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Instructables Joins Autodesk Answered

The Instructables community is incredible: you build, bake, and create amazing things, then share your projects and ideas with the world. I think it’s great when someone builds a project using instructions from our site, but it’s even more amazing when we inspire someone to start (or finish) that project they’ve always dreamed of. This has been my vision for Instructables: to have a positive impact on the world by giving passionate people great publishing tools to document their projects, and connect them to a community full of like-minded people.

Today I’m able to share my plan for accelerating that vision, and making Instructables an even better place to be. I’m proud to announce that Instructables is becoming part of Autodesk. Everyone here at Instructables HQ is absolutely thrilled, because this is going to be awesome for the entire Instructables community.

Instructables will still be the same site you love: we’ll keep the Instructables name and URL, the whole team is staying on, our policies haven’t changed, you still hold copyright to your projects, we’ll still run awesome contests, and the Robot isn’t going anywhere. However, we’ll now have the resources to make some improvements to the site I know our authors and community will love. Autodesk gives us the scale and support to grow and improve Instructables, build some great apps, and continue our mission of creating a positive impact on the world. Everyone on the Instructables team will become Autodesk employees, but we'll still wear our Robot t-shirts with pride.

Autodesk is a great cultural fit for Instructables. They make tools for creative people: they’re the world leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. Even if you don’t recognize the name Autodesk, their software has powered the movies you watch, and designed the cars you drive and the buildings you work in. Instructables will be the community arm of the same team that makes 123D, SketchBook, Homestyler, and Pixlr, which will help provide creative tools, inspiration, and services for all types of creative people. Here’s Carl Bass, Autodesk’s CEO, talking more about his vision for the future of DIY.



We’ve had a great time building Instructables, and look forward to taking it to the next level. Thanks to the Instructables team for all their hard work, our investors including O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures and Baseline Ventures for believing in us, and to all the authors and community members who have made Instructables a great place to learn and share ideas.

I’m confident Autodesk will be a great home for Instructables, and will help us make Instructables an even better place to share your projects and ideas. I’m excited to join the Autodesk team, and get right to work. I’d also like to hear what you think: click here for info on an upcoming live Q&A event, and click here to suggest how we should co-opt the resources of a multi-national corporation to make Instructables even more awesome.



This announcement is duplicated on our blog here.

Discussions

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Sea_08
Sea_08

1 year ago

Boo hoo. Here's what happened to me over the last 2 days: Found something on Instructables I liked, so I set up an account. Later, explored CAD software, downloaded Eagle, had to set up an AutoCad account. Later, decided not to use Eagle (terrible user interface) deleted my AutoCad account. Went back to Instructables, my account was gone. Had to recover my AutoCad account in order to use Instructables. Nice 8-(

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Penolopy Bulnick
Penolopy Bulnick

Reply 1 year ago

I'm very sorry that you ran into such difficulty. I checked and this is normal because Autodesk is supporting the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for all its customers, so if you delete your account, your accounts need to be deleted across Autodesk including Instructables. I'm glad you were able to get your Instructables account back :)

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dog digger
dog digger

9 years ago

International entries for contests are becoming scarce!!!!! I live in australia!!!

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alinke
alinke

9 years ago

This is great! Congratulations guys, you've worked very hard and have developed a world class product and community with Instructables, glad to see you getting rewarded, well deserved!

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pleabargain
pleabargain

9 years ago

I am hoping that they expand upon Autodesk's online tools like
http://www.homestyler.com/designer

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annahowardshaw
annahowardshaw

9 years ago

Also, Autodesk has a forum section as well...

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/FAQ-How-To-Using-Autodesk/Simple-Steps-to-Getting-Started-in-the-Forums/td-p/3122830

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annahowardshaw
annahowardshaw

9 years ago

Is the law that members in other countries cannot win prizes, or that the prizes cannot be shipped to other countries from Autodesk/Instructables?

Meaning, could an international participant use a US shipping address if they won? I would volunteer to let someone ship to my address and then send it on to them.

Or would that make me a prize mule?

