INSTRUCTABLES IS A PLACE THAT LETS YOU EXPLORE,
DOCUMENT, AND SHARE YOUR CREATIONS.
The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects, connect with others, and make an impact on the world. One of these early places was a blog Zeroprestige, which was an open source hardware experiment for kitesurfing. Here they documented their hand-sewn kites, plywood boards, and other general mayhem that happens when PhDs and high winds collide.
As a result of freely sharing our work, we met a ton of great people, received great opportunities, and were smacked in the face with the need for a web-based documentation system.
Instructables became that documentation system in 2005, as an in-house project of Squid Labs. When they weren't solving interesting problems like solar panels for driveways, efficiently harnessing human power, or strain sensing ropes, you could find them sharing Instructables from the workshop. From cooking to 3d printing, to making just about anything fly, Instructables became the recipient of countless hours of tinkering, soldering, stitching, frying, and fun, making just about anything.
Instructables was officially spun out of Squid Labs in the summer of 2006, and has gone on to grow from a modest hundreds of projects to over one hundred thousand. The community that now calls the site home, is an amazing mix of wonder from around the world. Every day we continue to be amazed by the imagination, curiosity, and simple awesomeness of everyone who shares their creations with us on Instructables.
The Squid Labs founders, from left to right: Saul Griffith, Corwin Hardham, Eric Wilhelm, Colin Bulthaup, Dan Goldwater. Photo by Quinn Norton
Squid Labs Emeryville.
An important part of starting a business is to keep your tolerance for risk high by keeping your cost of living low. For us, this meant owning few or no cars and biking everywhere, cooking our own food rather than eating out and occasionally eating from dumpsters, getting furniture and tools for free from Craigslist, making everything else we needed, and for some of us, living in the shop.
First version of Instructables website.
Dan holding a prototype 30 sqm kitesurfing kite.
Some of the many kiteboard designs we tried.
Solar pavement prototype.
Rope and Sound, one of the early squid labs projects. A unique interactive musical harp using electronic sensing rope. Built for the the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's Extreme Textiles exhibit.
The Squid Labs booth at the first Maker Faire. Photo by gfixler
Stealth Electric Monster Chopper - the batteries on electric bikes are bulky, let's try putting them in the fork...
3D Chocolate Printer made from LEGO, instructable here.
Self Assembling Robots, instructable here.
Candle powered hot air balloon, instructable here.
Amanda Cilek is a product designer at Instructables who enjoys transforming her creative energy into meaningful user experiences. She previously worked at nonprofit Medic Mobile, where she helped build tools for healthcare workers in remote communities. Amanda earned an MFA in design but spent most of her time in the printmaking shop printing rainbow rolls and carving lino blocks. When she’s not working, you’ll find her hiking the beautiful Pacific Northwest, baking experimental vegan treats, and championing zero waste.
Becky Stern is a product manager at Instructables. She has authored hundreds of tutorials about everything from wearable electronics to knitting. Before joining Instructables, Becky worked as a senior video producer for MAKE Magazine and as director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She lives in New York City and enjoys riding her motorcycle, making YouTube videos, and collecting new hobbies to share with you. Her work has been featured by VICE, the BBC, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Engadget, CNN, Business Insider, Forbes, and Science Friday.
Jason "Quincy" Bucy(bakunin)
Quincy earned his SB in Geology at MIT. He previously worked on cheminformatics, cookie-less click-tracking, and CMS customization & data migration. He likes photography, spoooky oontz, and overbuilt shade structures. He spends his spare time playing competitive softball, being a crazy uncle, and giving himself haircuts.
Lisa graduated from UC Berkeley with an Architecture degree. She then went on to do software and web development. She has illustrated a published children's book. She does photography, sews, knits, crochets and paints with watercolors. She also creates unique ceramics in her own ceramic studio.
Matthew was previously a STEAM integrator with a private K-8 school. He loves taking things apart to see how they work, and will sometimes put those things back together. His 6-year-old wants to be a builder when he grows up, so Matthew is constantly building new types of things (songs, stop motion, cardboard construction, electronics, and a host of others), to better define what “builder” means with his son.
