-32? what is that?
u remember the gun i was showin of on ur site that one its modeled after an m-32 mgl its a grenade luanchger with 20mm grenades and a 6 barreled revolver
yeah, is that the one?
I'd join in with the K'nex engineers, but i've only got like 70 pieces all told. If i had more, i could probably make something adequate....i hope
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