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Potluck at the Pier

We decided to throw together a Pot Luck today!  Everyone was busy this morning cooking up delicious dishes in the Test Kitchen!  Watch for links to the Instructables of the dishes we tried out! Salmon Pasta Salad (1st one is up!) Nectarine Salsa Sous Vide Chicken Thighs with Nectarine Salsa

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick  


Reflections on the Pier

Writing this is one of the hardest things to do. Writing this means that my artist-in-residence at Pier 9 has come to an end. What motivates me to keep writing is something that I learned and deeply embraced at the pier. The pier taught me that giving back to the community you're in is priceless and extremely valuable. More on this later. First, I want to tell you a little bit about my journey at the Pier.  During the first quarter of the residency I was overwhelmed by the things I could make at Pier 9. Pier 9 has it all, it's a makers / artist / designer / engineers paradise. So when I got there, I realized that I could make anything, which then made me question why I wanted to make those things and if those things really mattered... What impact would they have on the world, on me, on my surrounding community... This period of questioning was frustrating and hard. While others at the pier were making amazing objects and projects that were getting a lot of press and attention I was just sitting there... thinking as time was quickly passing by. Maybe this was something akin to writer's block. Maybe this was just me being an emotional artist. Maybe this was just me being burned out from a hard year of working at start ups in Silicon Valley. Maybe this was just growing pains (because I was transitioning from writing software to making physical things).  Things got better tho. What really helped get me out of this rut was the community at pier 9, especially Vanessa and Company. The community at Pier 9 is hands down the most valuable asset the pier has. The machines are great, but its really about the people that the pier attracts. Never have I worked in a space where everyone is so excited, helpful, funny, and happy about their work and the community around them. The culture at the pier is what helped me find my path and eventually helped me make a couple fun projects. I could go on and on about how awesome the community is, but I want to give you a couple concrete examples of things that happened to me that helped me grow and morph into who I am today.  Vanessa Sigurdson would sit down with me every so often and ask me how things were going. When I got really stuck on something she would immediate connect me with someone who could help me or show me something that could inspire me or help me get through my block. Thanks Vanessa, I owe you big time.  I asked Noah Weinstein a ton about his shop in Oakland and how he started it. His super valuable knowledge made me feel empowered and able! He is an individual that really follows through with what he says, very admirable! Thanks Noah!   Andy Lee and I would sit around and talk about triangles and math. Andy is an awesome maker and brave individual. He taught me to just try things out and not care too much if they failed. Andy's experiments at the pier made me feel comfortable prototyping ideas and concepts. Not everything has to be a final art piece. Being an artist / engineer is also about exploring and failing! Thanks Andy! Paolo Salvagione connected me with a major museum in SF. Next year I'll be showing a couple pieces there. His work has been an endless source of inspiration for me. The mechanical beauty in his designs inspires me to make every element in my art pieces elegant and beautiful. Paolo you are the man.  Dot Matrix and I went on runs along the Embarcadero to Crissy Field. Dot gave me some great perspective on the projects I was working on and vice versa. These runs helped clear my mind. In addition, looking at the ocean reminded me that the world is bigger than me. Its a great stress relief. Thanks Dot!!! Sitting next to Andreas Bastian was one of the best parts of the residency. Every time I thought what I was doing was hard, I'd just look at this desk and be humbled by the challenges he was taking on. Thank you Andreas, your work ethic is off the charts.  Craig Dorety blew my mind with his LED sculptures. Experiencing one of his pieces was like a DMT trip (from what I've heard :) ). Craig also taught me a ton about the art world and about how to do miter cuts on the water jet! IGES files are the key!! Thanks Craig!  Robb Godshaw taught me how to follow my impulses. If you have an idea brewing inside of you, you MUST make it! You are an awesome individual Robb! Keep killing it!  Observing Anouk Wipprecht taught me about being fearless and tackling challenges with authority. In addition to being an amazing designer, maker, hacker, and person, Anouk really knows how to reach out to her networks and communities for feedback, involvement, and help.  Dr. Woohoo taught me how to connect with people, and empowering others around me. His optimistic & mature perspective and hilarious nature always helped me find my way though all sorts of problems and challenges.  I could go on and on. So many good memories and so many things learned... Side note, I believe that Autodesk's Pier 9 will go down in history as the Xerox Parc of our modern day. So many talented people / things / concepts / ideas / pieces of knowledges come in and out of it, I don't know of any other place in the Bay I'd say is more innovative, cutting edge, open and inviting. Maybe Google X, Maybe Tesla / Space X... MAYBE.... Towards the middle/end of my residency when I was wrapping up projects, and new artists were coming in, I had this deep urge to help the new artists find their way just as the coordinators and other past artists had helped me find mine. Helping the new artists was one of the most satisfying things I did at the pier. I'd like to think my residency at Pier 9 has come full circle, but I think it even goes deeper than just my time at the Pier. I did my first instructable (as in I made someone else's creation) in 2007. Now 7 years laters, I hope that the instructables I have written and will write in the future will inspire young makers to keep making and eventually give back to their community in any way they can!  Thank you Pier 9, Thank you Instructables, Thank you Autodesk, Thank you fellow Artists. I will try to pay you back one day.  

Topic by syedrezaali    |  last reply


Pier 9 Tour

Take a tour through the Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco, the place that Instructables calls home. Is it Earth's most awesome collaborative workspace? We think so.

Topic by xxlauraxx    |  last reply


Pier 9 in the Media

Video Tour Through the Pier 9 Workshop  TechCrunch - May 2014 Approachable Fabrication Fabrication and Forming Journal - May 2014 Anouk Wipprecht Creates Smart Textiles in SF 7x7 - May 2014 Most Amazing Office Spaces on the Planet Business Insider - April 2014 What Happens When you Turn Artists Loose on Autodesk's 3D Printers Fast Company - April 2014 Andreas Bastian Creates Incredible Bendable 3D Printed Mesostructured Material 3DPrint.com - April 2014 Dutch artist Wipprecht to speak at Codame Art+Tech event SF Chronicle - April 2014 Carl Bass in the Pier 9 Workshop Discovery Channel - March 2014 Autodesk Pier 9 Design and Motion - March 2014 AutoCAD 2015 Blogger Day CAD Setter Out - March 2014 Inside Autodesk's 3D Printing and Creativity Workshop on Pier 9 Curbed SF - March 2014 Creating Joy in Technology CCA News - October 2013 Ribbon Cutting at Pier 9 GigaOm - September 2013

Topic by jsass    |  last reply


Kite surfers jump pier

A story for Eric... Two kite surfers from West Sussex took advantage of strong winds on the south coast to realise an ambition to jump over Worthing pier. Jake Scrace, 25, and Lewis Crathern, 24, had been planning Monday morning's jump for three years but had to wait for perfect weather conditions. Carpenter Mr Scrace, who makes kite boards, and professional kite surfer Mr Crathern are both from Worthing. Between them they have 16 years' experience in the sport. They took off from Goring to the west side of Worthing in gusts of wind that were more than 40mph, and had two helpers on the beach.     Link to BBC story, with video.  

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Ribbon Cutting at Pier 9

Yesterday (Thursday September 12th) was the official ribbon cutting at Pier 9.  There were many people in attendance including Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. In Instructables' tradition of being nontraditional, the ribbon was made of metal and cut by Carl with a grinder. Tours were given after the official cutting to those who haven't yet experienced the awesomeness of our workshop! Read some more in the article on San Francisco Business Times.

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Reflections on Pier 9 Residency

My residency on the Pier lasted from January through June 2014, a total of six incredibly busy months, during which time I built a 3D printer with an un-bounded build volume and a low cost metal laser sintering 3D printer. It took nearly three months to learn to handle the overwhelming potential of each new day on the Pier. The Pier is such a focal point of creative energy and flux-- every day the Pier hosts thought leaders in design, fabrication, art, and engineering. I've never seen such a critical density of talent. In the residency program, I had the unique opportunity to collaborate with fashion designers, furniture makers, illustrators, and other engineers with a freedom and agility that I've never seen anywhere else. In one of many sudden collaborations, Anouk Wipprecht returned from a trip to LA and showed me an SLS 3D printed tentacle that she was considering using in a dress she was designing. I began thinking about FDM-printable compliant mechanisms and designed a tentacle more compatible with the fabrication process. Mikaela Holmes then saw the tentacles that I was printing and based on her input, I ran a couple more iterations. She then showed Paolo Salvagione these more developed designs, who in turn took it even further by adding servo-actuation to automate the piece's motion. Mikaela then iterated on the concept for several weeks, and settled on a multimaterial Objet fabrication process to make her amazing blossoming headdress. This kind of interaction could only have happened in the residency program. The other striking thing about the Pier is the learning infrastructure that surrounds each machine and process. Residents can get trained up on a machine under the instruction of the shop staff who have put together amazing documentation surrounding each machine (just see Dan Vidokavich's Haas VF-2SS video series). Tools, it turns out, aren't very useful unless you know how to use them and the Pier is full of extremely knowledgeable folks who always teaching through even the smallest actions. It's a very positive and healthy culture of always giving each other a hand. I have also never encountered so much support for realizing such personal projects. Noah Weinstein and Vanessa Sigurdson made sure no obstacle was insurmountable. When I needed to move my 3D metal printer prototype briefly off the Pier, Noah immediately located additional space and helped me move my prototype that weekend. Julia Cabral, Autodesk's environmental health and safety officer was also an amazing resource and advisor to my metal printer project, which involved high voltage, high powered lasers, explosive materials, and pressurized gases. Not only did Julia do tons of research to advise on proper sealing, venting, material selection, and gas sensing techniques, she also helped me draw up all the associated safety protocols for operating the prototype machine. I'd recommend the residency program to artists, designers, and engineers alike. The human and fabrication resources tare unparalleled and reside in a spectacular culture based on respect, openness, and mutual support.