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Honus
Honus

9 years ago

Wow- that is exciting news! I think it'll be great- it lets Autodesk tap into the maker market and get direct and immediate feedback from the best DIY community there is while relieving you guys from the financial pressure of keeping the site running so you can focus on what makes the site so great.

I absolutely love Sketchbook so I'll be very interested to see what other new software they develop, especially in the low/mid range market.

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Thanks, Honus - that's exactly what we have in mind. Did you get a chance to read Phil's piece on the subject? He pretty much nails it.

Re: software, I've learned about a ton of neat free and inexpensive stuff in the pipeline, and there's likely more I haven't heard about yet. ;)

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Honus
Honus

Reply 9 years ago

I certainly did read Phil's article- it was great and it makes perfect sense in my mind as well. I really do think that Autodesk has a great opportunity to gain some serious traction in the DIY/maker market, especially for easy to use CAD/3D modeling tools. It's also great for makers as it allows us to communicate with one of the biggest names in creation software about what we would like to see them develop- which is a rare opportunity.

I would love to see Autodesk develop something like Pepakura Designer that runs native on the Mac- that would be epic. :)

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

*adds to list*

Cool. Feel free to keep the suggestions coming. ;)

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rimar2000
rimar2000

9 years ago

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Each day there is a new reason for me to learn English.

Thanks Eric and all staff! You are very good friends for me!

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Thank you for having such confidence in us! We will work hard to deserve it, and keep improving the site.

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RavingMadStudios
RavingMadStudios

9 years ago

Sheesh.You take a couple of months off to build a big splashy musical, and they go and sell the site on you....

Seriously though, congrats to Robot and his minions, and here's hoping that Autodesk allows you all to continue doing what made the site worth buying in the first place.

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Awesome! We're dead set on keeping Instructables awesome, and should be able to bring in some excellent improvements - keep your eyes peeled. ;)

(how did the musical go?)

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Mottr
Mottr

9 years ago

Now that there is more money backing Instructables,is there a chance of seeing a new and improved iPhone/iPad app or maybe an Android version?

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Great ideas - we're working on it!

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Chirpoff
Chirpoff

9 years ago

Congrats on this change, you guys! I hope this comes together great for everyone! Best wishes to everyone involved!

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Thank you! We'll make sure good things happen.

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HanzieO
HanzieO

9 years ago

I gues we will wait and see. Might be great or we will congregate somewhere else. In any case we will be DIY'ing.

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

Thanks for the "wait and see" approach - we'll make sure it turns out to be great. ;)

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AndyGadget
AndyGadget

9 years ago


The two most recent competitions are open only to entries from US and Canada.  Is this now the norm, or is it just coincidence?


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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

(Awaits answer)

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splazem
splazem

Reply 9 years ago

So, they posted an answer somewhere, but I can't find it, so I'll just tell you. Apparently, they made most of the contests international, and didn't tell the countries about it. This might have broken some laws, because even though it's o.k. to have contests like these in the U.S. and Canada, it might not be legal to do it in countries in different parts of the world. Their solution is to work with the countries that have had the most amount of winners (I believe they have a list), and work their way down to the countries with the least amount of winners until hopefully they have all the contests open to everyone.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

I think that's a ridiculous answer (from them) - Instructables contests cannot be illegal in other countries because they are not in other countries!

HQ is in the US, and has no subsidiary companies or offices in other countries, so is wholly and only subject to US (California) laws.

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

That's not entirely true. The participants in other countries can be subject to legal sanctions for participating in an "illegal lottery," for example. There was a very nice discussion of this from Randy last year; if I can find it.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

I think that's a result of the internet blurring international boundaries.

Instructables contests are not, though, a lottery, being subjectively judged by humans against pre-published criteria, not randomly selected by a computer or bucket full of balls.

The only restrictions, geographically-speaking, should be those set by individual sponsors.

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Lithium Rain
Lithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

That's the common-sense approach, but unfortunately the law is not always on the side of common sense.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Reply 9 years ago

The simple answer is to maintain a list of those countries which don't permit their inhabitants to win contests of skill- which is what Instructables contests always are.

