The worst time of my life

If three years ago somebody had told me that I would be at Maker Faire, using my cyborg arms, watching Arc Attack playing the “Doctor Who” theme, and meeting Adam Savage from “Mythbusters”, I would have said that person is crazy or is mocking me. But I was there. With Instructables. It was awesome when Adam Savage, in the middle of his conference, yelled to me “Hey man! Nice borg!!”. “OH MY GOD!” I thought, “ADAM SAVAGE FROM THE MYTHBUSTERS TOLD ME I MADE A NICE BORG!!” But, beyond Adam Savage, the giant robots, the fire and electricity shows, the beautiful steampunk women, the good energy, the delicious food and the pictures with Daleks; the most beautiful, shocking, awesome and magical moment of the Maker Faire 2013 was when I had just arrived at the Autodesk booth. I saw the giant map of DIYers from around the world, and I realized my picture and profile were representing Colombia and I was one of the three leading makers of South America. I was paralyzed remembering all this journey, from being a complete loser without a future to that point in time and space when I felt absolutely happy, calm, and at peace with myself. It was worth it to keep fighting, just for that sublime moment. I felt like a Rock Star. Not because I was, but because Instructables and Autodesk made me feel like one. ……………………………………… When people ask me “Why do you love Instructables?” my answers are always the same: because the site is awesome, has amazing projects and great contests with cool prizes; because Instructables is the only one who has supported my DIY activities, especially in my country (Colombia) where science and technology aren’t priorities, and so on. But I never gave the complete answer. And now, after these fantastic five months as Artist in Residence, I want to tell the truth: I love Instructables because they were with me in the worst time of my life. ……………………………………… In 2009, I lost my job as Security Analyst in an important Colombian company. I thought I could subsist thanks to my junk projects and creating my own business, but almost nobody was interested on buying recycled crafts (besides, I wasn’t as good then as I am today.) And the only interested people wanted my works for free. It was not enough for a living, so after a few months I started looking for a job. Due to its economic situation, Colombia has high rates of unemployment and it’s very hard to find a job, and there’s no government subsidy for unemployed workers (sorry Colombia! One day, I will talk about all your beautiful and fantastic things, because you have a lot. But not today). Besides, when you are a former military officer the only civilian jobs you can apply for are in security because nobody thinks you can be creative; and if you are, nobody takes you seriously. Every two weeks I had an interview. Every interview ended with just another “we will call you.” It’s time to confess something to the world: at the same time, I was diagnosed with mild Borderline Personality Disorder and depression. It’s not something that “SHAZAM! You are nuts!”. No. I knew from years ago there was something wrong about me, but just in that moment I found out what I have. Just in case you ask: no, this condition doesn’t make me a bad employee, and I’m very competent in my work. No, I’m not some kind of evil psycho. Just a little bit creepy sometimes, but I always try my best to be a good person. And no, I’m not trying to look like a “dark and bizarre, Tim Burton style” character just because I want to look interesting. It may work for an artist or a teenager, but not for somebody trying to get a job in the security business or a stable relationship. I didn’t have any health insurance; I didn’t have money for any treatment and, in case I could afford it, there is a social stigma about persons with some kind of mental disorder, and no company would be interested in hiring a security manager with that kind of problem. So, I had to keep it to myself. I didn’t even tell it to my family. And my girlfriend broke up with me. So, my life was “complete.” I was without a job, love and almost without my sanity. Almost all of my “friends” were gone. I was drowning in debts. I didn’t have money even for basic things. I had to return to my mother’s house. I lost every goal, every dream, and every hope. The situation was so desperate that I seriously thought about giving up. But only two things stopped me from doing that. One was Carolina, the only friend I had in that moment. The other thing was Instructables. ……………………………………… I found the site several months after because I was looking for simple robots ideas. Then, I saw Instructables has contests, and I entered my first project (the “SPD Exoskeleton”) for the 2009 Halloween Contest. A lot of people made awesome comments about my project, and I received my first prize: the “Photojojo!” book and a Robot T-Shirt. “What? I just post pictures of my project on an internet site and they give me free stuff? Interesting!” Then, I made another project, the “Valentine’s RoboGrinch”. I was a finalist in the 2010 Valentine’s Day Contest. People around the world commented about my ideas, and my projects started to become popular being featured in other sites and blogs around the planet. When I got the First Prize on the Dead Computer Contest, I gave to my mother the netbook I won. It was the only present I could afford to give her in a long time. In my darkest moments, when I thought about giving up, I remembered I had some project on Instructables I didn’t finish or publish, and then I keep fighting just one or two days more, because I didn’t want to leave it uncompleted. When I finished it, I endured one week more, just for knowing if it was successful in a contest. Sometimes I won. Sometimes I lost. When I could get some money, I used it for buying tools or materials for the projects, instead of food or paying debts. Because I started to think that every project, every idea I was making, every instructable I was writing, was my little legacy to humanity. Probably one day I will die, but at least in some part of the Internet, it would be a proof that I made something good, something that could be appreciated by anybody, and my life was not in vain. And I started to win more contests. It felt good, because I thought “I’m a loser, but this loser is kicking butts!” With so many fantastic authors, the competition got tougher, so I had to improve my skills (and my English. Instructables was the only opportunity I had to improve and practice this language.) I became very good at making stuff with plastic trash and limited resources! Besides, without knowing anything about me and my personal situation, even without being on the same country, the Instructables staff and community were (and are) very special and kind with me. They always made me feel respected and loved. Instructables was the only escape I had from my reality. This site has thousands of users and still they had the time to talk to me, to care for me, to make me feel like part of a bunch of friends! They were the only people that didn’t see me or treat me like a loser or somebody who needed to be pitied. They were the only ones that made me feel I wasn’t completely alone on this planet. All of this situation lasted one year and two