Topic by andreasbastian    |  last reply


Pier 9 is Disneyland for Makers

The amount of resources this place has is impossible to describe. If you really want to learn all the equipment at Pier 9 it will probably take you 2 years to fully know how every machine works. People here love making things and it felt like home. For me making is not only the transformation of the object into the final piece but it's a transformation in me, how my emotions change as I build. I never felt more connected to my work as in Pier 9. It's been a few months since I finished my residency and to be honest every week I think of quitting my job and going back. It has been one of my most memorable experiences in the past couple of years and if you are thinking of applying, stop thinking and APPLY! (3 good friends: John, Xander and Wei are now AiR after I shared my experience with them) I applied to be an AiR because I had a bunch of personal projects I wanted to make and had been really busy working at SRI designing really amazing robots to "save the world". Most of the projects I was working back at that time were kind of long and most of them involved DARPA funding (confidential- can't talk about). In contrast, I wanted to make shorter projects, just for fun. Pier 9 seemed like a perfect place. It is located over the water, you will be literally cutting wood on the table saw with the most amazing view of downtown SF. I live in Menlo Park so I would take the Caltrain and get of at King St. Then I would bike for 10 minutes along the Embarcadero. At night, I would bike facing the Bay Bridge Lights. Overall beautiful commute. When I joined in November 2013, things were still being organized at the Pier. For example, making a reservation for a class was super easy and intuitive. a few months after that there was a more complicated process and it felt the classes were always full. The AiR lounge/office had white walls and no furniture so I decided to make a few projects to make our space a little nicer. I also made the AiR wallet to keep the credit card safe (we used to have a big clamp to store our credit card). One final addition, was the AiR roster that I pulled together to know all of the other AiR and have their contact info. One of my objectives at the Pier was learning to do CNC. I started working with the ShopBot and learned to do 2.5 CNC fairly quickly. I enjoyed making CNC furniture for the Pier. I hope the Piggy Coffee table is still in the AiR lounge. After that I continued working with CNC and made a clock and a sunglass case. I wished the DMS 5 axis was running before I left the Pier so I could make my lounge chair from a tree trunk. I do want to say sorry for all of the router bits I broke, all of the toxic materials I used and any other unethical things I've done! I will miss Pier 9 but I what I will miss the most is the people. There were about 10-15 Artists in Residence at any given time. That meant that every week or two, a new talented artist was joining and another one was saying goodbye. The best part was that we all shared our work and got great comments and feedback from the rest of the group. The amount of creativity and diversity was unbelievable. I have to make a special mention to my shop teacher and friend Sean. He has been a great companionnon several all nighters at the Pier. We would be doing some crazy amount of work in the evening and going to bed around 7 am. I would go and sleep for a long while but he always had to come back to the Pier and teach a class. Sean was responsible for teaching me some tricks on a couple of machines so thanks to him my time was more effective. Another thing I will miss is going to the woodshop and see Sam working on the next modification to the shop. He was always with a friendly smile giving us advice while he was finishing his project. I also would like to thank Taylor Stein and Arthur Harsuvanakit. Both work at Autodesk and they have tought me and a bunch of AiR how to use some of the Autodesk software. Last, another thanks to Randy Sarafan, he also was another late night worker and companion. Thanks again to Noah and Vanessa for making my dreams come true. Alejandro (alepalan)

Topic by alepalan  


To Pier 9, Thanks for Everything !

Tl;dr : 1. people are the greatest resource at the pier 2. sometimes it’s hard to work due to too much awesomeness Seriously. Me and my collaborator, Radamés Ajna, had a couple of projects we wanted to do in the spring/summer of 2014, and while looking for some shop space in Oakland, someone recommended we check out the AiR program. We applied. We thought that if we got accepted Autodesk would give us a desk, some nice hand tools, and access to their software. And that would’ve been great. Coming from Brazil, where it feels like we solve everything using hot glue, zip ties and duct tape, that would have been more than enough. Weren’t we surprised when we visited the shop. . . Holy crap, everything is here. Some of the machines are bigger than my apartment, and there’s even a swimming pool ! I’m pretty sure everyone has written about all the great machines, because, yeah, they are great, but to me, the most important aspect of being an AiR at the pier was the people. The shop staff who not only teach you how to use the machines, but also have enough collective experience to help you solve any kind of material/machining/construction problem. Want to vacuum form foam? No problem. Want to glue glass to cement? Someone has done it before. Want to weld titanium? Easy. Having access to the tools is good, but having people that know how to use them is even more awesomenest. The same is true for the CAD people who help you set up and use all kinds of modeling and design software. Not only that, but they get excited when you use their software. Not having had a lot of experience with 3D modeling prior to my residency, it was a great opportunity to learn it using Fusion 360. Another very special group of people were the other AiRs. The ones that came in with us (Anouk, Alex, U-Ram, Adrien, Paolo, Scott, Mikaela) and the ones that were already there when we  arrived (Andy, Aaron, Rima, Andreas, Ben). What a diverse crowd. It was great to get to know everybody, and also to be able to share experiences and expertise. I don’t even know how many times Paolo and Andy saved me from searching for “metal thing with a hole” or “thing with a thing inside” on google, because they knew exactly what I was looking for. Invaluable! Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to explain your project and get everyone excited about it, because everyone has such a diverse background and set of interests, but learning how to talk about our projects from different perspectives was a challenge that I enjoyed. And, last but not least, the IRL Instructables community; another very diverse, active and enthusiastic group of people at the pier. I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like they are always happy, and making cookies. The sum of all of these people is something awesome. There’s always something interesting going on at the Pier (even at night and on the weekends), which sometimes can be a bit distracting, but also motivating. I will sorely surely miss them all.

Topic by thiagohersan    |  last reply


TechCrunch takes a Tour of Pier 9

Techcrunch takes a tour through Pier 9. Check out the video!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick  


Artists in Residence Exhibition at Pier 9

The annual Autodesk Artists in Residence Exhibition was held at Pier 9 in San Francisco from January 22-24, 2015. Check out some of the projects and learn more about the Artists in Residence (AiR) program here. (To see all AiR Instructables, follow the Artist in Residence group.) "Best art opening ever!" Some snaps from the evening: Photos by Brad Avery, Charlie Nordstrom, and Sherry Wong.

Topic by xxlauraxx  


Build Day at Pier 9 - 9.27.13

It is the last Friday of the month again and you know what that means...Build Day!!! It is another crazy kitchen day at Pier 9 while everyone runs around making their own delicious dish!  Check back to see what tasty dishes they have cooked up today! Projects in the works! Tote Bags Curly Fries Pasta Curry What are you guys making today?

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick  


Instructables Pier 9 - One of the Most Amazing Office Spaces On The Planet

At least according to Business Insider who recently posted an article of the 9 most amazing office spaces on the planet.  They included Pier 9 and even listed it second! Check out the article

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Popular Mechanics Takes a Tour of Pier 9

"Inside Instructables' Kooky, Creative Warehouse Wondershop" "There's a place where artists can create whatever they want, using the most advanced equipment on the planet. It's in San Francisco (of course). In a warehouse (of course)." Come read the article to hear more about the Pier and what some of the Artist in Residence are up to!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Amazing Visit in Pier 9 (2015 Summer)

Dear Community,        !!Spoiler Alert!!         Last summer, my family took a vacation to the California America!! My parents only planned 2 day in SF!! It is such an vibrant city! i wish i had stayed longer! In our brief stay we did went to ILM's lobby and Pier 9 under my strong request!! A super friendly Community manager helped us to sign up between our DM.          We began in the lobby, a gentleman Jacob was our guide! He took us through a round of self introduction, the tour size was 9. And i was the only instructable member! After learning about the exhibit in the lobby and what role does pier 9 serve for Autodesk's development, we headed to the little showroom next to the kitchen. I saw projects i read about in real life! The feeling was incredible. My father was picked to try out the cocktail mixer from Manhattan project. We also learn from example hoe artist's work give feedback to software design and the cycle goes on and on, resulting in better iteration every time.        We then are instruct to wear lab goggles since it is time to see the CNC milling room. Luckily, there were only 2 machine in used. We got open up and see the inside of the machines with its extensive variety of drill head. We also get to hear from those who are currently using  the machines! Pass this door, is the wood and metal work room. Behold the Killer view(see attached pics). All members of the tour asked interesting questions. I was wondering if the metal chips and bit can be recycled in house, turn out they don't. We didn't spent much time there, since there is nobody working there. But hey, who would mind so decent carpenter metal-smith experience, making game related armor and weapons.       I was taking picture with my Canon DSLR. At this moment, the battery flated out despite being fully charged the night before. I continued with my Phone Camera. Which turns out that my Camera was shorted and formatted the sd card. Luckily recovered some pics later.        Up stairs we went, to the 3D print farm!! There is also the laser cutter. It is the busiest room in the pier. People on computers, setting up the printers, washing the water soluble support away. I am so overwhelm by the fillament, powder, even paper based printer which eat A4 and pumps 3d models out!! A massive amount of 3d print works are on a shelf. There are multicoolor print, a sabertooth skull, Human ears. A continuous track that i was told that it was printed that way without any assemble, which was made possible by the water soluble support! It was also one of my favorite room as a 3d artist. How i could quickly prototype parts and toys!      Afterwards, it is the skywalk of over the top of the milling room. there is this fun over head track with handles. I certainly took a spin!! haha that is what i mean by tech meets fun!!      Across the skywalk, we saw the Arduino and electronics room next to the internship area, where host XYZen-Garden and mini clear King Kong!! Many more!! The sewing room with so sewing machine mounted to the wall! With every equipment and machine i see, i can see myself using it to create interesting PROJECTS!! My brain was constantly bouncing into storming mode!! Unlocking new possibility of creation! New present idea i can surprise my Girlfriend with!!      The tour ends with the restaurant grade kitchen! Which was brief, since we were running out of time. We asked so many quality questions along the tour and time is almost up. It was the most interesting workshop i have ever been to!! As a scientist-artist hybrid, I really wanna work there some how!! To put my ideas to the test!      Enough about my visit, there are so many things i didnt wrote about though. Have you been there? Any fun ideas about HQ? Please tell me!! draft and  Craft, Mchau2 Who am I? I am joined instructables at March 2013, I published my first instructable about a year later!! It was a paper ironman that i built without peps. Being picked as featured the first time was my honor. I am from HK, apart from Digital art, I focus on prop making and D.I.Y. Toys. I tried my best every time. Until next time, Happy instructabling.

Topic by mchau2    |  last reply


My experience as an AIR

Wow! What an experience. Probably the most enjoyable, action packed, creativity-loaded 2 months of my life.  I have been tinkering in what I used to call shops; building, hacking, creating, for as long as I can remember but this... this was more than I had ever dreamed. The residency program at Instructables is a dream come true. Access to a state of the art shop, surrounded by creative, inspiring, fun people. What more could you ask for. Take one of the most creative, forward thinking, cutting edge areas of the United States (the Bay); the coolest city in that area (San Francisco); the prettiest/most unique part of that city (the Embarcadero) and slap the worlds best creative work shop on it, right over the water (Pier 9). Walking in the doors for the first time was surreal. From the swinging meeting table to the coolest kitchen I have ever seen; water jet to brand new Bridgeport; 3-D printers to industrial sewing machines, Instructables has done it. Within hours of being assigned a desk I was signing up for workshop classes and using Autodesk software to mock up some design ideas for the bicycle frame jig I spent most of my residency building. I later used this jig to build a bicycle frame.  Not only was I having a blast building what I wanted to build, I was building skills I hope to use professionally. I am hoping to start my own business building custom bicycle frames. The time to tinker and build at Instructables gave me a tremendous jump start. I wish it hadn't ended.

