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Instrucables that don't actually give instructions... Answered

So I assumed that the purpose of this site was to provide guides and instructions for people to be able to do/make the things that the Instructables are about.  Am I wrong in this assumption?  If I go to an Instructable for "make your own SLR camera from scraps around your home", I expect to find instructions on how to make what the post is about, not a video of some guy saying "I'm not going to give you any instructions, tips, or hints, but I've posted a video of me making one myself without any explanation, and you can watch that."

A video of someone making something with absolutely no explanation, tips, hints, help, or instructions isn't really an Instructable, is it?

I'm asking because of this post: https://www.instructables.com/id/7FT-Gundam-Ultimate-Papercraft-1/

The author of the post has posted a few pictures and a few videos that don't show anything besides him talking about why he made the project, and time-lapse videos of him putting it together.  In the videos, it actually shows him using the computer generated, printable files necessary to put the project together, which he didn't bother posting in the Instructable.  The entire post seems more like a brag posting of "Look what I can do" instead of being an actual Instructable, because there were no files provided to make your own, no instructions provided on how to do it yourself, no tips or anything.

I'm asking here because, when asked about it, the author of the post said (and I quote):
          visualspicer (author) says:
          Please forward your complaints to the staff of Instructables.com who personally invited me to post this project here in its current format.

So my question is: Is the staff of this website inviting people to come post Instructables without actually giving instructions for how to make the things they're posting about?  If this is the case, is this site going to degrade into just a bunch of bragging photos and video of people saying "look at the cool stuff that I made, but don't bother trying to make it yourself, because I'm not giving you the instructions."?


There are different categories for sharing an instructable: Step-by-Step, Photo and Video. Each of these three has a specific purpose. A Step-by-Step is designed to allow people to share a detailed process of what went into creating something.

The Photo instructable on the other hand is more often used, and meant for, sharing something someone has made. Not everyone wants to take the time to create step by step instructions of every project they work on. In some cases, even though they don't want to tell how they built something, they're very proud of it and want to share it. This is a useful way of doing that.

If you click the "Submit" button in the upper right hand corner of the screen, you'll see descriptions of each type of instructable someone can post and what it's for.

I like to just look at things that people have made and just enjoy the fact that they are willing to share it with us, its great when there are tutorials, But just looking can give inspiration or just make you go WOW,
I thought my self that to publish something it had to be showing someone how to make it but this forum just helped me to realise this is not the case, I have just published something that I made, purely to share the idea with everyone, :)

7FT Gundam causing an Instructables uproar. Nice! :)

I'm amazed at how much time some people are willing to invest into these pointless discussions rather than actually making stuff to inspire the community...

I don't see any problem. It's pretty cool, he's probably too exhausted from making the thing to write any instructions ;)

Any one who's bothered to write an instructable, will know that although rewarding, the process can be very time consuming (and tedious when you keep getting asked the same questions over and over years after you published the guide)

The author doesn't have to post instructions.

I wanted to add that in my opinion the creations uniqness should be respected even here, where the main goal is to teach.

Not every project is meant to be copied. That doesn't mean one shouldn't show them off on this site. Insisting PDF-s of this one is too obtrusive.

The author of the Gundam has not provided list of tools in the instructable, but he is politely answering all questions about them in comments. I think that is OK for first 'ible, if he writes next one, he will already know to include them in advance, I hope.

I have seen at least another one person in past few weeks compaining in comments of an photo instructable about lack of instructions. If this problem is wider, maybe the team should consider making distinctive formats or categories (and rules for using them) for 'ibles with and without precise instructions. So that one could select an rss feed or browse them separately if he wishes.

I myself appreciate the "just for inspirations" 'ibles very much.

When you hit the "Subscribe" tab, you get simple guidelines on the uses of the various kinds of Instructable, plus we have more detailed instructions for anybody who wants them.

The author of this topic is ignorant of the purposes of the various types of instructable, having yet to get as far as clicking the "Submit" tab in four years of membership.

It's all page-hits, they've never been overly bothered...


The site has always had the prime motivation of instruction, but it has also always had a place for people showing what they have done as well.

Sometimes the author has just discovered the site, and wants to show off what they made before the discovery.

Sometimes the process cannot be repeated, thanks to unique conditions or resources.

In these cases, slideshow instructables are absolutely fine.

As for the Gundam suit, why can't staff invite people to post their projects?

Think about it: they see the suit in its finished form - do they invite the Maker to show off what he has already spent many, many hours constructing, or do they demand that he build a whole new suit and take photos as he goes?

Think further: the suit receives a positive response, and the Maker publishes his next construction with more details.

Or, maybe, the suit is welcomed with sniping and sarcasm, and the Maker goes elsewhere with his creations, telling all his friends how ungrateful they are over on that instructables site?

I'm not complaining about the videos. Considering how long it would take to assemble something that size, a time-lapse video is very welcome.

In this case, your stated arguments hold no water... the process CAN be repeated, it's a paper-craft... anyone with a printer, razor, glue, and a lot of free time can repeat the project. If the author were to make the files available that he used (and he obviously has a PDF, or some sort of saved files for this project available which he refused to post) then anyone could make this project, there are no unique conditions or resources available in this situation.

I'm not saying he needs to build a new suit for any reason, and I can't begin to understand what even makes you think that that's what I was trying to suggest? The complaint here is that the post is not actually an instructable because it's not instructing anything, all it's doing is bragging about what he's already done without giving anyone any information or tools needed (especially considering how easily available they are for him to make available.) The referenced post should be considered a "braggable" because the poster actually goes out of his way to make it as UN-instructable as possible.

I'm a chef... if I tell someone I'm going to teach them how to bake a cake, and when they get there, I have the cake pre-baked, and pre-decorated, and then say "yeah, I mixed a bunch of stuff, baked it, then decorated it, see ya next time." Because God-fordid you post something on a website whose purpose seems to be about teaching people to do things, and then refusing to actually teach them how to do what you actually post about.

If you go to Google and type in something to search for, how would you feel if it returned a page saying "I found 354 results... but go figure it out yourself"?

I find it quite offensive that you, who have been a member for four years, and posted absolutely no projects at all are complaining that a brand new member does not hand you five months work on a plate.

"I'm not saying he needs to build a new suit for any reason, and I can't begin to understand what even makes you think that that's what I was trying to suggest?"

Clearly, you do not understand. Just how useful do you think the files would be without a detailed step-by-step instructable? Pepekura files do not come with helpful instructions telling you which bit to glue where.

You think you're an expert on this site? Then prove it - publish an instructable to the level you are demanding of VisualSpicer.