months. Instructables kept me fighting almost all of that time. ……………………………………… Finally, in September of 2010, I got a job. It wasn’t the best (honestly, it was horrible!), but at least I was working. Four months later, I got a better job as security manager of a business center, enough to start paying debts. On October 2010, I went to the Colombian equivalent of Comic-Con, using the Cyborg suit I built for the Instructables’ Dead Computer Contest. Thanks to this, a beautiful woman found me out of the crowd, because she loves robots. She became my biggest fan and we shared a big love. I never thought I could find a love like that. She was the girlfriend I got thanks to Instructables! She was the inspiration of my “Cyborg Heart in a Can”. And I gave it to her. And then Instructables interviewed me as Featured Author. I would be the first Colombian to be a Featured Author! That was awesome! In total, I have won twelve Instructables contests and two challenges. Thanks to Instructables, people of all the world know about my cyborgs and my Roboplanters. (The funny thing is I’m still feeling like the black sheep of the family!) ……………………………………… It was 2012. After one and a half year of relationship, my girlfriend and I broke up, for good (our respective problems were stronger than our love.) Besides, I was stuck at work and I couldn’t study something art or robotics related because the restrictive schedule of my job. So, the depression was returning… I was lying on the couch watching “Doctor Who” when a phrase get stuck in my mind: “All of time and space. Everywhere and anywhere. Every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?” And then I realized that nothing was tying me to Colombia and I could apply to the Instructables Artist in Residence Program. I wanted to know, at least for a few months, how it was to be in the most awesome company in this world. So I quit my job, I sold most of my belongings, I packed my Dremel, my trench coat and my sonic screwdriver, I said goodbye to my family and I traveled to San Francisco on February 27th of 2013. I didn’t come for the “American Dream”. I came for the “Instructables Dream”! ……………………………………… What can I say? How can I describe the most fantastic experience of my life, using just a few words? How can I summarize five months of happiness, learnings, DIY and good energy, when every day was an amazing adventure? I felt, after 35 years of life, I finally arrived in the place I belong. I met the faces behind the site I love and admire. You know who they are (sorry for breaking the magic but, please! Update the Instructables Team page! A lot of awesome people are not there!) I’m trying to not mention specific persons, because I shared awesome experiences with each one of you. Every one of you taught me something, every one of you made me feel appreciated, every one of you does a fantastic job keeping this site working. And I want nobody feels excluded of this post (Sherry always fights for sending out prizes on time, silently. Why nobody says “Thanks Sherry?”) Because Instructables is more than servers and computers and projects and internet. Instructables is the people. From the beginning, Instructables and the Autodesk Consumer Group made me feel like one of the team, like part of something bigger than myself. The Pizza Thursdays, the Marvelous Mondays, the Build Days, the Design Nights, became magical events for me. But it wasn’t only Instructables and Autodesk. This beautiful city of San Francisco taught me real lessons about tolerance, respect and being yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are radically different to the other people. Just be a nice person, do your job and respect the others, and everyone will respect you. I had never touched a CAD software, because I didn’t see any possible use for it in my life. And I thought it was something so complicated that only engineers and designers could use that kind of program. But then I went from 0 to 123D Design! I learned the basics in just two days and I fell in love with this awesome program, and it’s free! (But, seriously guys, try to fix that problem with the crashes. Everyone in the lab knew that when I screamed, it was because the program had a crash and I hadn’t saved the progress). And later, I learned how to use a 3D printer, a machine beyond my wildest dreams! I remember the infinite sadness the first time I went to the amazing Pier 9 (new installations of Instructables and the Autodesk Consumer Group) and thought I could never try that fantastic technology; and the happiness when Noah told me I could stay two months more! You have all the best freaking hi-tech tools in this freaking world, and you don’t need to be a NASA scientist or a millionaire to use them! This place is waiting for people of all the world, to come with their ideas! (It doesn’t matter how crazy they are). 3D printers, laser cutters, a water jet, a bunch of expensive machines I still don’t know the names of, an awesome test kitchen, metal and wood shops, even a sewing area! And all available for the DIY community! But, more than being on Pier 9 because the fantastic machines, I loved to stay here because Instructables.  My life has good things and bad things, successes and failures. But being part of Instructables and sharing moments with all of you has been the most memorable experience of my whole existence! ……………………………………… I want to say something to my dear friends of Instructables and Autodesk: if one day, for some inexplicable reason, you feel like your work is meaningless, you don’t like it’s Monday or simply you forgot what this is all about, just remember something: you will never know exactly how many lives Instructables has touched: how many persons found their true calling thanks to the projects, and how many persons found a hobby that makes their life happier. How many couples fell in love thanks to the delicious recipes and romantic crafts, and how many parents shared precious moments with their sons building something. But now you will always know, at least, Instructables and Autodesk saved one life. My life! ……………………………………… I wish to finish my post with some “Doctor Who” quote. I love “Doctor Who”, because is all about being awesome and optimistic and keep smiling even in the worst situations or despite you are feeling absolutely sad and alone. And the series has a lot of badass and beautiful quotes! But now, when I have to start packing my bags, when I have to return to my hometown where I have to pretend I’m a “normal” person and try to get a “normal” job again, when I have to say goodbye to my coworkers (that are at the same time most of the only real friends I have had in my life), and to the greatest organization I have had the honor of being part (where for first time in life I felt truly appreciated, respected and loved, and happy because it was Monday and I could go to work in a company that is making of this world a better place); there’s one, and only one phrase that I got stuck on my head; the last words of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor when, standing alone after saying goodbye to his loved ones (and to the most awesome time of his life), his final moment comes: “I don’t want to go.” Mario Caicedo Langer Former Artist in Residence. Instructables