Topic by Tanner W    |  last reply


Working in the Woodshop

Classes have started at Pier 9!  Everyone has to go through different classes in order to be allowed to use pieces of equipment in the workshop.  Check out Jessy becoming a pro at some of the woodshop tools!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Being an Artist in Residence at Pier 9: MORE IS BETTER

My second one month term as Artist in Residence at Pier 9 was a blast, again. Now I’m back home, the jet lag is behind me and the making rush is replaced by the rush of “ordinary” life. Time for a short “retrospect” What remained the same compared to the first time, is being torn between spending as much time as possible in the awesome workshop, interacting with creative soul mates (both AIRs and Autodesk/Instructables people, all very creative and very busy themselves) and the lures of San Francisco, a city that brings the whole world to one place. What has changed that there is even more of the good stuff. When I did my first one month term as AIR, in July 2013, Instructables had just moved to Pier 9 and the workshop was brand new. Now the workshop is fully operational, with some more machines even. There is a very professional training program in place, with very good and passionate trainers, quickly learning you how to work with the machines. In July 2013 we were 4 artists, Now, April-May 2015, fulltime and part time artist together we where about 30! That high concentration of creative people, with a wide range of interests and skills, really gives a vibe. It is clear both Instructables and the Artist in Residence program thrive in the environment made possible by Autodesk. It is fantastic to see how this company believes in giving creativity the means to materialise in the widest range of projects. I’m very grateful for the chance to share in that. I did five different blimp projects, two as workshops for children, which was absolutely great. I added five new sub projects to my laser cut advent calendar project and was able to make the advent calendar itself. Clearly, I have a lot of material for Instructables. So more is better. To bad for me I can only come for one month at a time (because of family and work reasons). One month is terribly short and so is two months. I crave for more ;-) Cheers and thanks to all you lucky people at Pier 9, Yvon a.k.a. masynmachien

Topic by masynmachien    |  last reply


Permanentný make-up obočia, pier a očných liniek

PERMANENTNÝ MAKE-UP OBOČIA ČIARKOVANOU METÓDOU 130,-€, TRVANIE PROCEDÚRY 1,5-2hod. AKCIA 79,99€ Permanentný make-up obočia čiarkovanou metódou je najmodernejší spôsob tetovania obočia s maximálne prirodzeným konečným efektom. Aplikácia farebného pigmentu je priamo na obočie, a to bez akéhokoľvek vyholenia, vytrhania alebo vydepilovania prírodných chĺpkov obočia. Naopak, tetovanie čiarkovanou metódou vyzerá efektívnejšie v obočí s prírodnými chĺpkami. Techniku čiarkovaním obľubujú i  ženy, ktoré nemajú vôbec žiadne chĺpky v obočí a neželajú si príliš výrazné obočie. Pri metóde čiarkovania sa tetuje chĺpok po chĺpku, až do vytvarovania krásneho, vopred predkresleného tvaru obočia. Je to šetrnejší spôsob tetovania obočia voči pokožke.

Topic by vkocianová  


Happy Halloween from Instructables HQ!

We just wanted to share some of the awesome costumes that have popped so far today at Pier 9! Please share what you are wearing today in the comments!  And share links to your tutorials! Check out some of the Instructables too! Disco Outfit Vanellope Von Schweets Interactive Instagram Costume

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Pier 9, I've never met anyone quite like you before.

Instructables' first artist in residence to start at Pier 9.I lucked out and happened to be that person. I also lucked out and happened to be at Pier 9 for about nine months. I feel like I've had one of the strangest residencies at Instructables. Noah was willing to be flexible enough with me to allow me to still work full time while I was there. It only allowed me my free time to work on projects at P9. I found myself there early in the mornings, late into the evenings, and consistently all day on the weekends. I've seen the sun rise at P9. I've seen the sun set at P9. I've been a lone person at P9 surrounded by millions of dollars of incredible machines. Machines that I have been dreaming about having access to for years. Free range of what I could do. Creativity overload. It becomes overwhelming at times. Some days were spent with anxiety over doing something that you hope is impressive. It can make it an intimidating place to start at. Somehow, I found myself in a building filled with some of the most competent, experienced, and creative people I have ever met. Ultimately, my biggest regret is not having enough time to spend more of my time there. The conversations you have at Pier 9 are incredible, aided with an amazing view of the San Francisco Bay and free coffee made by a robot. “What are you making?” I think this is the unofficial slogan of Pier 9 because that is the first thing someone will ask when you meet. Your response is always greeted with genuine enthusiasm. That's the culture. You are given the tools and resources to create anything. The thing that you create is welcomed with high regards. Positivity flows in everything. I am so humbled to be able to be part of what is happening at Pier 9. I think everyone agrees that something amazing is happening there. I am thankful to everyone who helped make it happen. To Noah, Vanessa, Randy, Amanda, Audrey, Gabe, Dan, Sean, J, and everyone else. Thank you. It is you that makes Pier 9 the special place that it is. The machines are only an added bonus. High fives all around.

Topic by ElectricSlim    |  last reply


Water spouts at Bellagios Las Vegas also in Chicago on the pier

We were fascinated by the spouts and I see they are also on youtube. Does anyone know how we could make them to go in our garden? www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO3kfjWh2qM

Topic by Kiwi girl    |  last reply


Antarctica-Bound Hybrid-Electric Hummers Visit Pier 9

Drive Around the World, a nonprofit founded in the Bay Area, revealed its latest innovation, a pair of hybrid­-electric Polar Traverse Vehicles, also known as the Zero South PTVs. These two unique vehicles are bound for a history­-making expedition across Antarctica and they came to Pier 9 today to talk about it.  These revolutionary vehicles, designed using Autodesk tools, have undergone an extensive transformation from gas guzzling Hummers to open source, environmentally conscious biofuel hybrid­-electric vehicles outfitted with ice tracks and capable of standing up to the Earth’s harshest environments. Vehicle designers and leading NASA scientists discussed the expedition's logistics and the latest in climate discoveries. From the Zero South team: There is intentional irony in repurposing the Hummer H1, which many view as a contemporary symbol of gross consumer waste and inefficiency. Others view it as a remarkable multipurpose machine capable of extreme on­ and off­-road performance. But no matter which way the audience is ³polarized² by the vehicle, this adventure will appeal to everyone. Zero South Electrical Engineer Brock Winberg

Topic by xxlauraxx    |  last reply


How to Go to Maker Heaven

Dear Pier 9, You are a place like no other, and I’m so glad you came into my life.  I was a full time Artist in Residence at the Pier for 4 months, and I doubt I have ever been so simultaneously intellectually stimulated, inspired and intimidated at any other point.  When I came to the Pier I had been living in New York for 8 years, and I had just decided to make a permanent migration back to my homeland on the West Coast.  I’d heard rumors about the rampant culture of innovation in the Bay Area, but I was still totally unprepared for the explosion of creative energy and excitement that is the nerdy artist heaven called Pier 9. Maybe I’m just getting older and less jaded… but in the last few years, I have felt a change in the world, a shift in attitude from angst to optimism, from critique to creation, and I think places like the Pier exemplify this new positive force.  The fact that a multinational corporation like Autodesk has allocated a significant amount of resources to giving the imaginations of a bunch of madcap inventors, artists, engineers and other creatives free reign in a beautiful lab with a bunch of cutting edge machines… well, to me that says good things about the direction of the world.  But what really makes the Pier special, I think, is the fact that all the creativity taking place there is fundamentally motivated by the philosophy of Instructables; by the idea that knowledge should be shared.  I have never encountered a group of people so willing to share their ideas and skills, and so excited to help make other people’s dreams a reality.  And the feeling was really infectious!  Everyone was so ridiculously helpful, that on the rare occasion I had the opportunity to teach someone else a skill, it felt like a treat. That’s not to say that my experience at the Pier was all sunshine and roses.  It was exhausting and draining, and very ego challenging.  When I first arrived I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the new information I was intaking.  I had projects in mind, but those ideas were quickly swept away in the tide of new ideas that arose with every fascinating technology, and possibility I encountered.  Having nearly unlimited options can be paralyzing, and I fell pray to this paralysis many times at the Pier.  One of the pitfalls of having so many amazing minds in one place is that someone always has a new idea that will either revolutionize the project you are working on, or cause you to completely change direction and start working on something new.  That can be great, but if you aren’t careful it can cause acute artistic ADD. I think most creative journeys have a similar arc.  When you are learning new skills, it can take a while for the quality of the work you are producing to catch up with your creative vision.  I definitely felt that way at the Pier.  During my time there, my work ended up going on a journey from two dimensions to three dimensions.  I started out by experimenting with laser cutting.  I am a costume designer, and was interested in creating a wearable mechanical flower that would illuminate and open and close in response to its environment.  My first attempts to create this form felt very flat and lifeless to me, so I stepped away from the flower project and focused on figuring out how to create something much more three dimensional with the two dimensional process of laser cutting.  The result was a costume constructed from laser cut leather and el wire.  After that I decided I was ready to tackle 3D modeling and 3D printing, so I went back to my flower idea, and spent the rest of my time at the Pier testing and developing this form.  It was a really new and interesting process, 3D modeling and prototyping with the amazing Objet printers.  It also gave me the chance to work closely with two other awesome Artists in Residence, Paolo Salvagione and JoeJoe Martin.  It really underlined for me that the most important resource at the Pier is the people.  No matter how many incredible machines you have under one roof, they are only as good as the minds running them.  Noah Weinstein and the other amazing innovators who run the Pier have done such an incredible job of gathering together a diverse, brilliant, exciting, and truly kind-hearted group of people… the place practically buzzes with welcoming creative energy as soon as you walk through the door.  Also, putting relatively self-actualized creators in an environment where there are so many options and resources results in some incredibly interesting glimpses into individual human passion and curiosity.  I might not have fully understood why some of my fellow AiRs were so fascinated by stacking tetrahedrons, drawing graphically detailed pictures of intestinal parasites, or creating physical bodies for virtual bots, but witnessing each artist’s commitment to their singular pursuit was in itself a fascinating and beautiful experience. So much of our lives are spent trying to make practical things happen, it’s an rare opportunity to get to spend a dedicated amount of time just exploring the potential of creative ideas.  I really think that is what Pier 9 is about, providing a place that nurtures our human desire to create, explore and learn… with a kick ass set of resources to facilitate that exploration.  Honestly, during my time there I wish I had been able to let go and enjoy that process more.  It’s not always easy to escape the concepts of deadlines and expectations, but sometimes freeing yourself from those constraints is the only way to create anything truly new.  I very much believe that what is growing at Pier 9 is a new and exciting kind of creative ecosystem, and I hope it will inspire the creation of many more similar environments.  I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten a chance to be an explorer on the frontiers of Maker Land.  Thank you so much Noah and Vanessa.

