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File:Instructables hand logo.png
Slogan "The world's biggest show and tell"
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Informational
Owner Instructables, Inc.
489 Clementina St., 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Created by Eric J. Wilhelm, Ph.D., Co-founding partner of Squid Labs, CEO of Instructables

Instructables is a website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects, which other users can comment on and rate for quality. It was created by Eric Wilhelm, a mechanical engineer, and launched in August 2005. Instructables is dedicated to step-by-step collaboration among members to build a variety of projects. Users post instructions to their projects, usually accompanied by visual aids, and then interact through comment sections below each Instructable step as well in topic forums.



While a member of the Media Lab at MIT, Wilhelm co-founded Squid Labs with Saul Griffith, an engineering and technology company specializing in design and consulting. Instructables started as an internal Squid Labs project, which Wilhelm has since spun out as an independent company and acts as CEO.

The original content focused mostly on such projects as building electronic or mechanical devices to solve common problems around the home. The scope of the project has expanded to include a larger array of categories, including arts and crafts, food, home, life, offbeat (first known as "not liable") and recently K'NEX (the construction toy), transportation and tech. The site allows uploading of photos, diagrams, video and animation to help explain complex terminology and mechanisms in clear and understandable terms. [1]


A user looking for specific instructions using Instructables may widen or expand their interest field due to the unique setup and user base in and around an Instructable. The helpful community and knowledgeable members will not hesitate to ask questions or share their own experiences with a project. The community forums are a place to share thoughts and opinions with other 'Instructablers' as well as posting in the community blog. The different forum categories are sorted like the Instructable categories themselves, into sections such as Art, Craft, Home, Tech.

Each member has the option to create Instructables to share with other members and the world that demonstrate in a step-by-step process exactly how to accomplish a task or create a project. In addition, each member has their own "Orangeboard" which is similar to a private forum topic in which the user is the primary moderator, where other users can make comments and share ideas under a higher level of privacy.

Each month several contests are held, each covering a unique category of interest and prizes are awarded to the winner (or winners). Prizes vary, depending on who is sponsoring the contest. An Instructables sponsored contest, such as "Burning Questions" will usually award t-shirts, patches and stickers. Some of the more extravagant prizes awarded in the past include a laser engraver/cutter and getting published in O'Reilly Media/Make Magazine's "The Best of Instructables Volume I".

In the press

Instructables has been profiled in Make Magazine, the Village Voice, Popular Science, The Daily Telegraph, PC World (magazine) and various other publications and on National Public Radio (NPR).[citation needed]


Starting June 2009, Instructables introduced a "Pro" membership account starting from about $2 a month. Pro features include "View all steps on one page", more features on Instructables WYSIWYG editor, secondary images and favorites. Many features were previously available to all members, but some are brand new.

External links

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