Posted by M.C. Langer 5 years ago


Artist in Residence Opportunity in London (open to international applications)

Do you do art "for real"? There's an opportunity you might like: LINK The selected artist will be provided with accommodation, studio, stipend and a production budget towards new work. The artist will be selected from an open call, with the 4 month residency resulting in a public exhibition and publication in 2014. We are seeking applications from artists who have been working professionally for 5 years. We welcome international applications.  The residency includes a £2000 budget towards the production of new work, a £2000 stipend and up to £350 pounds towards travel expenses. Flat Time House will offer a self contained artist's residence with en-suite bathroom. Adjoining kitchen facilities are shared with FTHo's staff.  The deadline for applications is September 8 2013. The residency is to begin late November 2013 and run until late March 2014. 

Posted by Kiteman 5 years ago


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

Posted by tessalene 5 years ago


I feel...

As is becoming traditional for new folk in The Office, it's time for me lay down some thoughts on my first week as Artist in Residence. I feel old.  As I staggered up the stairs last Monday, luggage on my back, I looked and round at a room full of young people.  I haven't been so crass as to directly ask, but I immediately sure that there is a full generation between the people that I was looking at and myself.  Many of them are far closer in age to my sons than to me. I feel welcome. Everybody smiled at me, even if my arrival interrupted whatever they were doing, and quite a few folk that first few minutes weren't sure who who I was, but were still welcoming.  Everybody is very helpful, nowhere is out of bounds. Stumpchunkman Matt went out of his way to make sure I had a base to work at, Noahw sorted out the legals in moments, Jessyratfink gave me a tour (the place I had previously referred to as "HQ" is actually in three different places, a brisk stroll apart). I feel valued. Almost immediately, my opinion was being asked, used and acted upon.  I've helped choose contest winners, and been part of the development process for the future of the site (interesting!).  I have been included in everything. I have not been punched by a member of the dev team. I feel trusted. I have a key to the office hanging on my belt, and I know where the coffee is. I feel ignorant. These people, these young people, know so much more than I do about the high end of Making.  But, they're also keen to teach - I have had lots of offers for help to learn.  As a teacher, that feels weird, weirdly good... I feel happy. The walk from my apartment to the main office takes about 50 minutes, and goes through a somewhat dodgy area of the city, but every day I smile the full way, even singing and whistling.  The bus-ride back (it's up-hill - I may be happy, but I'm not daft) is crowded and sweaty, but I am still smiling, and still ready to sing (but quietly).  I've never been like that on a commute. I feel productive. I've only published two small projects this week, but I have two larger projects in development that will involve staff, and a bunch of other things to make as well.  It's really useful that conversations with staff go along the lines of "Can I have a...? Yes" ------------------------------ Basically, all this adds up to this being a really good experience.  It is by no means a free ride (thank goodness for credit cards!) - if you're young and single you could do this for a lot less than I have, but I could not get away with spending a month in California without bringing the family along. If you ever, ever get the chance to do this, or something similar, then grab it with both hands!