Topic by MikaelaHolmes    |  last reply


Program Feedback

What's it like to be an Artist in Residence at Instructables?  Don't ask us, ask our previous residents! Being an artist in residence at Instructables by Samuel Bernier Jayefuu as Instructables' Artist in Residence by James Williamson (Jayfu) Last Day at Instructables by Kelsey Breseman (SelkeyMoonbeam) My time as an AiR by Mark Langford (Kiteman) My Summer as an AIR at Instructables by Gabriella Levine (gabriellalevine) Field Report - Mads Hobye as an Artist in Residence by Mads Hobye (madshobye) My Month at Instructables as an Artist in Residence by Tom Flock (Tomdf) What it's like to be an Artist in Residence at Instructables by Tim Wikander (timwikander) Reflecting on my AiResidency by Taylor Cone (tcone) The worst time of my life by Mario Caicedo Langer (M.C. Langer) Fozzy13's AiR Experience! by Adam Fasnacht (Fozzy13) Masynmachien's time as an AIR  by Yvon Masyn (masynmachien) My 2 Months as an AiR by Tess Howell (Tessalene) An embarrassment of riches by Rachel McConnell (rachel) My experience as an AIR by Tanner Welch (Tanner W) The AiR05 - designed and built during Q4:13 by Timothy Lipton (timmylip) Living Salad, makerbot songs, and noodle by Lauren Mccarthy (lmccart) How to got to Maker Heaven by Mikaela Holmes (MikaelaHolmes) Crazy, Amazing and Delicious AIR Experience by Rima Khalek (rimamonsta) Autodesk: Art Residency of Generosity by Scott Kildall Autodesk Artist in Residency by Anouk Wipprecht (anoukwipprecht) Duck Confit, Perfected by Aaron Geman (aaron_geman) Pier 9, I've never met anyone quite like you before. by Andrew Maxwell-Parish (ElectricSlim) To Pier 9, Thank for Everything by Thiago Hersan My Introduction to the 21st Century by John Whitmarsh My Autodesk Residency by Benjamin Cowden (tinkertinker) Talking about my Summer by Laura Devendorf (LDevendorf) Pier 9 is a Disneyland for Makers by Alejandro Palandjoglou (alepalan) Reflections on Pier 9 Residency by Andreas Bastian (andreasbastian) Making the Most of Your Time Here by Will Buchanan (buchananwp) Reflections on the Pier by Reza Ali (syedrezaali)

Topic by noahw  


Open Call: Pier 9 & Market Street Prototyping Festival Keystone Project

MARKET STREET PROTOTYPING FESTIVAL OPEN CALL Autodesk Keystone Project Call Opens: July 11, 2014 Call Closes: September 2, 2014 Shortlist Interviews: September 17-19, 2014 Proposal Selection: October 1, 2014 CALL SUMMARY: The San Francisco Planning Department has partnered with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) to produce the Market Street Prototyping Festival: an innovative, hands-on, publicly sourced approach to creating the next chapter of San Francisco’s public life. The Market Street Prototyping Festival builds upon a five-year, multi-agency effort for a Better Market Street to re-establish San Francisco’s civic spine as a place to stop and spend time, meet friends, people watch, or just stroll and experience the scenery. As a formal piece of the planning process, the Prototyping Festival will commission and exhibit up to 50 design projects that aim to improve lives by improving public spaces. Each of the selected prototype projects will be installed on Market Street for the full duration of the three-day festival, which will take place in April 9-11, 2015. Matched with one of five Festival Districts on Market, selected teams will work directly with community members to shape the direction of their designs. The call for applications for those 50 projects is currently open and will close on September 2nd, 2014. More information on that process can be found on the Market Street Prototyping Festival website. Market Street will be broken out into 5 districts along the corridor: Civic Center, Central Market, Retail, Financial, Embarcadero. Each district, or "Block," will be represented by a Block Captain. Each Captain will mentor 10 selected prototyping teams and will be responsible for developing their own Keystone Project that will serve as the primary focal point for each district. As the Block Captain for the Embarcadero district, Autodesk is seeking proposals from engineers, industrial designers, architects, artists, and interactive designers for a large-scale Keystone Project to serve as a physical, visual and social anchor for the Embarcadero section of the festival. While there is no official theme for the festival itself, the Autodesk Keystone Project should relate to the ethos “Inspire, Design, Create.” Additionally, it should connect to the character of the Pier 9 Workshop where artists, designers and fabricators are empowered to test the limits of existing technology, both digital and mechanical. Special consideration may be given to projects that incorporate the following themes related to place-making and the unique social and spatial conditions of the Embarcadero district: • site specificity: social, cultural, geographic, and civic histories • connecting digital and physical realms • daring experimentation/playful prototyping • edge condition: city + waterfront • wayfinding and transportation networks LOCATION: Over the course of the festival, the city anticipates foot traffic of over 300,000 visitors. The Keystone Project may be installed anywhere within the festival’s Embarcadero district, which starts at the intersection of Market and Spear Street, extending to the traffic island at Embarcadero and Market, possibly including Jimmy Herman Plaza. See the map on the Market Street Prototyping Festival website for more details and note that Autodesks main San Francisco office is located at 1 Market. PRECEDENTS: The following projects are examples of what the application review committee is looking for in terms of scale, tone and available resources. These samples are meant to serve purely as a reference and are not works that will be featured at the festival. - Sukkah City, Various, New York - 21 Balançoires (21 Swings), Daily tous les jours, Montreal - Light Drift, J. Meejin Yoon, Philadelphia                 (Note: Projects for the 2014 Urban Prototyping festival cannot be installed in the bay.) - Digital Empathy, Julianne Swartz, New York LOGISTICS, EXPECTATIONS, AND SUPPORT: The selected project and team will be fully supported by the Pier 9 Workshop! We look forward to having you join our creative community of Artists in Residence, other Creative Projects Teams, and the folks who make Instructables.com go. We provide ample opportunities to collaborate with other designers and makers, to receive training on any of the machines in our workshop, gain software support for all Autodesk products (including free software licenses), and call upon the expertise of our fantastic Shop Staff. We can supply a modest office workspace and 24-hour access to the workshop. All basic workshop supplies will be covered, including hardware, sheet goods, finishes, and prototyping materials. Additional funding will be provided at an amount to be determined. We expect to support an innovative and inspiring project that reflects the use of our world-class facilities, at a scale similar to the precedents listed. For more information on the amenities available at Pier 9, see the Pier 9 Overview and Machine Catalog Instructables. Your project will also receive support from Autodesk’s public relations team, marketing team, video and photo documentation team, software specialists, and workshop fabrication specialists. There will be an expectation that you will work collaboratively with all of these groups to share the progress and product of your work. Finally, we have an Advisory Committee representing expertise in areas of landscape architecture, sustainability, and digital fabrication that can be called upon for consultation and critical feedback at particular points in the project timeline. The selected artist or team will be expected to formally share their progress throughout the development and fabrication process with the creative community at Pier 9 and beyond. This includes: • posting Instructables related to the making of the project • 2 presentations to the Advisory Committee for feedback • 1 lunchtime presentation to the full Pier 9 community, near project completion TIMELINE: July 11, 2014 —RFP Release July 22, 2014 —12pm lunchtime RFP Info Session at Pier 9 September 2, 2014 —Proposals Due September 17-19, 2014 — Semifinalist interviews October 1, 2014 —Keystone project announced October - December, 2014 — periodic consultations with members of Advisory Board Early December, 2014 — Presentation and critique with the Advisory Board Early February, 2015 — Follow-up presentation and critique with the Advisory Board 2 weeks before festival —Dress rehearsal (deadline for full assembly and functionality) April 9-11, 2015 —Installation and three-day festival presentation APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: - 1 page statement regarding the concept, siting, and fabrication strategy for your proposal - Up to 5 photos/videos of mock-ups or prior work - CV including exhibition history (if applicable) - Proposed budget outline (Please include direct costs, materials, artist fees, contractors, and any additional project contributors or contractors) - Draft project calendar including proposed dates for prototyping workflow, workshop production time, completion time(s), and out-of-town dates (if applicable) - List of anticipated machines and materials needed ABOUT PIER 9: Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop is a world-class fabrication facility on the San Francisco Bay. The Artist in Residence (AiR) program gives artists, designers and Instructables authors a chance to work with us in our lab and workshops to explore, create, and document innovative projects with our tools and resources and share them with the DIY community. AiRs are invited to come for a period of several weeks to several months, during which they will work on projects that are shared across the Autodesk Studio Communities. The primary goals of the residency program are to produce top-level inspirational content and to connect innovative and creative individuals with our unique set of tools and resources. Questions and inquiries are encouraged. We look forward to learning more about your work. Please submit applications with all materials compiled in a .zip file titled with your project name to: P9PublicPrograms@Autodesk.com. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Market Street Prototyping Festival Homepage Autodesk Engagement Announcement Pier 9 Overview Pier 9 Machine Catalog

Topic by brinstructables  


Handmade rag rugs

I was trying to remember if I saw a 'ible on how to make a rag rug, like the ones they sell at Pier One, or a rug (or pillow) made from strips made from T shirts. Does anyone remember any of this?

Topic by ArtsyFartsyGirl    |  last reply


My Autodesk Residency

I was an Artist in Residence at Pier 9 from January through March of 2014, just a few months after the facility opened. I completed three projects during my residency, but split some of my projects into several Instructables. Citrus Juice Press with Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery "Tiny Planet" 3D Printed Mechanical Sculpture "The Manhattan Project" Cocktail Machine (Coming Soon!) Here are some things that were wonderful about my Residency: -Vanessa and Noah were extremely supportive as coordinators/facilitators/etc. They worked tirelessly to organize and improve a rapidly growing program filled with newbies like me. Whether it's just bouncing ideas around or getting connected with a person who has a particular skill, they were always willing to take a minute and help out. -Shop staff and Instructables staff were very helpful in navigating the tricky details of the shop, writing and publishing Ibles, etc. I relied heavily on help from Sean, Gabe, Dan, and Martin to help me work with tools in the CNC, Metal, and 3D Printing shops. They were patient and interested in helping me become a skilled operator. -Having access to the tools at Pier 9, particularly the Omax Waterjet and the Objet 3D Printers, allowed me to quickly move from design through prototype to final product. As a mechanical sculptor, I am used to spending months on a single project, waiting days or weeks for waterjet/lasercut parts to ship to me, etc.  -Classes and workshops, both formal and spur-of-the-moment style, gave me the resources to use so many tools that it was sometimes overwhelming (see below), but always awesome. Gabe's weekly software sessions, Audrey's photography tutorial, and of course all the Safety and Basic Use classes in the shop, were excellent ways to gain experience with new tools or learn how to better use familiar ones. -Free, endless coffee. Here are some challenges I faced during my residency: -The open-office style space at the Pier makes it quite difficult to focus (for me at least). Wearing headphones can help, but I also found that doing computer work elsewhere was more efficient. I know that the layout is meant to facilitate community, and it does, but I have found that I have to be vigilant so that my "talking about doing cool stuff" time does not eclipse my "doing cool stuff" time. -CNC tools can do incredible things very quickly, but they are fickle and, especially in the hands of novices, break often. Other times, they are just so popular there is a line to use them. Shop staff do a superb job of keeping the shop running smoothly, but I learned to always head to the Pier with a list of projects to work on, in case the tool I most wanted to use was unavailable. -There is an overstimulation that seems impossible to avoid at the Pier. New ideas come so fast, it becomes hard to pin yourself down to one and begin the nitty gritty work of actually making it happen. It can be quite difficult. -There is some pressure at the Pier, and I imagine it will grow, to use Autodesk software. As much as I would like to gain experience using Inventor and Maya, I decided that I would get more done by sticking with the software I was comfortable with.  -Free, endless coffee. I walked away from my Residency with a host of new skills, a number of new friends and professional colleagues, and a few projects to boot! It was a great time, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks Pier 9!

