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Instructables has just joined Autodesk, a cool company that makes some of the ultimate DIY tools: they’re the world leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software.

Now that we’re a part of Autodesk, we’ll be able to do some neat new things for and with Instructables. What do YOU think we should do? Please suggest how we should co-opt the resources of a multi-national corporation to make Instructables even more awesome.  

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n.benz (author)2016-03-05

I don't want to be spoon-fed instructables pre-selected from narrow
topic areas. I want to see a broad and random selection of things I'd never think
to find on my own. How do I avoid the "feed"? Could you at least
create a random feed?

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Brooklyntonia (author)n.benz2016-03-05

Switch from "Feed" to "Top Picks" near the top left of the page. This will show the same handpicked quality ibles from all categories that are on the homepage.

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Old_Curmudgeon (author)2016-02-25

I positively think that you need to get someone working on the response-time of your interactive programming applications.

I find yours to be the very slowest website I have ever visited and I have visited thousands.

I just LOVE your content. You have some of the most imaginative items ever conceived.

But your webmaster needs to take a master's degree in making a website respond quickly.

Even when I try to login, it takes MINUTES to get a response.

What is WRONG?

I hate to be critical, but I waste hours sometimes trying to get to where I want to go on your webpages.

For example: When I look at an entry I try to scroll down the page. It takes forever. Then when I try to click on "SHOW ALL STEPS" sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

Perhaps you have so many "POPUPS" running that they hog all the processor time.

Please correct the problem. I love your site, but abhor the way it works.

David Michael Myers

Old_Curmudgeon

cogito01_at_comcast_dot_net

304-267-6159

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I have never experienced what you're describing in 5 years of active participation on the site. Perhaps it is your web connection or some other issue external to the site itself.

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rush_elixir (author)2016-02-25

maybe you can include foreign countries to be eligible for the contest prizes not just limited to US, Canada or European countries only...As there are also more people with lots of creativity and ideas for invention is put out because of the contest eligibility rules...the more creative ideas the more useful things can be invented...and creativity and business will thrive...:)

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darman12 (author)2013-01-11

An app that allows you to view and create Instructables. One for iOS and Android so there isn't a feud between those who prefer one or the other ;) I am using my iPad to create an Instructable and it is glitching out because this site is intended for desktop use.

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vishalapr (author)2011-08-02

Oh yeah one more last suggestion about contest prizes, because nowadays there are only about 5-8 prizes usually in contests but they are really expensive and awesome, I agree that they are expensive and cool etc, but instead of having such expensive prizes for only a few winners maybe there could be cheaper prizes but for more people like 10-20 prizes! That would be great!

And how about finalist prizes? Because that would be a really cool idea as well!
Finalist prizes or maybe at least finalist patches?!

Oh and one last suggestion, maybe printable diplomas/certificates for finalists and winners, so that we can print out the certificate on card and then keep it as an achievement rememberence but not in the internet but in phisical appearence!
I would love to have a certificate that says Winner of the ......................... challenge! It would be an awesome way to mark an achievement! And the cool thing is that anyone with a printer can print it once it has been sent to them by email ( sent to the winners) To make them more original, maybe a signature on the certificate by Eric!

Sorry if I am being wrong or against anything :(

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ewilhelm (author)vishalapr2011-08-03

I love your idea about the certificates! I'm doing that.

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vishalapr (author)ewilhelm2011-09-05

So how far has the certificates idea gone?

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vishalapr (author)ewilhelm2011-08-03

Awesome, so who get certificates? Winners? Finalists? or Participant certificates?
Thanks for takeing forward the idea!

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foobear (author)vishalapr2011-08-03

I wish to chime in and say I totally agree! More prizes encourages participation. Fewer more expensive prizes makes me give up in advance because I know I can't compete against the more serious makers out there.

The printable certificates is a great idea too.

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vishalapr (author)foobear2011-08-03

Yeah I would really love printable certificates coz I always like certificates that state that I have an achievement! And usually when there are 4-5 prizes I just quit even before thinking about any ideas because I just know that I will not win ...