Posted by Kiteman 6 years ago


Transformational experience for Instructables Artist-in-Residence

Instructables' Artist-in-Residence Mario Caicedo-Langer is pretty hands-on. He can make a robot out of anything, but was intrigued by the 123D suite of apps. I asked him to document his experience here... http://blog.123dapp.com/2013/04/transformational-experience-for-instructables-artist-in-residence It's pretty cool - the next step is printing the robot in one print, while still having moveable joints.

Posted by andrewt 5 years ago


Who's Who in the AiR Program

Check out the talented artists we have in the AiR Program - For a full size view, click here.

Posted by Nesserz 4 years ago


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)

Posted by noahw 6 years ago


AiRs in the Media

Our AiRs have been making waves both online and through published articles. Check out some of the cool articles that have been written about the work that our AiRs are doing!

Posted by Nesserz 4 years ago


Jayefuu as Instructables' Artist in Residence

Thursday saw the end of two of the most fun filled months of my life. Since the beginning of February I've been an artist in residence at Instructables' office in San Francisco. First impressions? The office was unlike any I'd ever visited or heard of. An open plan 2nd floor office above a deli and a night club on 2nd street, Instructables' headquarters is home to a team of 25 young and enthusiastic staff. It's not like your average software company either, no desk is the same and each is covered in or surrounded by a mix of complete and incomplete projects, or is in itself a project. Those above mentioned staff are all friendly. The office has the same tight knit community feeling that I have felt part of as a non-staff member using the site. As an artist in residence I was given no direction other than to be creative and pursue and finish projects that interested me. The environment was hugely beneficial as a maker. At home I feel that I have to explain why I want to make something. “But you can buy that!” I am often told. At Instructables I was surrounded by people who understand that making is a passion, that it's important and ideas quickly develop and grow as enthusiastic friends chime in with over the top but all too often adopted suggestions to improve projects in progress or create new projects. There doesn't need to be a reason to create something to amuse, educate or just show off. While in residence I worked on a bubble machine, a giant chess set to play in Eric and Christy's kitchen, an improved laser cut jenga pistol, a cupcake decorating stencil, several educational instructables as well as writing Perl to simplify several tedious admin tasks performed by the editors. My most used tool was the laser cutter. If I had to choose a favourite new skill that I learned, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the skills I developed with a DSLR and lighting, and how to drive a forklift. The best piece of insider information I picked up.... I know who the next artist in residence will be! Given a chance, I'll definitely be back. I love the staff, I love the city and the nearby climbing is exceptional! James

Posted by Jayefuu 6 years ago


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!

Posted by ldevendorf 4 years ago


My Month at Instructables as an Artist in Residence

It's easy to see Instructables as a single entity who's persona is summed up in one yellow robot. During the month of November I had the good fortune to spend a month as an Artist in Residence at Instructables HQ and had the opportunity to look behind the yellow curtain and learn more about the people who craft the website and the work that they do. During my stay I met artists and technicians, crafters and programmers, and I was allowed to peek into their world and see the inner cogs whirling away. Oh yeah, I was also let loose with a million dollars worth of 3D printers and laser cutters with no more direction than to have fun and make stuff! Day to day life at the office was not what I expected. Before arriving I had envisioned a, well, a madhouse. I figured that there would be 10 ft cardboard robots beeping away in one corner, office supply archery in the other, and paper airplanes gliding over the top of it all. When inside though I didn't find a room of chaos, but a room of people quietly working. I soon found out that between community management, site development, contests and other site duties there is a massive amount of work that goes into making the Instructables DIY hub function. It wasn't all business though, there was certainly time for liquid nitrogen ice cream, communal lunch hours, and pizza Thursday! I am very much a robot / tech person, so one of the highlights of my visit was getting to talk shop with randofo and amandaghassaei, Instructables technology editors. They had the coolest gadgets, and both fit the role of tinkers perfectly. Randofo had a huge bin of motors, gearboxes and other electrical delights that he patiently let me riffle through, and Amanda's work area was mass of dismantled keyboards, wire and test equipment. They practiced a type of electronics where novelty is the main function, and it was amazingly fun to see their projects come together. And yes, of course, the 3D printers were a blast. I really was allowed to dive in and try anything I wanted with the Objet machines so I took every spare moment working with them. I spent a fair amount of time running test prints of the different materials and testing their physical and mechanical strength, (aka breaking them). Once I had a feel for the UV cure pseudo plastic, I had just enough time to print everything I wanted plus some. I should also mention that this same building had two of the fastest laser cutters I've seen, and all the plastic and cardboard I could possibly need for my scale of projects. I can't possibly relate how liberating it felt to be able to think of an idea, draw up the CAD, and have a working prototype in less than an hour. The Instructables office is found on a busy street of San Fransisco, above a deli and a bar that plays full Talking Heads albums. This was my first time in California and I loved every minute of it. There was this creative energy all about and it seemed that there was some kind of art plastered anywhere it could fit. I felt like I was on an expedition, seeing for the first time things that I had only read about; I saw subway performers, photographers, and a silver painted robot guy. I ate at a Kwik Way and bought guitar string from the store that the Mythbusters bought their trumpets from. Not only that, but there are celebrities in California and I'm almost positive that Elton John rode the same bus as me every day. I could be wrong, but he had these huge glasses and the hair cut and everything. (I've never seen a celebrity before.) I visited California for a month but it felt like it flew by in minutes. After giving a small presentation over a Thai lunch and a short goodbye, I left San Fransisco and Instructables with a greater awareness and appreciation of the creative community and the talents of its members. Visiting the office and meeting the Instructables crew was an unforgettable experience and I hope to visit again someday. I would highly recommend the AIR program to any one in the position to participate, I had the time of my life.