Topic by tinkertinker    |  last reply


Plattitude: Plaid Statistics from Instructables HQ

For the past month Devon of Instructables has been tracking the instances where plaid shows up in an Instructable's employees wardrobe. I just wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the awesome results. I will let everyone take what they will from the results; enjoy!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Google+ Hangout - Lumi Workshop + Demonstration

STREAMING LIVE HERE: http://youtu.be/bGQTqpdSios Lumi, our September build night sponsor, is joining us at our new office in Pier 9 for a workshop next Thursday. We will be experimenting with their photographic print dyes and broadcasting the entire demo and event to the world via google hangout. The event will be recorded and findable on our Youtube page. Event RSVP Here

Topic by Carleyy    |  last reply


My 2 Months as an AiR

I read through all of the 'my time as an AIR' posts to get inspiration and to dial my thoughts on what to write. There was one common theme amongst them all - Being an AIR at Instructables is the most awesomely incredible experience! There are so many thoughts running through my head and heart at the moment, it's hard to know where to begin.   I came to the Pier from Northern Idaho. Where traffic is four cars at a traffic light and criminals are high school kids smoking weed in an alley. Arriving in the Bay was a bit of a culture shock. It was great to experience the Bay Area beyond that of a vacation, and to have an idea what it was like to live here.  When I started my residency I was a bit intimidated - by the tools and by all the creative projects everyone was doing. Once I completed some training courses and got to know people at the Pier, I found it was easy to get into a routine and to be completely comfortable working away in the shop.  While I was an AIR I completed a handful of different projects (check them out!). I started the program with the idea that I would make some sort of furniture piece that incorporated plant life. What that piece was, I had no idea. After starting some other side projects, my main project really started to define itself and take some direction. It was great having the freedom to make changes to project ideas and really just go where your mind takes you.  The Pier is full of some very creative and talented people - all of which were so helpful along the way. Whether I was stuck in the design process or the building process, there was also someone to help me get over that hump.  The Best Parts: - The freedom to make what you want, when you want - The friendly, creative and knowledgable Instructables employees - Access to high quality tools and equipment - Eating too much at the food trucks - The view from the Pier! The Worst Parts: - Eating too much at the food trucks - 2 months is too short! - Leaving Advice for future AIRs: Don't be intimidated. Be confident in your ideas. And don't be afraid to change your direction when a new idea comes your way. Thank you to everyone who made my residency as amazing as it was. The people and the residency were both very inspiring. It was surreal to be able to make what you want, when you want, with access to just about everything you can imagine. For me, it felt like a once in a lifetime experience.  -Tess

Topic by tessalene    |  last reply


Singapore - Meet Awesome Makers - Eric Wilhelm at Prototyping Lab@National Design Centre

I'll be visiting Singapore this week. OmeMaker Group has graciously offered to host me for an informal talk and Q&A; session about Instructables and Pier 9. The event is Thursday 2015-08-20 at 7:30 PM at Prototyping Lab@National Design Centre. You can register to attend here. I'm looking forward to meeting Instructables authors in Singapore!  

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


News Intros?

Hello my name is Uzi Cohen I am News intro type of person. For over a year I been planning to make a satire newscast of the following programs. The Situation Room(CNN), NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News and Piers Morgan Tonight. Another thing I would like to create is a the Lower Third that CNN Currently uses. The links most sites have is the previous CNN lower third used before 2009. For this question I would like to get a perspective from someone that knows how to make one.

Question by Uzi Cohen    |  last reply


How can I make paint less sticky?

I spray painted a hollowed-out book from Pier 1 Imports using Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Paint and Primer about a week ago, maybe two, but one side is still a too tacky deal with, but not enough to mess up the coat. One side was the same way for awhile, but it solved itself after I left it sit face-down for a day or two, but that didn't work on the other side. What can I do to dry the paint?

Question by Numbuh1Nerd    |  last reply


Lumi Workshop at Instructables

On Thursday (September 19th) this week, Jesse from Lumi came by and gave a workshop on how to use Inkodye. We got to try it out ourselves and see how this stuff works first hand!  We had a great time picking out our designs and messing around with the dye.  We even found out they have an app so you can make all kinds of personalized designs! They have already shared projects with the Instructables community.  If you haven't already, make sure you check out their Instructables! You can follow along with the workshop video here!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Autodesk: Art Residency of Generosity

I’ve had the good fortune to participate in many art scenes over the last 15 years. These range from making large-scale fire installations at Burning Man, in proto-hacker spaces (2001-2003), a rigorous MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2004-2006), and a professional and international new media art career (2007-2012). What fuels my creativity is an ongoing quest for communities that support new modes of engagement: repurposing new technologies for art, encouraging others to make and asking why it is important for us not to simply be cultural consumers. I strongly believe we need ongoing DIY culture coupled with critical thinking to keep our society vibrant. In 2012, I took a break from my usual new media art practice of showing in museums and galleries. I felt like the art world — for a variety of reasons — was sequestered and wasn’t reaching as wide an audience as it could. A friend of mine forwarded me a job posting for a New Media Exhibit Developer at the Exploratorium. I applied for the job and got it. At this world-famous science museum, I learned about interfacing my art ideas to the public sphere. I worked with scientists around ideas of data visualization in Life Sciences. I designed exhibits that would last for the long-term rather than a 1 month exhibition. This changed my art practice so that I begin thinking about work that had a broad appeal: from school kids to the elderly, and above all else to value curiosity. After my fixed-term position at the Exploratorium was over, I began a residency at Autodesk, which intrigued me because it was my first artist residency in a corporate environment and they also had unbelievable resources. I expected to be in an amazing shop environment but also to be interacting with suit-and-tie corporate types. I certainly got the former but the Pier 9 environment surprised me. Everyone from the engineers to other artists to the marketing folks were curious about creative uses for 3D technologies could be used. Pier 9 was more a laboratory than a shop. With the Instructables-writing directive, it was also one where people shared their ideas rather than hoarded. Within my first week, I adjusted my expectations. The secret about Pier 9: It’s not about the tools but about the people. Yes, the water jet is amazing and I’ve fallen in love with 3D-printing, but more than anything there is a cross-section of smart and kind people, ranging from traditional artists, new media artists, various flavors of makers as well as engineers. Everyone has some sort of skill, ranging from drawing to fashion design to 3D modeling. No one knows everything. We all check our egos at the door. “What are you working on?” is the question we all ask one another. Each day, I’m surprised by someone’s ideas. The enthusiasm in the space is infectious. In those rare moments when I’m alone at Pier 9, I can gaze out the window at the Bay Bridge, where I feel connected to the rest of the world. I’ve been amazed by my co-resident’s projects ranging from the Playa-inspired costumes by Mikaela Holmes and futuristic fashion by Anouk Wipprecht to the playful work by Paolo Salvagione to the material experiments by Andreas Bastian. There are many more...too many to call out everyone. We work very, very hard. Yet, the environment is casual. When you have an problem there are people to help, and conversely, when someone is stuck on a project, I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to help them out. I never wear my headphones. Generosity fuels this community. There is no single type of artist that comes to this residency, which makes for intersecting circles. I’ve listened to many others. I’ve had to explain my conceptual practice. I’ve been (happily) forced to re-conceptualize my own artwork. I still don’t have the answers to my concerns about art-sequestering, but this is the right place for me to be. With this residency, I’ve found the path that I’ve been long searching for. Thank you. Scott Kildall

Topic by scottkildall    |  last reply


Instructables Visits the Exploratorium

Instructables got to sneak in to check out behind-the-scenes at the Exploratorium (which happens to be at Pier 15 which is right next door to the Instructables HQ) as well as entry into the After Dark Event: Transformations.  During the private tour we were able to get more information about specific exhibits as well as a see their Exhibit Development Shop. The next After Dark event will be Fog and it will defiantly be worth checking out.  And even if that doesn't work or you aren't old enough (After Dark is an adults only event) you should plan a day trip to the Exploratorium, there is so much to see! Warning: Overload of pictures to follow! Photos by Nicole and Audrey, Videos from Sherry.

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Building a fence

I am going to construct a fence between my garage and my house. 20 ft or so long, To keep my too small dogs contained. Here in lies the rub, I have already built one fence. it's still up and working fine, however in the construction I discovered how dense the crete is, ramset doesn't work, drilling? I would never get deep enough. So I have decided to use cement piers and 4x4 posts and sit the fence right on the concrete, with enough weight I am praying the fence will not move much, I only need to contain two 5# dogs its mostly ornamental. If anyone has attempted anything along these lines, please contact me with your triumphs and failures, or any advice you may have thanks!

Topic by colurblinde    |  last reply


2013 Accomplishments and 2014 Resolutions!

The New Year is almost here!  Does everyone have awesome plans and resolutions?  How about, what did you accomplish this year; new job, Instructable milestones?  Even sharing a resolution from last year that you accomplished counts! Nothing is too big or too small to share! I'll get the ball rolling: Accomplishments: Instructables moved to Pier 9 (pretty sweet!) Hit 1 Million views (1,037,806, and steadily making it's way up) Hit 100 Instructables (133 now!) Posted 52 Instructables Well, there are a few anyway :) Resolutions: Work out at least once a week (well, who doesn't have a goal like this) Reach 200 Instructables (I only need to post 67, seems possible right?) Get organized (you do NOT want to see my cottage) I'm sure I'll think of more later!  Your turn!

Topic by Penolopy Bulnick    |  last reply


Living salad, makerbot songs, and noodle!