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JamesRPatrick (author)2011-08-01

I've been using Autodesk's free student software trials for three years now without a hitch (AutoCAD, Inventor). These have helped me greatly with projects and presentations in college and Inventor is my favorite 3D design software because of this. However, these free services aren't available to most adult users and would be too costly for hobby budgets. Seeing as the Instructables community is primarily open source, I don't see how Autodesk would increase sales by dominating the site's ad space. 

As far as I can tell, the site doesn't have any issues that require Autodesk software to fix. I really hope there aren't any changes to the website. What does Autodesk have to contribute(besides money)? Maybe a Flash 3D viewing window for .ipt or .dwg files but that's all I can come up with. 

What will happen if someone published a new hack or piece of software that would divert sales away from Autodesk? Before, advertisers had no say in what could be published, but now Austodesk has the potential to personally ban any user they deem unsatisfactory. 

Do not change the editor.
Do not take away free features.
Do not integrate the Autodesk Design Community.
Do not increase ad space.
Do not add new membership requirements.

Do increase the staff's project budget.
Do add more sponsored contests.
Do continue to support open source, free information, and educational hacking.

Bottom line: If Autodesk gets any control over the community, it will be detrimental to the spirit of Instructables and open source. In the event that instructables.com becomes a restrictive environment, we'll simply stop contributing. 

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dombeef (author)JamesRPatrick2011-08-02

I agree, when I was younger, I played on a site that was great until disney took over, now it is horrible and it is disney ad infested(not that I play on it anymore), I hope that that doesn't happen here, I really want instructables to stay this way, and hopefully they do stuff on your DO list.

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dombeef (author)Lithium Rain2011-08-03

It was actually club penguin, but disney bought neonates too?(even though I have never played it before)

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Ninzerbean (author)dombeef2011-08-16

Club Penguin was only a game on the surface - in actuality it was a huge marketing survey information gathering machine to find out the preferences of kids for material items they could "buy" to put in their igloos. I saw that right away and tried to buy stock but it was private, then of course Disney figured out what a gold mine of data it was....

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kelseymh (author)dombeef2011-08-03

Wait a second; Disney is now buying neonates? The Mouse must like tender, newborn meat....

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Lithium Rain (author)dombeef2011-08-03

I dunno, it was just a shot in the dark. :D

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randofo (author)JamesRPatrick2011-08-01

I like your do list. Particularly increasing my project budget ;-)

I also mostly agree with your "do not" list.

However, the editor does need some improving and this has been far too long in coming. Particularly, the uploader needs some fixing (it drives me crazy). I think we might see some changes to the uploader soon-ish.

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dombeef (author)randofo2011-08-02

Yeah, I agree with the uploader, on my mac in safari it works once in a while and then it doesn't work at all, I have to do it the old way, manually getting each picture at once, but I just use flickr to upload them now, at least the editor has the ability to do that!

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canida (author)JamesRPatrick2011-08-01

Your "do not" list is pretty clear, and matches mine nicely. (Though I'd like to fix the editor a bit!)

Suggestions for more good things TO DO? That list is currently a bit shorter! :)

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JamesRPatrick (author)canida2011-08-01

I can see the benefit of an embedded 3D viewing window (as mentioned earlier by whatsisface). It would be much more useful than screenshots of models and assemblies. If this is possible, I would see use in simple features such as pan, zoom, exploded views, and individual part manipulation in assemblies. Allow the author to set the default view of the part. An easily accessible download link would also be helpful. 

Important: If a feature like this is implemented,  it should support OpenScad and Google Sketchup files as well. We don't want financial restraint to limit progress. 

Perhaps Autodesk could offer full programs to the standard "Instructables Prize Pack" or to featured instructables.

I like seeing the occasional group project from the staff. Maybe you could afford more of those?

I'm sure many of us on the East Coast would appreciate a paid trip to Instructables HQ and San Francisco. Possibly during Makerfaire S.F.? It would be an amazing contest prize.

By the way, I appreciate the staff asking the opinions of the members on high priority matters such as this. That's the personal presence that I like about Instructables.

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canida (author)JamesRPatrick2011-08-01

Good suggestions - I'll see what we can do on the prize ideas.

Which group projects have been your favorite? I can tell you that 3 people were on the roof today shooting each other in the face with a variety of absolutely disgusting goop; that collaboration should be lots of fun, and will be posted soon.