Posted by Tomdf 5 years ago


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)

Posted by alepalan 4 years ago


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!!!!

Posted by M.C. Langer 5 years ago


Only US and Canadian residents

Oh... that's bad ...

Posted by farzadbayan 8 years ago


Not US residents able to win in Digital Days Photo Contest?

Thats it, are not US (and Canada) residents able to win the price? I'm from Spain

Posted by juanvi 9 years ago


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.

Posted by xxlauraxx 3 years ago


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.

Posted by Tanner W 4 years ago


UK Residency Opportunity (Engineers, Makers, Designers)

The Victoria & Albert Museum have announced a residency programme that might be right up your street: We have just issued a new open call for a one year residency targeted at UK based engineers, makers and designers who wish to develop their practice by responding in their own way to the rich engineering heritage of the Museum – from the Collection’s origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851 and architectural history of the site, to the pioneering engineering systems at work in the Museum’s ongoing Exhibition Road Building Project.   We are ideally looking an engineer and welcome applications from practitioners from a variety of engineering disciplines (structural, civil, mechanical, engineering design, electrical, biological etc.) but we also welcome applications from makers and designers with a demonstrated interest in engineering. The resident should be interested in engaging with an operational building site and live architecture project. At the same time, he/she should be keen to develop public programmes with a range of different audiences linked to the Museum’s 2016 Engineering Season. We are therefore looking for practitioners who want to use this residency to create, build and present their work to the public while allowing museum visitors to follow their work in progress and understand their creative process through open studios, workshops, talks and other participatory programmes. http://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/artists-residence-va/new-open-call-exhibition-road-engineering-residency Information for applicants Residency period: April 2016 – April 2017 Bursary: £10,000 for twelve months (subject to tax and national insurance) Studio at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington An additional budget for production of public-facing activities or displays Deadline for applications: midnight, 17 January 2016 Interview date: 26 January 2016

Posted by Kiteman 2 years ago


What say ye, Resident Physicist?

In which I ask Kelseymh his assessment of the experiment which they think may have detected neutrinos travelling faster than light. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman.) (Yes, I should have checked his orangeboard first...I'm a bad stalker. :P )

Posted by Lithium Rain 7 years ago


Kala Art Institute Residency Program and Classes

Kala Art Institute is a great resource for artists offering residency programs and workshops. RESIDENCY PROGRAMS Artists in need of space and equipment for work in printmaking, photography, or digital media are encouraged to apply to Kala's residency program in one of two ways. The Artist-in-Residence Program provides accepted artists with 24-hour access to Kala’s Print Studio and Electronic Media Center. Established in 1974, Kala’s Artist-in-Residence program is geared towards providing short- and long-term communal studio space at low monthly rates to both emerging and established artists. The program has steadily grown to reach its current annual population of approximately seventy-five artists from the Bay Area and beyond. The Fellowship Award, an international competition, annually grants nine artists a cash award, unlimited access to Kala’s facilities for up to six months, and a culminating show in the Kala Gallery, through a highly competitive jurying process. The Fellowship Award is geared towards supporting artists in completing specific projects or bodies of work that would benefit from Kala's specialized equipment. Many Fellowship winners transition to the Artist-in-Residence program at the conclusion of their Fellowship period in order to continue their work at Kala. CLASSES Kala offers some of the best printmaking and digital media classes in the Bay Area. Located in Berkeley, every year Kala offers the community close to one hundred classes in a wide range of techniques, utilizing the exceptional equipment available in our printmaking studio and electronic media center. The small, hands-on classes foster creative exchange with instructors and fellow students, and all of our instructors are exhibiting artists. We offer numerous classes combining digital and traditional printmaking in different ways. Choose a class that explores a new interest, or refines previous experience. Both beginners and advanced professional artists will find classes at appropriate skill levels, with detailed class descriptions, in Kala’s annual course catalog and on our website. The website has the most up-to-date class information. Private classes and tutoring sessions in many subjects are also available. Below is a link to our 2012 class calender: http://www.kala.org/class/class.html Carrie Hott Program Coordinator, Classes & Artist Residencies carrie@kala.org tel: 510-549-2977 ext. 303