My first day at Instructables, I found myself sitting on a chair fabricated by the guy next to me, listening to plans for a living salad which would grow through your plate, fertilized by worms below the surface and a stained glass window made of dried fruit, trying to focus on absorbing all the information Vanessa and Noah were dishing out. Just beyond loomed the amazing fabrication facilities, with rows of 3D printers, zillion-axis CNC machines, a stocked electronics room, every kind of adhesive you could dream of, and even a test kitchen! It was a makers dream, Pier 9 had the material and equipment resources to allow us to realize nearly any idea we could dream up, and dream we did. It was immediately clear that the one month my collaborator Kyle (https://www.instructables.com/member/kylemcdonald/) and I had planned to spend there was not enough. Sadly, it was all we had, so we got to work immediately on Noodle, a little robot with the I/O of a machine but the thoughts and feelings of a human. I could go on about the shop at Pier 9, but the thing that really made the experience for me was the people. Hosting 10-12 AIRs at a time, the studio was always full with people building crazy things. One day we'd experiment with Nick's instruments fashioned from rocks, sticks, and water jugs while sampling cocktails from Ben's machine and Rima's cricket ganache, the next day we'd admire Aaron's work on hoodies that zipped around your hands while being serenaded by Andreas' makerbot which seemed to be singing the future. We were all so excited and inspired it wasn't unusual to find half the group there all weekend long or into the wee hours of the night. I won't go so far as to say anyone slept the night there, but...  Not only did we get to hang out in the AIRea, but we also got to know all the others working at Pier 9. This was a building full of people willing to chat about anything from caustics to contests, lend you their skateboard so you could learn how, or demo their latest projects. Vanessa and Noah couldn't have been more supportive and helpful, and it was so inspiring to run into them in the shop on weekends hacking away on crazy things of their own. With so much going on, we sometimes had to work hard to tune it out and stay focused on our Noodle. Luckily, Kyle and I had worked together before and we were able to divide and conquer pretty productively. Kyle handled the fabrication aspects, spec'ing all the hardware and designing and lasercutting then 3D printing the physical enclosure for Noodle. I was heads down on the software trying to hook up our raspberry pi to Amazon Mechanical Turk, speakers, a display, a camera, and an interface. Thankfully, the long hack sessions were broken up by Vanessa coming by to peek at my computer over my shoulder and ask, "what's taking so long? how hard can it possibly be!" ;) I will end this post here and get to work finishing up our instructable before Vanessa hunts us down. If the specifics of our project are a bit cryptic still, all will be revealed with the instructable post (see attached pictures for more mystery). And to all of you considering applying to the AIR program, DO IT! If you are a motivated, curious person with energy and ideas you will have a blast. And the weather is ok, too. Thanks Vanessa, Noah and Instructables!

Topic by lmccart    |  last reply


Plastic Bottle Boat Set to Sail Pacific

Talk about keeping the bottle - how about keeping 12,000!David De Rothschild is currently building a sailboat from 90% recycled materials, which he has dubbed the Plastiki and plans to sail from California to Australia! Joining him on the Plastiki will be a permanent crew of three sailors and scientists plus a handful of other crew members who will rotate through the voyage. The Plastiki is expected to stop in Hawaii, Tuvalu and Fiji on its way to Sydney, a trip estimated to take more than 100 days.The vessel's twin hulls will be filled with 12,000 to 16,000 bottles. Skin-like panels made from recycled PET, a woven plastic fabric, will cover the hulls and a watertight cabin, which sleeps four. Two wind turbines and an array of solar panels will charge a bank of 12-volt batteries, which will power several onboard laptop computers, a GPS and SAT phone.The plastic sailboat is taking shape in an old pier building not far from this city's famous Fisherman's Wharf and is scheduled to set sail in April.Read the whole story at CNN's Tech spot.

Topic by scoochmaroo    |  last reply


Instructables Internship Days 5-6 (Including the weekend!)

Hi everyone,Sorry I didn't post on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, but I'll make up for that now.So, Friday:I arrived at Squid Labs knowing that today was a special day. Today would be the day that construction on Proj. X would commence. Jason and I layed out the materials and began building, taking pictures every step on the way. We assembled the main component by lunch time, and installed about 66% of the other components by the end of the day. Noah helped us out a bunch, figuring out where certain components should go and how to attach others to the "mainframe."The (construction) work environment at Squid Labs is awesome! We pretty much just dragged our materials outside and started working. You really can do whatever you want, whenever you want; it's truly amazing. I'm pretty sure that Today was the day that I realized how much I'd be willing to drop out of school and just work for Instructables. I don't really think it's a great idea, but I'd certainly be happy working full-time for Instructables, no doubt about it!I really didn't do much else today, Jason and I pretty much just worked on the.... on Proj. X (Caught myself, whew!) all day!Now, onto the weekend!Friday, Billy and I decided that we would go into the city (San Francisco) via BART/Bike on Saturday. Saturday has come, and it's finally time for me to go to S.F.After Christy dropped off Billy and I (with our bikes) at the BART station, we rode BART all the way to the city. Christy also gave us 2 tickets to go to the S.F. MOMA, which was awesome. There was this one drawing that I really, really liked. Unfortunately, I can't remember the artist or the title of the work, although I'm pretty sure it's entitled, "Untitled." There was also this really odd exhibit, which was...just generally odd. Imagine a house. Now, rip all of the walls out of the house, rotate the whole structure that you ripped out equally over the X and Y axis, and then shove it through the walls of MOMA.... yeah, it was pretty damn weird. Then they guy drilled and off-center hole in a record and that was playing on a timer, so it went really fast, then slow, etc etc. In the next room, there were about 20 pictures of what we just saw... Again... just odd.Anyway, after MOMA, I decided that it would be really awesome to see the Golden Gate Bridge, so Billy and I rode our bikes down toward the piers, and we'd then take "The Embarcadero" to the bridge. So, as we were passing Pier 39, my left pedal stripped out of its socket, leaving me no way to "bike" to the Bridge. Luckily, it broke off at pier 39, which just-so-happened to be a "tourist pier." Billy and I hung out there for most of the day. During lunch we "fed" a bunch of birds; pigeons, little birds, and a really mean seagull...After we realized that we would have to walk all the way back to the BART station, we started on our journey back. Awesomely, on the way, we came upon a really tranquil-looking park and a square with a huge, awesome sculpture. The sculpture had a bunch of gigantic concrete "square tubes" that jutted out of its huge base. There was water flowing out of almost everything, and steppingstones that allowed the viewer to walk underneath the immense structure. The only two words that I could describe it with are simply awesome.We arrived back at the original BART station, Christy picked me up, we ate dinner, and went back home.Sunday:Sunday was just awesome. Mitch and Erica took me Surfing with Mike, Jason, and Jason's Sister. Although the waves were small, it was a beautiful day, and we had an awesome time. For lunch, Awesome Mike brought his mini-propane grill and we had hot-dogs on the beach. After lunch, we went back into the water to surf a bit more and then left. Surfing was a blast!Back at "home," we watched "Sunshine," a sci-fi movie about a team of scientist/astronauts on a mission to deliver a bomb into their dying sun, to create a new sun within the old. Most of the movie was actually pretty good, but I thought the ending just... sucked outright. I won't ruin it for you, but you really don't need to see the movie. During the movie, though, Christy whipped up some Rhubarb Pie! YAY!Back to work - MondayYesterday, in the morning I made the "How to Create Homepage Images" Instructable, which I suggest you check out if you want to contribute to the website's homepage. We're giving you the opportunity to make homepage images that we'll actually use on the homepage... if they're good enough ;). After, Jason and I pretty much finished up Proj. X, but we will require some time in the afternoon on Tuesday to finalize construction. This thing is going to be AWESOME!In other news, Billy and I are going to "The Googleplex" tomorrow (Tuesday) to give a small talk with Christy, which I'm really excited for. At first I didn't expect that they'd want interns to go talk to Google, but Christy and Eric explained why they want us to go. Google wants the opinions of the users. Billy and I promise to speak well of everyone, and speak on everyone's behalf. I've gotta go, we're leaving soon!Cheers,-Muffinatorp.s. I burned my PB and Banana sandwich again v_v...

Topic by T3h_Muffinator    |  last reply


All Ears, The Future of Making in Singapore event

The crew from Autodesk Pier 9 and Instructables is coming back to Singapore! We are so encouraged by the growth of the maker and innovation scene there. This international movement is growing and evolving and sometimes it's important to take stock and see where we're going and what we want to be doing. So we'd love to invite you to The Projector on June 4th  2016 from 2pm - 5pm to discuss the Future of Making in Singapore. We're hoping to reach broadly and invite some of the active members and organizations in Singapore, feel free to FWD this invite someone you think we've missed! You can RSVP and find out more details here. We are also inviting speakers to give a 10-15 min talk on any topic related to entrepreneurship, maker movement, 3D printing or anything that might be interesting! Feel free to reach out to us if you are keen to present a topic or know of someone who might be. Following the presentation session, there will be a panel discussion with Eric Wilhelm and community leaders in Singapore to share their thoughts on what the future holds for the sunny island nation. We will also be holding an Instructables Show & Tell on 7th June 2016 from 6 – 9pm at Autodesk Asia, where we would love to see what crazy and amazing projects people have been building here! More details can be found here.

Topic by ewilhelm  


What would be the VERY BEST way for me to TRANSITION into my newly adopted off-grid, survivalist, subsistence lifestyle? Answered

A 16'x16'x16', 256-square foot, A-frame cabin on an elevated 3' concrete paver floating DekBlock foundation with a 3'x 6'8" front flush door, one rear 48"x 48"horizontal slider window, and another upper 24"x 24" horizontal slider window for the sleeping loft.I'm thinking that one of those standard U.S. Stove designs might provide just a little too much heat for my needs up in the Copper River Basin region of ALASKA's rural backcountry. Who knows? What are your suggestions for the above described "habitat"? Where can I find the best deals for my 256-square foot space? (Heating/ventilation-wise, we're speaking of subzero temperatures and heavy snowfall, so, I don't believe that "opening a window" is a practical solution for me if it gets too hot and smokey inside my A-frame.) Plus, I've done the HEATING ESTIMATE for the A-frame I'm going to build and the numbers come out to about a 620,000 btuh (heat loss) for the new dimensions I'm finally settling on: 16'x16'x16' or 256sq.ft. This calculation is for -50 degrees F with cold floor, ceiling, and glass surfaces taken into account. (Insulation isn't a factor this early in the design.) "Wow!" I thought at first. "A 620,000 btuh HEAT LOSS! I reckon you can never have too much stove even for an A-frame design." (Being that A-frame cabins retain heat so well, and that my sleeping loft may get really HOT in the Winter, this was a preliminary concern.) Foundation:(4) 8"- diameter cardboard cylindrical concrete forms for pin-point piers;(4) 84" reinforcement rods for pin-point concrete forms;(16) Bricks for base of footing;(24) Layout stakes;(8) 5' batter boards;(1) Spool of wire for joining the two 14" reinforcement rods for each footing base;(1) Spool of line for marking building layout lines;(?) Bags of cement;(?) Bags of gravel;(?) Bags of sand...*A few questions about the amount of concrete needed for the four footings and the four concrete piers: "How much concrete will be needed for four 8"-deep concrete footings poured into four 16"-diameter, 44"-deep holes with each containing four bricks and the four reinforcement rod supports? How much concrete will be needed to fill four 8"-diameter pin-point concrete pier forms to an estimated height of about 80"-inches? How many total bags of cement, gravel and sand (aggregate) will my foundation require? Most importantly, how much will it all cost?"A-Frame Structural Triangle (Theoretical Dimensions):Sides = 16'Base = 16'Angles opposite sides = 60 degreesAngle opposite base = 60 degreesArea = 110.85125168441 sq. ft.Perimeter = 48 ft.Framing:(2) 2"x 10"x 16' girders;(12) 2"x 6"x 12' rafters;(6) 2"x 6"x 8' joists;(4) 2"x 4"x 4' collar beams;(10) 4'x 4' plywood sheets for subflooring;(2) 16' framing braces for structural support against wind damage;(?) 3200-square feet of roof/wall sheathing material for exterior surface areas...*A few questions about the amount of roof/wall sheathing material needed to cover the 3200-square foot exterior surface area: "How much exterior sheathing will I need? How much will it cost? I understand that metal sheathing is preferred in the Copper River Basin region for its snow-shedding ability, so, given everything I've just said, what are my options for the A-frame I recently designed?"My total approach to this whole subsistence lifestyle (i.e. living off the land within a small, confined space) is probably all wrong. I understand that I might need to change my complete "mindset" and adopt a sort of NAUTICAL (or MARITIME) theme with my decor, furnishings and appliances.Since I'm really getting into boats anyway (my one chosen option for escaping the bitterly harsh winters of ALASKA's COPPER RIVER BASIN if all else fails), I feel that marine stoves, composting toilets, and an overall nautical aspect in the "finish work" might help me cope since sailboat cabins tend to be tiny, and I may need to transplant a lot of what I have to my seagoing vessel, "Vera Essie".www.geocities.com/wduncanbinns