Randy is author of the books 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer, and Simple Bots. His work has appeared on the Today Show and the Tonight Show. Albeit, he is most proud of the write up in the National Enquirer. He is often accused of being many things he is not.
Sam has been a counselor with at-risk youth, built cabinets, ran a city recreation department, and inspected assemblies of aerospace components. He makes fun and interesting things and occasionally restores vintage sewing machines.
Shai wrote his first web page at 14 on geocities called "The first Israeli Björk fan page". A former teacher of web technologies, Shai's mission is to help people express themselves online. In his free time he hikes, cooks and tends to his ancient dog Bola.
Eric J. Wilhelm
Ph.D., Co-founding partner of Squid Labs, Founder of Instructables, Director Of Communities
Eric J. Wilhelm(ewilhelm)
Eric earned his SB, SM, and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where he developed methods to print electronics and micro-electromechanical systems using nanoparticles. Eric co-founded Squid Labs in order to have impact through early-stage innovation. He spun Instructables out of Squid Labs as an independent company, which he now runs with a passion. He loves building kite-powered contraptions, cooking breakfast, and demystifying technology so that even his Grandmother can use it.
Amanda recently earned her BA in Physics from Pomona College. After spending some time in the lab researching topics in nanotechnology, she decided to use her scientific prowess to build custom electronic instruments and other forms of interactive media. Check out her custom electronic instruments here.
Being a fan of the site for years made working for Instructables a dream. Before coming here, she was a sales director in the pharmaceutical industry for 5 years, and had been in sales one way or another for most of her career.... but her true passion is food. And when I say "food," what I really mean is "eating." And when I say "eating," what I really mean is "stuffing my face."
Audrey is an artist, noisemaker, and crafter. She developed her skills as a photographer and videographer before an electric ukulele pushed her interests into the realm of music, sound, and interactivity. Currently she is working with the Robot Versus Future collective, and many other intersections of art, science, and electricity.
Carley Jacobson earned her BS in Computer Science and Visual Arts from Union College. She spent the better part of her time at school in the digital art lab building physical computing sculptures and in the sculpture lab welding steel and carving rocks. In her spare time you can catch her hot gluing shiny things like sparkles, beads, and glitter to what ever she can! Her art projects can be found here.
Christy holds an SB in Biology from MIT, and has previously worked in the biotech industry, academic research labs, and an aquarium. She helps connect passionate individuals with free and low-cost design tools and communities to enable them to explore and expand their creative potential, and drives educational initiatives for the Autodesk Consumer Group. She regularly speaks about community, social media, open-source hardware, and the future of creativity. She loves cutting things up, experimenting with food, and making costumes.
Colin earned his SB and MNG in Electrical Engineering from MIT. He did his Masters work at the MIT Media Lab developing processes and materials to print transistors and later founded Kovio to commercialize this technology. He loves taking pictures, making laser-cut gifts, and good food.
After designing snowboards and almost becoming a professional windsurfer, Corwin earned his PhD from Stanford developing vibration isolation control systems and actuators for the LIGO Project. Corwin loves nearly impossible mechanical design challenges and riding his bike to the beach to find big surf and strong wind.
Dave Worley has been developing websites since 1998. He was responsible for the visible elements of the site and making sure the user interface is intuitive and error free. He has only broken the site two three seven times so far.
My name is DJ and I previously made electronic whatsits, 3D-printed thingamabobs, and laser-cut kajiggers for the Instructables Design Studio; now I build and repair puzzles for Escape Industries.
(2007-2009) Eric earned his BS in Computer Science at Harvard and has been building UI toolkits for the web ever since. Eric loves community-building, loud music, and industrial design.
A former ski bum who at one point somehow managed to get his act together long enough to graduate from college with a degree in graphic design, Gary makes things look nice on the internet when not schlepping a pair of skis or snowboards between San Francisco (where he grew up) and Tahoe (what keeps him from growing up).
Jacob A. Rogers(shadylogic)
Jake has a passion for boxes and postal codes. During his free time Jake memorizes international customs restrictions and import law. He spent 7 years training with Scottish monks learning the ancient technique of uline-justu, or "The Art of Sellotape". Jake once mailed a package to himself that arrived before it was sent. Wisely, he didn't sign for it.
James studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey, England. He loves climbing, walking, electronics, cooking, woodwork, power tools, clever design and bad puns.
His background is in residential architecture, film set design, film animatronics, media arts, exhibit design, and electronics. He tends to focus on using 3D software to design projects and making them in the real world.
Specializing in sewing, soldering and snacking. More stuff I do... I teach an interactive fashion and textile class called Wearable and Soft Interactions at California College of the Arts. www.wearablesoftinteractions.us
Matt is a graduate of RISD who likes inventing and mechanical design. He recently worked in the special effects industry (he had a hand in Snakes on a Plane and Alien vs Predator 2) and has his own IMDB page. He makes guitars (homemade Guitar Hero controller Instructable is coming soon) and etches brass.
Matthew (Tadashi) Ebisu(SHIFT)
Matthew Tadashi Ebisu is a dedicated maker, hacker and independent researcher. Studied sociology and cognitive systems at UBC, he is an avid enthusiast of human robot interaction and enjoys spending his spare time analyzing how people connect with technology. Readily enjoys the art of paper-crafting and prop making, he loves making larger-than-life scale models. Actively participates in Maker Faires and is happily married to PIXAR.
Costume and experimental fashion designer and artist. Maker of clothing and accessories for time traveling cyborg superheroes, and lucid dreamers. Interested in fusing couture design and leatherwork with wearable tech, (especially lighting) and mimicking natural forms with synthetic materials. Formerly an Artist in Residence at the Autodesk Pier 9 studio.
Mitch is a Designer, hacker and artist who joined Squid Labs as their first intern in 2006. Lending a hand wherever needed, Mitch has since been an employee of nearly all of the Squid Labs companies including Instructables, Potenco, OptiOpia and Makani Power. His current interests include smart geometry, bicycles and cocktail robotics.
Noah founded and ran the Creative Programs at Pier 9. He's worked in the community management, editorial and content production departments of Instructables since 2006, is a co-founder of SF Media Labs, the Editor of Extraordinary Projects by Ordinary People, and enjoys a good slice of pizza.
Oliver studied medicine and biomedical engineering in the UK before realizing he'd much rather get excited and make things than pretend to be a grown-up. Highlights of his career have included delivering babies in hospitals, throwing axes on stage and wrangling ferrets in the name of neuroscience. He spends his spare time crawling through caves, dancing the Lindy Hop and accidentally gluing himself to his chair.
If you see something odd on Instructables, chances are Phil has seen it, too.
While taking breaks from oddities on Instructables, Phil tries hard to make web browsers do real work, like processing image data without the canvas, generating mathematically precise geometry and/or geometry for physical output, visual dataflow programming running C, and putting a half-million Instructables on your screen at once.
Sam earned a BA in math at Grinnell College and brought home the bacon working on a farm, managing a public bikes program, and running a handyman business. In his free time he likes to combine all of the above, making awesome stuff to eat, wear, ride, watch, launch, play with, live in, and otherwise augment his life.
Sarah James earned her MFA in Design and Technology for the Theatre from UT-Austin where her favorite class was maskmaking. Her lifelong dream has been to make cool stuff. She just can't believe her luck.
Tim showed up at MIT begging for old robots he could teach to paint. Before long he had built the first starch-based 3D printing system, and co-founded Z-Corp to commercialize the technology. His current goal is to document and record the world's ancient and traditional methods - known as heirloom technologies. Tim loves simple living using stuff he finds for free, innertubes, and a boat for eachday of the week.
If it's fun, Troy is there. Whether it's in the garage covered in saw dust, working on restoring his '69 VW Bug (that has left him stranded on numerous occasions) drumming along to some classic rock, or SCUBA diving around the world, he enjoys it all. In his spare time, he likes to study.
Wade is a former Oakland middle school English teacher who appreciates a good trebuchet almost as much as a well-constructed sentence or a properly placed hyphen between compound modifiers. He swears that project-based learning and state-mandated curriculum can coexist peacefully.
Zach Howard is an aerospace engineer, who has lived fewer years on Earth than the number of satellites he has launched into space. Now looking to explore product and industrial design here on his home planet, Zach spends time building objects that improve people's connections to themselves and their environment.