Posted by carriekala 6 years ago


T-Virus Injection

How can I make something to give myself T-Virus injection marks? I'm looking for a way to give myself T-Virus injection marks, like Alice and Angela have in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, without actually injecting my self. The purpose would be for SDCC and eventually tattoos.

Posted by cjschen 8 years ago


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!

Posted by Penolopy Bulnick 4 years ago


Batch file zip

I need a batch file that will zip up text file with a password that resides on a network drive. Can some one help me with this?

Posted by computerguy 10 years ago


SecondLifeGlobal.com is looking for Second Life Residents!

Active Second Life Residents we need your help!We have just opened an ultra clean free open forum involving the MMOG Second Life here at http://www.secondlifeglobal.com .Be one of the first to post and start off the community!We would like you please to get involved and learn about Second Life. This is a great way to meet new players, enter cash contests,learn and post tips for newbies and buy, trade and sell amongst other Residents.There is no obligation to join free even. If you simply wish to use SecondLifeGlobal as a reference that is ok too. So take a second and see what we are all about and we hope to see as a part of the SecondLifeGlobal community!http://www.secondlifeglobal.comThank you for taking the time to view this thread.Sincerely,JohnSecondLifeGlobal.com

Posted by secondlifeglobal 11 years ago


Instructables on New Scientist TV

Instructables "artist in residence" Mikeasaurus has had his magnetic silly putty featured on New Scientist TV. Kudos, Mike!

Posted by Kiteman 7 years ago


Californians excluded from Jack Daniel's contest

I noticed that residents of California are excluded from the Jack Daniels contest - bummer! Does anyone know why? Thanks :)

Posted by LanceMakes 6 years ago


Countries allowed to participate contests

Contest rules says: "THE CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO NATURAL PERSONS WHO, AT THE TIME OF ENTRY, ARE REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE SITE, WHO ARE AT LEAST FOURTEEN (14) YEARS OLD (FIFTEEN [15] YEARS OLD FOR RESIDENTS OF NORWAY AND EIGHTEEN [18] YEARS OLD FOR RESIDENTS OF GERMANY), AND ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (INCLUDING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUT EXCLUDING PUERTO RICO), CANADA (EXCLUDING THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, CANADA), UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CHINA, THE NETHERLANDS, COLOMBIA, DENMARK, GERMANY, INDIA, NORWAY, OR SWITZERLAND." So, I just want to ask, why citizens of Poland cannot participate to contests? I'm sure, there a lot Polish, who made something nice and would show his/her project in that way. Poland is in EU, NATO, it is not so bad country (until you live there, eh). Our politicians sucks, thats a fact, but there are a lot creative young people, let them show, what they can. Regards. p.

Posted by cube000 5 years ago


Can I participate in your contests?

Sorry for my English, I don't use it very often. I'm from Europe, from Spain and I love your web, but I don't know if I can participate in your constest. I have read the new rules: "Eligibility. THE CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO NATURAL PERSONS WHO, AT THE TIME OF ENTRY, ARE REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE SITE, WHO ARE AT LEAST FOURTEEN (14) YEARS OLD (FIFTEEN [15] YEARS OLD FOR RESIDENTS OF NORWAY AND EIGHTEEN [18] YEARS OLD FOR RESIDENTS OF GERMANY), AND ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (INCLUDING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUT EXCLUDING PUERTO RICO), CANADA (EXCLUDING THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, CANADA), UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CHINA, THE NETHERLANDS, COLOMBIA, DENMARK, GERMANY, INDIA, NORWAY, OR SWITZERLAND." In my country, your are an adult if you are 18 years old. I'm older, so I haven't this problem. But my country, Spain, doesn't appear in your list. Can we participate? Or there is some problem with the post or the laws to send the prices? Thank for your time!

Posted by Nemra 6 years ago


LG's Design the Future Competition

Call for entries! Your assignment: imagine the future of mobile communication. LG Mobile Phones is partnering with crowdSPRING to announce a new competition to define the next generation of mobile communication.  If you are a U.S. resident (citizen or green card holder) age 18 (or age of majority in state of residence) and older, you can have a chance to design your vision of the next revolutionary LG mobile phone and compete for more than $80,000 in awards.  Exercise your creative imagination and let your ideas be heard.  You don’t have to work for LG to make an impact on the future of mobile communication! www.crowdspring.com/LG

Posted by jdaudier 8 years ago


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.