Question by Herr VOLKMAR    |  last reply


"I Made It" Pixlr photo contest for Maker Month

Hey there! I work alongside the Instructables folks in our Pier 9 office as the community manager for Pixlr, a photo app that you may or may not be familiar with. Actually, the Instructables site uses Pixlr, so if you've submitted an Instructable, you have probably used our photo editor.  We know that the Instructables community LOVES contests, so I wanted to pass along this contest that is dead-simple to enter. We're celebrating Maker Month at Pixlr with a slightly Instructables-themed hashtag contest. You can read all about it on our site for the contest, but I will lay out the major details if you are interested in entering:  Take a photo of anything you've made.  Edit it in any Pixlr app (e.g., Pixlr Express). Tag photos with two tags — #imadeit #pixlrcontest — on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook. That's it. Super simple to enter. In fact, if you've ever submitted an Instructable, I encourage you to enter it in our contest by editing one of your Instructables photos with a Pixlr app and posting it with the hashtags so we can find it.  We're giving away 7 prizes through the end of May, and all winners get to pick a prize from this batch of fun prizes on our contest site: imadeitpixlrcontest.com. Lots of photo-friendly and just cool stuff on there, so you're bound to find something you like.  Happy to answer any questions you have, and I hope you join us for this fun little contest. 

Topic by supereric    |  last reply


masynmachien's time as an AIR

I had the honour and pleasure of spending the month of July 2013 as an Artist in Residence at Instructables HQ. An unforgettable experience! I feel like I cannot even begin to describe it, so forgive me for keeping it simple. The most tangible amazing thing is the unbelievable workshop, a true makers heaven! I mainly worked on the laser cutters and the 3D printers myself, but these are just a part of the new workshop set up at Pier 9. There’s also the experimental kitchen, the sowing corner, the electronics lab, the high-end CNC machines, a complete wood shop and a full blown metal shop. More importantly however was working among the people behind Instructables. To experience up close how they work very hard to make Instructables not only the biggest and best Show-and-Tell buy also the best “maker medium” ever. Having just moved to the new facilities at Pier 9, there was a lot of extra work to get the workshop accessible and operational, but they moved mountains to get us Artists in Residence onto the machines and making things. Working alongside three other Artists in Residence was also unique chance. Usually, when I’m surrounded by makers, most of them aren’t older than 12. But even as each of us had his inner kid very much alive, having some serious making going on around you is very inspiring (as some of my Instructables will show). I also very much appreciate how my daughter Tika was warmly received when see joined me at Instructables HQ. One month was far too short to spend with the people at Instructables HQ.  I was constantly torn between on the one hand getting to know the people better and on the other hand leaving them continue there hard work and trying to make as much things as possible myself. And to make it even harder there were the lures of the magnificent city of San Francisco and of the Bay Area. My conclusion is clear: I want to come back! But then, being a month away from home is not easy either. Tika joined me during the second half of my stay, which was great, but I missed my wife and youngest daughter. Back home in Belgium I’m first taking some rest, spending time with family and friends, working on some due home improvements and preparing some kids workshops. Writing up the Instructables on the projects I did will take some time. They will be published over the coming months. After all, I have about 15 new projects to document. The thread through my AIR was a laser cut (advent) calendar. A series of toy/gift assembly kits designed to be laser cut out of one acrylic sheet and to be wrapped into a cardboard package opening separately on each kit. The only parts added to the laser cut parts are some elastic bands, screws and nuts. The idea is to have a calendar that is easily made in several copies, with designs accommodating for thickness variations in the acrylic sheet and a concept of cutting and wrapping it all with little handwork. I managed to design, cut and test 13 different toys/gifts. I consider it the first chapter of a full advent calendar. I will make an Instructable on each of the 13 and put them in a collection, together with an Instructable on the calendar concept. The eye catcher of my stay was an iPhone/iPad (or Android) controlled RC Blimp with video feedback. For this I used the plug-and-play Dension WIRC system. This system leading to rather heavy build (200g) comparted to my other blimp projects, I decided upon using a large spherical balloon. From this (and from watching Doctor Who) sprung the idea to make it into a large eye. I named it ‘In the blimp of an eye”. The project that was the most of a learning experience was designing and 3D printing nested dolls. Deviating from the classic Russian dolls, I learned how to design these in 123D Design, how to calculate sizes and experienced the possibilities and limitations of different 3D printing techniques. I hope you will enjoy reading the resulting Instructables, just as I enjoyed doing these projects at Instructables HQ. I want to thank once more the people at Instructables and Autodesk for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yvon Masyn aka masynmachien

Topic by masynmachien    |  last reply


The Large Hadron Collider: is it worth it?

The Large Hadron Collider(LHC) is to be unveiled this year. It is designed to solve the much talked about energy crisis, and hopes to do so, but can it be worth all of it? From Wikipedia- (On October 25, 2005, a technician, José Pereira Lages, was killed in the LHC tunnel when a crane load was accidentally dropped. The construction of LHC was approved in 1995 with a budget of 2.6 billion Swiss francs, with another 210 millionfrancs (€140 M) towards the cost of the experiments. However, cost over-runs, estimated in a major review in 2001 at around 480 million francs (€300 M) for the accelerator, and 50 million francs (€30 M) for the experiments, along with a reduction in CERN's budget, pushed the completion date from 2005 to April 2007.[14] 180 million francs (€120 M) of the cost increase have been due to the superconducting magnets. There were also engineering difficulties encountered while building the underground cavern for the Compact Muon Solenoid. In part this was due to faulty parts lent to CERN by fellow laboratories Argonne National Laboratory or Fermilab (home to the Tevatron, the world's largest particle accelerator until CERN finishes the Large Hadron Collider). [15] The total cost of the project is anticipated to be between US$5 and US$10 billion.[2] On March 27, 2007, there was an incident during a pressure test involving one of the LHC's inner triplet magnet assemblies provided by Fermilab and KEK. No people were injured, but a cryogenic magnet support broke. Fermilab director Pier Oddone stated 'In this case we are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces.' This fault had been present in the original design, and remained during four engineering reviews over the following years.[41] Analysis revealed that its design, made as thin as possible for better insulation, was not strong enough to withstand the forces generated during pressure testing. Details are available in a statement from Fermilab, with which CERN is in agreement.[42][43])

Topic by BkrevWlevqe    |  last reply


You're a foreign AIR. How much is the $1.500 stipend in San Francisco?