Steve

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Lithium Rain
Lithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

I don't think it's that cut-and-dried. International law really IS funky-weird when it comes to contests (heck, there are enough disclaimers to have to post to have a contest valid in all 50 states!).

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canida
canida

Reply 9 years ago

What LR said.

We're working with the lawyers to make sure we're in compliance with all the local laws, and will be adding countries as fast as we can. There are some remarkably idiosyncratic regulations, so it's a bit of a process. This is something I'm specifically working on. In case anyone's interested, we're going to be trying to add countries in order of who has won the most prizes in previous contests - seems most fair/efficient.

Back to reviewing legalese! Hope I have good things to report soon. But as Eric keeps repeating, following the law is a Good Thing.

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splazem
splazem

Reply 9 years ago

 following the law is a Good Thing.
For the most part :)

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Reply 9 years ago

Thing is, the USG has got so keen on getting other countries to extradite their own nationals for offences not committed in the US, plenty of said other countries are keen to ge even....

Steve

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

Ya'll gotta remember, 9/11 had an impact on any type of international and domestic monetary transactions, although viewed negligible in most cases. We had to make sure no money is being funded to terrorists or new channels of shipping "prizes or technology" went unchecked. Heavy-handed yes, but it's the spirit of the law.

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

"Should be," yes, but in practice most jurisdictions take a rather firmer view of their control over their population.

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fungus amungus
fungus amungus

Reply 9 years ago

splazem has it pretty much right. We always strive to open contests up to as many participants as possible. With the change, we had to limit new contests to U.S. and Canada (-Quebec), but are talking to lawyers about how we can get more countries on there.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

I must be very dim - how is it OK for a company based in a single building in a single country to have international competitions, but not for a large company with international offices?

As AndyGadget said:

So are you saying they're planning several more pages of entry T&Cs detailing the conditions of entry for each eligible country? Where I've looked in any detail at the T&Cs of any other similar competition I've always seen a catch-all to cover this.

Section 9 of the new T&Cs already states :-
"Representations. By entering the Contest, each entrant represents and warrants that: (a) the entrant meets all eligibility requirements of the Contest; (b) in entering and participating in the Contest, the entrant has complied and will comply in all respects with these Rules and all applicable statutes, regulations, and other laws; and . . . "

Surely, all that's required is a line which states that eligibility for the contest may vary in other jurisdictions and the onus is on the entrant to verify this.

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fungus amungus
fungus amungus

Reply 9 years ago

I don't know. I'm not a lawyer and don't pretend to be one. All I can say is that now that we're part of a larger company it's more of a concern and Eric has been having long talks with lawyers to open the contests up.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Please ask him to hurry those conversations up, because right now a huge chunk of the membership are being excluded from the main reason they joined the site.

If the restriction continues, it *will* damage the very community that AutoDesk thought they were buying...

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Lawyers don't hurry :-( The best you can do is kill them quickly before they breed.

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splazem
splazem

Reply 9 years ago

My parents are lawyers...

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

It's a quote, not an original thought. Along the lines of the following paraphrase..."I don't hate lawyers. Some of my best friends are lawyers." I'll leave it to you to work out the original version.

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splazem
splazem

Reply 9 years ago

It's ok, no harm done.

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fungus amungus
fungus amungus

Reply 9 years ago

Believe me, we're very aware of it and just as concerned as everybody else. Very much at the top of the list right now.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

>thumbsup<

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splazem
splazem

Reply 9 years ago

More like +thumbsup+

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cammers
cammers

Reply 9 years ago

I totally agree Kiteman. It's probably not in keeping with the spirit of the game, but I only ever post instructables when they can fit into a contest.

Plus, the contests inspire us to generate ideas that would not otherwise be conceived.

And perhaps more importantly, it doesn't feel nice to be excluded from a group that we were once so happily part of.

On a more positive note...
I received a Robot tee shirt in the post a few weeks ago and haven't yet been woken in the dead of night by the sound my door being broken down by secret police.
I think it's safe to include Australia in competitions.

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mischka
mischka

Reply 9 years ago

I totally agree. Instructables is an international community. I am from Germany, and I'd like to join the contests like other community members do.