Posted by andreasbastian 4 years ago


Jack Daniel's "The Independence Project" Eligibility

I was excited to pull together a video for the Jack Daniel's challenge, but then I noticed the small text at the end of the contest description: "...Void in CA and where prohibited."  Why the heck are residents of California exempt from participating in this contest?

Posted by ridiculously.awesome 6 years ago


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

Posted by masynmachien 3 years ago


biodiesel fuel shed concept

This is a Biodiesel Fuel Shed concept i thought of. It would be partly underground, have an exhaust hood, and a wet chemical sprinkler system. I thought of it for safety of the user/s in the shed, and also safety for the residents in the houses in the blast radius itf there were to be a catastrophic failure.

Posted by theboygenius 5 years ago


Contest to win a PC

Someone PM'd me about a contest to create something new with their old PC.  I was going to enter but unfortunately it is only open to US residence.  I thought I would pass this along since there are a lot of Instructables posted that would be eligible for this contest (provided that you are from the US).  The prize is a PC. Here is the link: http://vizio.maker.good.is/

Posted by ChrysN 6 years ago


US and Canada Contests

I'm fed up I cant enter some contests like the 30-second video contest just because I'm not resident of the US nor Canada. I live in Spain, and when I see a contest I like, it says its only for US and Canada residents. I understand that its easier for Instructables to send the price withing America, but the sending taxes are not so high for them to be a reason of not sending the price. While I was reading the contest rules for the 30-second video I had ideas for 4 different entries. But I'm not going to bother doing them if I'm going to be thrown out of the contest the first day because of my nationality. I think contests should be something international, where everyone could win. That is the spirit of this new era, the internet era. With sites as this one, youtube, facebook, one can really feel as part of the international comunity, where every one, no matter age or race, can be someone. But of course, this "feeling"· of being part of something bigger end by the moment one reads "This contest is limited to legal residents of the United States and Canada, age 18 or older at the time of entry." (I understand the age problem for legal reasons). So, I ask to the team of Instructables to be considerant and to think of all the people living outside the US and Canada that could have a good idea or ideas for any kind of contest. Thanks for all Juanviperea.

Posted by juanvi 9 years ago


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!

Posted by tinkertinker 4 years ago


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

Posted by scottkildall 4 years ago


free oregano plants for alta loma area

I have some oregano that is growing tall from last season and need to get rid of some of it, it will be ideal for residents who live in the alta loma/rancho cucamonga are or in the inland empire. It will be in a pot with soil. if interested then pleez leave me a comment then i'll contact with u ASAP

Posted by firecraker222 9 years ago


Old tire rocking chair

Found randomly on Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/donshall/3340181328/http://www.flickr.com/photos/donshall/3340184078/I just LOVE this! It looks like it ought not to be too difficult to make, if one has a junkyard to pull bits from.(The note on the chair's back says something about don't play on this as wasps have taken up residence.)

Posted by rachel 9 years ago


International entries ?

Hey, i reside in Fiji islands and my intention was to know whether international entries were legitimate. Cause i really want that laptop, i have been using my old compaq computer for a long time and this looks like a really good deal. I will write a really good instructable , but it's no use if i can't win it. So please do help me.

Posted by arylic 9 years ago


Can I participate in this contest ?

My name is Shahrukh Saleem, I am from Pakistan. I wanted to participate in the soldering contest, but in Sec A rules of contest it is written that "THE CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO NATURAL PERSONS WHO, AT THE TIME OF ENTRY, ARE REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE SITE.... AND ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (INCLUDING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUT EXCLUDING PUERTO RICO), CANADA (EXCLUDING THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, CANADA), UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CHINA, THE NETHERLANDS, COLOMBIA, DENMARK, GERMANY, INDIA, NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND OR SWITZERLAND" Why Pakistan is not listed here ? it is also written that a national or resident of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or any other country for which trade with the United States has been prohibited or restricted by any statute, regulation, order, rule, treaty, or other law of the United States or any other applicable jurisdiction in any manner that would prevent the awarding or delivery of any prize to the entrant; US hasn't restricted trade with Pakistan. So Can I participate ?

Posted by Shahrukh49 3 years ago


what gun do you want me to make

hey every one i havent posted anything in a while so id figure id make some guns what guns do you want me to make  also i will be posting a m37 shotgun from resident evil 5 after im finshed with djs BR

Posted by knexsuperbuilderfreak 8 years ago


Your Project, posted elsewhere?