So you want to be the next Instructables Artist in Residence? That’s awesome! Being on Instructables was one of the best experiences of my life (if you read my final blog post, you already know that). The only bad part is when you have to say goodbye. But, even if you manage to get over the after-Instructables broken heart (good luck with that), you have to be careful about the risks of a broken wallet, too. Yesterday, a fantastic author from another country asked me if the $1.500 stipend was enough for living in such an expensive city as San Francisco. Honestly, I’m not the best money adviser, but as a Colombian who was living five and a half months in the Bay, I want to share with you my experience with the economical part. Despite I had an awesome AIR program coordinator (Noah Weinstein), the help of my friends Alisson Sombredero and Jennifer Hansen, and all the Internet for investigating, there are some things you can only learn by yourself, at your risk. So, let’s suppose you are a foreign artist, from the middle class of your country, with a normal job, who wants to travel to the amazing Pier 9. What kind of things you have to keep in mind? NOTE: I’m not an official spokesman from Autodesk. And some things can change from now until you read this post. So, if you have any doubt about the AIR program or need some help, ask the Instructables AIR Program Coordinator. 1. Plan ahead: The AIR program is a very tempting opportunity, and probably you want to be in Pier 9 RIGHT NOW! But think: what is the best moment for you to be in San Francisco? How much time will you stay? Do you have any savings? Will your parents support this amazing opportunity? Do you have any responsibilities that affect your decision (a steady job, girlfriend, spouse, children)? What will you do when the AIR ends and you have to return to your country? Do you have any debts? How is your English? Do you have emergency contacts on the city? When I took the decision of being part of the AIR program, it was October of 2012, for starting March 2013, with a duration of three months (at the beginning) so I had 5 months to prepare myself for the travel. So, you have to think: how much time do you need for preparing your travel? 2. Your stipend: You will receive US$1.500 monthly. With good planning and some restrictions, you can have a good time with that money. Autodesk pays the materials and tools for your projects. But remember: the AIR program doesn’t cover air tickets, visa paperwork, health insurance, taxes and other extraordinary expenses. It’s all on you. Besides, it’s a stipend, not a salary. Be careful with those words when you talk with a migratory authority. A salary implies a work contract and work visa, and you aren’t an employee, but a vendor who probably will enter to the United States using a B1 Visa (Business/Tourism), with a stipend for covering housing, food and transportation expenses. So, don’t use the words “salary” and “work”. Use “stipend”, “invited”, and “artist in residence”. Instructables helped me with an invitation letter explaining to Migration what kind of activities I would do on the AIR. Autodesk is very prompt with stipend payments, but there is not an exact date for paydays. It’s between the first and second week of every month, but it can varies. So, at least the first two or three weeks of your time in SF are on you. And you have to eat, transport, pay your rent and deposit, and so on. Think between $2.000 and $2.500. 3. Housing: You will need to rent a room and to share the house with somebody else. And getting an economic and good room is a very complicated mission in San Francisco. Especially if you will stay only for 1 to 3 months (landlords prefer long term tenants). The best site to find a room is Craiglist. However, everybody can post on that site, so be prepared to find some bizarre stuff… Before you go, Google Maps is a mandatory tab in your browser. It’s a good idea to know the area. Every time you see a room offer, look how far is from Pier 9 in San Francisco. Keep in mind something: San Francisco is just a city from a big area named “San Francisco Bay Area”. In the Bay Area you will find a lot of cities and towns like Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, South San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, Concord, San Leandro, etc. A lot of people live on the nearest towns and take public transportation to San Francisco. Don’t forget to investigate if the neighborhood of the room offer is a good area to stay. If you can’t get a room before you arrive to San Francisco, think about a hostel for the first days, meanwhile you find one. (But just for the first days). Or you can try couchsurfing. Don’t trust in the $80/night hotels on Mission, because you can find a very creepy experience. Back to the room for rent: Try to get a furnished room, or you will have to buy at least, a mattress (and you can’t take it home at the end). If you are good cooking, having a kitchen will help you to save money. When you get the room, most of the landlords ask you to pay the first month plus the deposit. The deposit is some kind of backup money for the landlord, in case you break something, damage something or don’t pay your rent. At the end, the landlord must return your money. Consider it some kind of saving. But be careful: try to have a written contract, always ask for a receipt of every money you give, show to your landlord the fails of your room (take pictures just in case), and don’t break anything. My experience: my first three months, I lived in Treasure Island (in the middle of the Bay Bridge. Believe it or not, it’s part of the city of San Francisco). Good neighborhood, old room, furnished, $625/month, $600 deposit (so, my first payment when I moved was $1.225), creepy landlord (if somebody named Israel offers you a room on Treasure Island, it doesn’t matter how nice he sounds, basically… RUN!) Next two months: I lived in Oakland (passing the Bay Bridge). Beautiful house, fantastic landlords, good neighborhood. $600/month, $500 deposit. The farther the house is from San Francisco, the better and cheaper will be the room. My recommendation: try to get something in San Francisco. All the fun is in that city! I loved Treasure Island, but probably you can find a better neighborhood. If you get a room in another town, you will have always to think how you can return to home if you are going to have some night fun. Maybe it’s more expensive, but you have to consider carefully the next point. 4. Transport: You will find these ways for commuting: • MUNI: This bus and metro system are exclusive for the city of San Francisco. $2 per ticket, but you can use the same ticket in the lapse described on it, or all night long. It works 24 hours. • BART: Bay Area Rapid Transport. This metro communicates San Francisco with the nearest cities and the SFO Airport, and it’s a quick way to travel inside the city. According to the distance, you will have to pay. If you get a room in the east bay area, think in more or less $3.65 per ride. And it doesn’t work in the middle of the night. • AC Transport: Bus in the East Bay Area. $2.10 if you are travelling inside Oakland, $4.20 if you need to cross the Bay Bridge to go to San Francisco. • FERRY: I never used it. I leave you that mystery. • CALTRAIN: This train communicates San Francisco with the farthest towns in the Bay Area. More expensive. Think in $8 per ride. • CARPOOLING: It works only at week mornings. In a marked point, a driver picks up two or three passengers for using the Fastrak (more economic toll to pay). Most of the time is free, but the driver can ask you for one dollar tip. Very economic and fast, only if you din't mind to take up a strange car with other two or three strangers. You can manage all of the public transportation options using something called Clipper Card. Avoid the taxi cabs. They are very expensive! My recommendation: If you live in San Francisco, MUNI is the cheapest, safest and best way to travel. You can get an Adult Muni-only Pass for only $66 and for that month, you can travel all you want inside San Francisco. You can get it in any Walgreens. Or you can try getting a bike. Living in another city implies you have to organize a logistic plan for your transportation, including: BART, MUNI, bike, AC bus, carpooling, Caltrain, Ferry, free shuttles, and thinking like Cinderella every time you are invited to a party in San Francisco. I prefer to pay an $800 room in San Francisco and $66 in transport, than a $600 room in Oakland and $300 in transport. Here is a recommendation from Canida: There is a bike share in SF. For $88/year, you can borrow a bike for as many 30-minute trips as you like. Exists a bike stand directly across the street from Pier 9. More info here. 5. Food: If you can buy groceries and make your own food, awesome! You can find microwaves on Pier 9. In my case, it was cereal with milk and fruit at morning, sandwiches at night, and lunch on the food trucks near Pier 9. Think in an average of $11 per lunch or dinner, depending of the place and if you want to add a soda or a dessert. McDonald’s and Burger King aren’t good options. You can find some good Chinese lunches and Safeway’s specials for less than $8. Remember: the prices showed on the menu don't include the tax. My weekly budget for groceries (for breakfast and dinner) was $30. 6. Cash: Ok, there’s some delicate point in this talk, and probably one of the only things for improving in the awesome AIR program: your monthly stipend probably will be paid in a $1.500 Rewards Card. The good news: a rewards card is very useful! You can buy on Internet, you can carry a lot of money on this single card, you can use it as a debit/credit card, and you can pay with the card in most of restaurants, food trucks and stores. The bad news: you still need cash for some things (especially for paying the rent). And there is no simple way for changing your electronic money for cash. You can’t do withdrawals in an ATM or bank, you can’t consign that money to an account, you can’t do international transfers, you can’t pay debts and you can’t get cash back when you buy stuff. Besides, some places require a minimal bought if you want to use the card, or charge an extra amount. And probably you will have to spend all the rewards card money before returning to your home country. So, be prepared. Luckily, I found an awesome person (I won’t say her name because everybody will ask her for that kind of help) who changed some of my cards for cash, so I could defend myself. 7. Shopping: You will need (or want) to buy extra stuff: personal care, towels, blankets, clothes, gifts, etc. The best places are Target (Mission St. at 4th) and Ross (Market St. at 4th). You will find some good sales, but remember: the excess baggage can be a headache when you have to return to your hometown, and airlines charges for that, $200 at least. 8. Communications: I got a good plan for my smartphone on T-Mobile: for $50/month, unlimited minutes, messages and data. Maybe you can get a better plan in another cellphones company. You will need specially the data. Believe me, in U.S., nobody does anything without consulting Internet first. 9. Tips: Tipping is very important in U.S. I’m not telling you have to give a tip in every place (you are in a personal “war economy”, after all), but there are a lot of situations where you definitively have to leave a tip, between 15% and 20% of the bill. And don't forget: you are in San Francisco, so you have to visit some cool places! Some attractions are free. Others, (like Alcatraz) are between $20 and $30. Maybe more, if you want the star treatment. Don't take a guided tour into the city. With enough planning, you can go to the best places with less money. Maybe it looks like too many troubles and considerations, but we are talking about moving to another country for at least one month. And remember, this awesome company will pay you for making whatever you want to build, using their out-of-this-world tools like 3D printers, lasercutters, waterjets and CNC machines, and giving you the materials. It's a fantastic opportunity you will love forever!!!!

Topic by M.C. Langer    |  last reply


Craftcation 2013 Recap

As you might have seen, I recently went to Craftcation 2013 with scoochmaroo and angelabchua! It was super fun and I learned tons of things, including soap making, macrame, paper embroidery and how to make bitters and limoncello. Below I've included some photos from the trip. Ventura is a really pretty town and the people at Craftcation were wonderful. :D Important things to note in the photos: Angie got in trouble at the Ventura pier. I made soap on the first day. Soap making was really interesting and we got to wear all types of safety equipment and use lye! It was really simple to do and my soap turned out perfect. I can't wait to share the recipe with you guys! Opening night, Sarah had a booth for making painted wooden bangles, there was live music and drinks, and the line for food was really long. Because I only think with my stomach I mentioned to Angie that we should sit near the food - score one for my stomach intuition! Sarah also had fun with the tent prop outside. Look at the cute little campfire! Did I mention Ventura was pretty? Cause it is. On the second day I made bitters and limoncello - they're no where near ready yet but they already smell just as good as some of the fancy store bought bitters I have at home. This is another thing I'd love to share here - it was fun and the results are great. Plus, a good excuse to do a little drinking (or tasting, whatever.) in the afternoon. :D I also made a macrame plant hanger on day 2 - I've always loved these. Turns out they're much easier to make than I thought. I found a rock on the beach that had a face so I took him home with me. We made lego jewelry! Sarah ran a table along with Angie on the third night and it was a huge hit. All the things I made during Craftcation: a macrame plant hanger, a painted wooden bangle, a lego heart necklace, a new pair of lego earrings, two types of bitters (grapefruit + dandelion root and lemon + lavender + cinnamon + hibiscus) and lemon/lime limoncello, two pounds of soap, and three embroidered paper pieces! All in all, it was really good conference! I made a business plan for myself, learned some new crafts, met tons of new people and networked networked networked. I definitely recommend it for makers, crafters, foodies and small business owners. There are tons of things I learned that I wouldn't have otherwise. Check out the #craftcation hashtag on twitter and instagram to see more pictures of the conference, or check out the website. :D

Topic by jessyratfink  


Talking about my Summer

I have to admit that I was skeptical before starting my Residency at Instructables. I never felt comfortable calling myself a "Maker" and here I was, walking into the belly of the beast at Pier 9. I felt like the term "Maker" was starting to read as cold, technical, robotic and...frankly...stuff really geared towards young boys. I felt as though I was coming into the program as a spy, an outsider looking to infiltrate and be critical of the hype around 3D printing. My project was really my attempt to talk openly about how I felt about these things in a way that people who design and use these machines might take notice. I was expecting to walk into an office full of dudes that wanted to make crazy things just because they could but I was created by quite another experience. The other AiRs were all interesting, questioning, infiltrating. The entire company was full of creative, open-minded, artsty folk and I can't tell you how good it felt to be in the electronics lab one day with all these different amazing and creative women coming in and out. I end my residency (the full-time part anyway) with a different attitude and the realization that people are pretty open-minded, excited and down-right nice! I never imagined people would go to the lengths they did just to help see the project along and it felt great to help and encourage others to see their ideas though. I think I leave the summer with a few new friends. On my presentation day, I felt like I wanted people to sign my year-book - it's that kind of place.   My favorite thing about the residency was also made the residency difficult. The space and people are so interesting and engaging that conversations start all the time. It's so great, but also makes it really hard to get work done! There is so much going on that its hard to stay on top of what people are working on - especially with the residents that aren't around everyday. It would be interesting to find ways to facilitate feedback and collaboration in different ways. We do an exercise in a class I help with at Berkeley where people put their projects on the wall and the other students add post-its with feedback. Maybe if we had a wall like that in the Air-ea it could be a way to keep tabs of all the work and also give short snippets of feedback without interrupting someone's flow. It wouldn't be a way to replace other ways of sharing what we're working on, but a sounding board for just quick, "have you seen X" kind of ideas.  I can't say thank you enough. I had a great, productive summer and I'm excited to be sticking around for a bit longer and seeing the new AiRs that come in and out. I would (and have) recommend the program to anyone - it was a really wonderful experience!

Topic by ldevendorf    |  last reply