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JamesRPatrick (author)canida2011-08-02

Okay it looks like everyone else wants a new editor. Just don't take away any features.

I liked Shotgun a Beer With Just Your Thumb instructable. Not because it's beer-related but because it showed a bunch of the staff trying out noahw's instructions. There are more that I can't think of at the moment. Anyway, I like to see collaboration. 

Oh yeah more prize ideas for you(demanding, aren't I?):
DSLR's with macro lenses-so good authors can take the best pictures
SDHC/SDXC cards-these get used up fast, even with good data management

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Have anybody here ever used eDrawings? It allows you to embed 3D models into a webpage, but it's for SolidWorks models. I would love to see something similar to it.

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I'd just like to say

DO change the editor, if it's a free improvement

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caitlinsdad (author)2011-08-02
Will this still be allowed? Oh right, whatever you do when we're negotiating the price, don't mention some of the members we got around here..



Congratulations. I wish the site well. It has been good to me.

With that said,

Will those outside free-thinking activities of your staff allow them to keep their day job? Will we see mass production of the clap-off bra?

I don't believe I have seen the library of Knex objects to use in 123D design software. Do we have to worry about any plans drawn up for weapons of mass destruction - trebuchets/waterballoon cannons/giant slingshots be considered as acts of terrorism?

Will corparate policy apply or be pressured by DMCA rights? You might have to scrub the database for old ibles in violation thereof. Any plans drawn up to scale of an existing commercially produced product may be in violation of trade secrets or be party to attempts to reverse engineer some other protected work. I think the BBC is pretty vigilant in going after those people who try to duplicate a TARDIS.

Will the site be manned 24/7 to get support of bugs/problems over the weekend?

Will the site be more vigilant in deSPAMMING comments, topics, ibles guilty of SPAMMING?

Can the upper management of Autodesk take a joke? Does he like sand in his office or his walls rasterbated on?....wait...there is someone at my door....

The word "Awesome" is not part of corporate lexicon, you may have to come up with something else.

Pixlr is not PIXAR. I believe the 3D Maya software is the stuff used in some movies CGI.

I thought ibles was in bed with Radio Shack or Craftsman, didn't see this coming.

Kombucha and tofu chips is not the same as a bourbon and cigars. DIY lawn croquet vs golf clubs.

Will contest prizes and sponsorship be more stringent? Will you need to provide a tax id number to claim a prize?

What happens to PRO membership, will the rates go up after the accountants look at the books?

And a general observation:
Many creative people are not engineers - in a sense they are not into hard numbers or defined lines. Speaking for myself, sure, I could use a PC to work out plans and measurements, the tools are there, but I would not want to be constrained by software. CAD isn't really applicable to recipies and I guess not really tailored to fashion, is there a fabric pattern making option? I can sketch and work out things better in my mind or with pencil and paper better than trying to figure out which hot key brings up the menu to rotate the image 45 degrees counterclockwise. I am not out to save the world by mass producing what I design. There are some though that would. I would find it humourous if I can genereate an IKEA-like manual for all of my stuff. I do not think the many jewelry designs would be converted to plans for others to send off to duplicate by 3D printer and I guess you would make waves in the Etsy sector. Btw, how does the spreadshirt model fit into this, is the ibles store still open?

From what sample objects I have seen on that 123D designer software to generate objects for production, it seems still a primitive approach to 3D layering of cardboard. It is a waste of cardboard and glue when put together. 3D should be a combination of Pepakura with an engineered substructure. Skin a strutural frame. My Giant Fn Key Stool/Chair would be massive in weight and cost to produce if it were just layered cardboard through.

As for the community of "open source", is Autodesk trying to throw out 123D as open source? It is a moneymaker to port the designs to their preferred manufacturer but I guess they have to figure out where they want to go with it.

Anyway, Good luck to the joint venture.
 

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canida (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-11

*snerk*
We're replacing Randy's ban hammer with a new white one labeled Autodesk, just like in the video. Kiteman beware! Bwahahah.

Ahem.  Right.