It's always nice when your work gets popular, and the latest example is Artist-in-Residence Tomdf having had his tentacle straw project featured on Hack-a-Day.  I found this out because I saw it on their twitter feed. Have you had your Instructables featured elsewhere?  How did you find out? (And are you following the Instructables feed?)

Posted by Kiteman 5 years ago


The world's cutest biofuel: burning bunnies.

Stockholm has a pest problem - thousands of rabbits (the descendants of escaped pets) have to be culled every year to stop them eating all the green spaces.  The culled bunnies are frozen and stored. But the fate of these cute corpses is causing a stir amongst Stockholm residents. The rigid rabbits are collected by contractors, taken to the town of Karlskog, and burned to heat the town. Leo Virta, the Managing Director of Konvex - the plant's suppliers - told the BBC that Konvex has developed a new way of processing animal waste with funding from the EU as part of the Biomal project. He says that with this new method, raw animal material is crushed, ground and then pumped to a boiler where it is burned together with wood chips, peat or waste to produce renewable heat. "It is a good system as it solves the problem of dealing with animal waste and it provides heat," said Mr Virta. The Karlskogans don't mind what provides their heat, but in Stockholm, the urbanised residents think they're just too cute to burn... What do you think?  Clever use of waste biomass, or cruelty to bunnies?

Posted by Kiteman 9 years ago


where to get chemicals, or can I even get them..?

I wanted to make some glow stick material at home for a holiday party, but Alfa Aesar will not sell the chemicals to me or deliver to a residence.  my work sure isn't going to let me walk out the door with chemicals, even if I pay for them, but have them delivered to my work place.  Are the chemicals needed for this restricted by the feds or something?  Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

Posted by Quay606 5 years ago


Meet the Boy With the Lego Hand

When Coby Unger makes, he makes the world a better place. The Atlantic recently published an article about the artist in residence and his work to build better prosthetics for children. Unger worked with a boy named Aiden Robinson to dream up the swiss army knife of prosthetics with attachments that include a Wii controller, spoon, legos, and a bow for playing the violin. Check out more of Coby's projects, and read the article to learn more about Aiden, the boy with the Lego hand. 

Posted by tinaciousz 4 years ago


International entries on Forbes Teach Me Fast Contest

In teh official rules it says "This contest is limited to legal residents of the United States and Canada", but at the mainpage (https://www.instructables.com/contest/forbes30seconds/) it says "International entries are OK.".I live in Finland and I'd like to know, can I enter this contest (and if I win, would that prize be shipped here). I believe there are many other users who are thinking about this same thing.

Posted by zaketus 9 years ago


It's fozzy13's AIRniversary!

"AIRniversary" meaning, one year anniversary of being an Airtist in Residence. It has been over a year since I left San Francisco when my Artist in Residency ended.  The experience was awesome and it has been exciting to see the program grow with the new wave or artists that have created so many incredible things.  It has been a big year for me personally.  I changed my major in school, I joined a fraternity, I cut my hair, and things that I learned at Instructables keep popping up every day. During the past month or so I found myself reflecting on the experience in all of its different aspects.  The experience at Instructables was fantastic, but moving to such a big city was, in hindsight, more stressful than I thought when I was living there.  It was a big change to what I was used to at home, and was pretty overwhelming at times.  The vlog I have embedded is meant to describe some of the stress that I had while moving to a big city, by sharing part of the story of my first hours in San Francisco. That said, I'm incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity.  I learned so much from the experience including new things every day that I can take away when thinking about my time there. Today, and over the past year, I have began to see my projects in a new way.  I value planning way more than I used to.  I value using the right tool for the right job.  I have tried to put more effort into the quality of my documentation and explanation for all of my projects, and to make more videos to give a better feel for what the project really is. I have to end with saying "Thank You" again to everyone at Instructables, and the extended community for supporting not only my projects, but the projects of everyone in the community by giving them a means to share and connect with other makers. -Adam

Posted by fozzy13 4 years ago


United Emirates Plan to Build First Zero Carbon City

"The United Arab Emirates, home for around 5 million people, wants to build the world's first zero-carbon city called Masdar City.In Masdar City cars will be banned. A light rail system will serve the residents inside the city as well as taking them to nearby cities. Waste water will be reused, all garbage will be recycled and organic food will be locally grown."Read More...Now go on, discuss!

Posted by Weissensteinburg 10 years ago


Spreadshirt Help Plz?

Well, I made my own shop on Spreadshirt, but now how do I get paid.US residents and US citizens would also have to supply their tax ID, Social Security number or Tax Identification numberSo, where do I get the things needed? I mean, its a source of income, and I would pay tax on it...Any help?BTW don't give me that: "Have you checked the FAQ's?" business, I did, and I found nothing..

Posted by bumpus 10 years ago