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Material Section Answered

Hi there!

I hope this is the right section to post this in, if not then i'm sorry i picked the most probable one (i hope D: ).

First of all i love instructables, i'm using way too much time in on this page than i should, but then again if it wasn't or instructables i wouldn't have this cool new Hard Drive Speaker present for this cute girl i like ;)

In any case let me get to the point; i would like to suggest a Materials Section for Instructables - basically it would include material stats and an in depth explanation of the material (or component if we're talking tech here, but that's a different area).

Here's an example: in an instructable, the author mentions plexiglass and that it needs to be bent. Many don't know that plexiglass isn't class, but an acrylic hardened plastic substance with abilities much like glass (but not quite). Plexiglass can fracture, but wont leave extremely sharp pieces like glass will and it can be bent when under medium-high heat from a heatgun or the like. Also that high friction (from a drill or the like) will cause it to melt.

Basically what i mean here is that this section would greatly reduce the time an author spends on making his ible by letting out basic facts. E.g. instead of writing "plexiglass is..blah blah" the user would be able to look up in the materials section and read in depth for him/herself what the characteristics are for plexiglass/plywood/capacitors/batteries and so on.

The materials page could be powered by the "burning questions" competition i've seen on this page. I don't think material characteristics fit in ibles because it strictly isn't - it's a data sheet that lets you understand the materials and components you're going to use in an ible.

PS: sorry about the lower case i's and the occasional typo or grammatical error i'm not a native english speaker . also i really hope this is the right section to post in...


thats great much of it can be built as plain instructables / guides if you check youll see that there are instructables very similar to what we are about

Yeah i've noticed in reality i'm just suggesting a compilation which is slightly supervised. It allows for correct data and easy browsability - i fully agree though that this can be done with standard instructables without a problem :)


9 years ago

I for one don't find Wikipedia a reliable source for anything.

Have you used it for conventional scientific information (physics, chemistry, mathematics)? Those articles tend to be contributed by people in the field (my colleagues in HEP, for instance), and therefore tend to be more reliable. Articles on controversial political subjects, or "wacky science", do tend to be sketchy.

I do agree with you here, but i still think a section that shows you how to handle the materials would be nice. Centralizing things on a single page isn't bad for business either - especially if it's user generated (free). You do have a point though i agree with you on that.

Wikipedia is a nice initiative, but far from a good factual source of information. Wikipedia should be used to get some information you can use to check up on things with. Also wikipedia isn't angled at people who want to make something out of it. An instructables section would be angled directly for people who want to build things with the material and can involve general dos and don'ts.

That depends on the subject. If you only look up political or controversial subjects, then I agree with you. If you use it for chemical or physics information, it is surprisingly useful.

Several of my colleagues have contributed articles in the area of high-energy physics, for example, and I use it frequently for materials properties, infromation about elements and isotopes, and so forth.

Reproducing, with limited functionality, an already existing worldwide collaboration seems to me to be a duplication of effort. Far better would be for you (if you have the knowledge) to contribute that sort of information into the Wikipedia materials articles. You might also become an advocate or facilitator to encourage other experts you see here on I'bles to do the same.

I think it would be unnecessary. Wikipedia is exactly what you are talking about. The best part about the internet is that you can link to ANYTHING, so adding information to Instructables that is already done and fine on Wikipedia would be redundant. Instructables doesn't need to be the entire Internet. Perhaps we could start a movement of adding content to Wikipedia instead. We have tons of knowledge stored in our collective heads, so why can't we write new wikis about what we want to know.

As i replied to kelseymh it's 1. not angled for use here and second wikipedia is not a reliable source of information - any teacher on any line of education will tell you that on the first day of school.


9 years ago

Thank you for the feedback! I'd really like if it became an official thing that had it's own section for better readability and the like - a bit like the answers section we got recently :D

Good idea.. I can do one on GMJboard

That sounds like a really good idea!

That sounds like a great idea! The collaborations feature here could be the perfect medium for it. Someone would just need to start one and open it up...leaving the rest to other people to fill in.