Our content policies won't change - awesome, entertaining things are always welcome. Please see a recent in-house project here as an example.  (We're pretty sure SHIFT! is OK.)  Also, we've always done the legal (in addition to morally right) thing wrt copyright law, so there's honestly nothing more to add there.  Being a part of Autodesk doesn't change the core of our business, how we interact with people, or change your legal standing as an author/contributor in any way.

Re: cartooning, check out SketchBook, and keep your eyes peeled for new stuff.  They've got a lot in the pipeline; I'll keep you posted.

Did you realize the clap-off bra has been on both the Today Show and the Tonight Show?  It's totally legit. ;) Also, we've been suggesting a K'NEX CAD modeling overlay.  That would be awesome.

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caitlinsdad (author)canida2011-08-12

Sketchbook seems to be only for the ipad and the full PC version is around $500. I think I will have to stick with Crayola for a while.

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kelseymh (author)canida2011-08-11

The High Priestess wrote, "Also, we've been suggesting a K'NEX CAD modeling overlay. That would be awesome."

All humor aside, that would be awesome. The same way that LEGO's modeling software allows their user base to design and then build stunningly awesome projects, a K'Nex modelling layer could do the same.

When you give an enthusiastic, focussed kid proper tools, there is no limit to what they can do, or where they might end up.

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Kiteman (author)kelseymh2011-08-12

If nothing else, it would improve the images in step-by-steps - in focus, and full-screen.

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-02

Here's another thought, I was browsing the topics looking to throw out a few ideas or answering the bat-signal ( I don't visit the Answers section mostly because of the random questions put up there), what is the liability of the person now providing an answer and does he/she provide the answer on behalf of the corporation and should act as an ambassador of goodwill thereof? I have had no qualms about giving out ideas freely, but does this now create a class of professional answerers that should be compensated for their expertise? In-house programs could be geared toward incentives to answer more questions or post ibles but that could turn ugly real fast with recommendations for the product of choice.

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-02

And that begs the question, users are now contributing to a corporate databank. Will they be expecting compensation of some sort? It was always the spirit to share openly for the DIY cause but now it seems a bit tainted with, hey - we are contributing to the bottom line of the Instructables department of Autodesk. I do not mind bolstering our economy but I think many will have reservations of contributing to for-profit causes of which they do not benefit directly.

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-05

There is a nice writeup on MAKE magazine's blog about the situation.   I guess this is a real test of faith for long-term fans and iblers.

btw, which Autdesk product is the one for cartooning?

Hmmm, is that a Flip camera I see there?

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-06
ask Indy Mogul or Threadbanger to see what happens....wait...

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kelseymh (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-06

When they came for Kiteman, I said nothing.
When they came for Lithium Rain, I said nothing.
When they came for Fn NachoMahma, I said nothing.
When they came for the physicists, there was no one left to say anything.

P.S. Godwin has left the building!

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caitlinsdad (author)kelseymh2011-08-06
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Oh my God, you sir are a genius, pointing out the obvious in a format that everyone can see, even what the visuals imply is dead on! Sir, you are getting my first Fn patch, wear it with honor!

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Thanks, but I would prefer a robo-hoodie.

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So would I, but nobody likes me.

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Jayefuu (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-07

Ha ha haha. Even if there's no truth in the videos, they're still very funny. Excellent.

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Kiteman (author)kelseymh2011-08-07

Excuse me, I was going to make a witty reply to this, but I hear a knocking at the door...

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Lithium Rain (author)caitlinsdad2011-08-06

You, Sir, are my sole consolation. XD

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lding (author)2011-08-07

You need to screen your advertisers more carefully. I receive the instructables email newsletter. The most recent one "Tar and Feather Gun, Steampunk Mechanized Plasma Bulb, Handmade Mini SLR Camera" has an ad halfway down that isn't marked as an ad.

More over when you go they make claims about building a solar panel for a ridiculously cheap price. Too good to be true.

So when you do a search you find out they are a scam.
http://digg.com/news/story/Homemade_Energy_Review_Is_Homemade_Energy_Scam

I think it is a problem to let them advertise like this. It seems like they are just another legitimate instructable. I think you have a duty to your audience not to represent scammers like officially endorsed instructables.

Please send out a secondary email naming the scam to everyone who received the first email.

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