What is Project RE_ ?

What motivates people into making their own stuff? Is it to save money? Is it to express themselves? Or is it just a human need to create, as proposed by the Italian philosopher Piero Ferrucci. 

Some people appreciate standing out of the crowd by creating a unique product. Others build to show off their skills and values. Today, with the rise of automated manufacturing machines and the access to cheap and intuitive 3D programs, the quest for customization will become a reality. Project RE_ is studying do-it-yourself communities and the capacity of their members to reproduce locally objects designed in other countries.  This experiment is based on the open source principles and on the successful business model of Instructables, an international DIY community owned by Autodesk. Project RE_ also studies upcycling* as a new urban aesthetic and presents do-it-yourself projects designed by Samuel N. Bernier*, founder of the blog. All 3D printing files and laser cutting files will aso be published on Thingiverse.

 *to increase the value of a broken or unused object by giving it a new function or a new form.

* Samuel Nelson Bernier is an industrial designer from the countryside of Quebec. He studied product design in Montreal and Paris (ENSCI Les Ateliers). Project RE_ was created as a research for his graduation project at UdeM. The experiment is supervised by Louis-Philippe Pratte, founder of   À Hauteur d'homme , a sustainable furniture company. The project is also followed by Instructables, the biggest DIY community in America.

This book was written as a research/manual for DIYers and hackers.

It includes :

Repertory of DIY communities
DIY terminology
Project RE_'s design ideas
Description of computer driven tools
The ''future of DIY'' propositions
3D printing pioneers
Prototyping services available in Montreal

When I got my Ipad, the first App I downloaded was Sketchbook Pro. I've been using it on wacom for work and loved it. I quickly realised that drawing with fingers on an Ipad was much more difficult, so I decided to design my own stylish stylus. It took me a while to understand what makes a stylus work correctly, so I hope you'll learn from my mistakes.

Here is how to make a fun and effective stylus for Ipad and Iphone. 

The step by step on Instructables!

Also on Instructables : How to make an Eraser ball with 3D printing!

Laser cut business card

If you are a creative person, you shouldn't have a boring business card. Here is how I made mine : 

Step 1 : Choose your support ( I used black cardboard ) 
Note : Black cardboard will turn brown when carved
Step 2 : Draw your design on Illustrator or Autocad
Step 3 : Use colors (or layers) to determine what you want to cut and what you want to engrave
Step 4 : Set the laser cutter
Step 5 : Ad something unique (the backside of my card is made of sandpaper grid 150) It can be used for improvised DIY project.

Candy Jewelry

New Year is over and it's time to loose some weight. Here's a little idea on how to use the candies you won't eat for the next few weeks. These original earrings and necklaces were Christmas presents for my sisters. 

You will need :

- Clear nail varnish
- Cheap jewels
- Hard candies
- Epoxy glue
- Stick (something to mix the glue)
- Wax paper

RE_DIY The upcycling application

Low cost 3D printing is used to create valuable objects from everyday junk. Using an open source 3D models data bank, people can transform any standard jar or tin can into a customized product. This platform seeks to eliminate transport and tooling for this kind of upcycling accessories.

Vegetables will make you strong like Popeye’’

That’s what my mom used to tell me. This inspired me to do this set of dumbbells using 3D printed handles that clip unto standard tin cans for weight.
More on Instructables

Screwdriver place setting

There is weird a phenomenon happening in my kitchen drawer. Somehow, every single item from my flatware is different from the next. I have to say that I don't remember ever buying a table set. Forks, spoons and knives were given to me by family members or friends after moving out of my parents’ place years ago. Many of these utensils probably come from the high school cafeteria where I used to borrow them to eat my lunch and would forget to bring back. I would like, for once, to own one of these nice table sets that you use when mom and dad come for diner.

I also own an incredible amount of screw drivers. I have to say that I love buying tools. The problem is that I also bought two multi-bit screwdrivers, two electric drills and a Dremel... I don't need my old tools anymore. Also, since they were bad quality, the Philips head all got stripped and I only use the flat ones to open paint cans.

Here's how to merge two problems into one cool solution.


- Acrylic handle screwdrivers
- An old table set
- A metal saw
- A heat gun
- A clamp

The Shovel Lamp

My mom gave me a broken shovel that couldn't be fixed. Somehow, it broke right in the middle of the steel blade. Even the best welder on earth couldn't bring it back to life. Even for recycling, this object was tricky to disassemble because of the rivets used to keep everything together. There was no way I was going to throw away such a beautiful object. Here is how a piece of junk became a 120 $ lamp.

- A broken shovel
- IKEA suspension kit
- Light bulb
- 1 small steel plate
- High temperature paint

Kitchen clock made with disposable flatware

Since almost three years now, I've been eating lunch at school using the same disposable fork. This plastic flatware people use like toilet paper is actually quite sustainable when used for a long period of time. While I keep my little polystyrene fork in my school bag, I notice that most students' desks are filled with dirty plastic spoons, plates, coffee cups and more forks. (Design education...)
I had to create a clock for an auction benefiting students in industrial design. I only had to look on five different tables to get what I needed.


6 cleaned forks
6 cleaned soup spoons
Polystyrene sheet less than 5 mm of thickness
A clock mechanism
Gorilla or Super glue

Jerrycan speakers

Jerrycans are beautiful. Their shape is functional and iconic.
With the price of the fuel being so high, you can't afford to have a leak in your container. If it's the case, here is a simple idea that could interest you. Walking home a few days ago, I found an old set of speakers in my neighboor's trash can. (You know, these brown boxes that nobody uses anymore because today's technology offers much better sound quality.) I didn't know if they worked but I still took them. I smashed the case with a hammer (NOT the best way to get inside), and I unscrewed the speakers from the box.

Warning for music purists: The sound coming out from these speakers won't be HD quality... Jerrycans sound like Jerrycans. It's more a kind of party accessory.


- A pair of stereo speakers
- Speaker wires
- 8 screws (the type will depend of the speakers you've got
- 2 EMPTY AND CLEAN Jerrycans (or similar objects)
- Polyester fill
- Amplifier

Basketball bag

My younger sister is 14 years old and it's getting quite difficult to find her a good Christmas present. One thing I am sure to know about her is that she loves basketball. I used to give her some tips and now she is better than I ever was. This project is dedicated to Emy.

Here's how to turn a punctured basketball into a cool sports bag. A basketball is just big enough to fit the necessary items for a game : t-shirt, shorts, water bottle and socks. Here is a step by step solution for a cheap and original use for your old game balls.

You will need :

1 basketball (volleyball, soccer ball, beach ball, football...)
1 strap
1 zipper
1 cutter
2 key rings
some rubber glue

Dish rack made of pencil tips

As a designer, I use a big quantity of drawing pencils every year. I never know what to do with them when they get to small so they stay in my pencil case (wich soon looks pregnant). For me, rule number one in design drawing is « Never use an eraser ». Small mistakes can bring big ideas. For this reason, the little pink rubber at the end of my pencils never get the chance to be used. Determined not to trow them away, I came with this idea of a dish rack. I've been using it for months now and I can say that I am quite satisfied so here is the step by step :

Use a brush as a pencil organizer

When you work, it's important to be organized. You don't want to spend time looking for an eraser or a particular pen.  There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting an idea while looking for a damn pencil. What could be better than a brume to keep your desk clean? To draw design concepts, I use those fat markers called TRIA and I have a lot of different colors. This little trick keeps them close and visible at all time while I'm sketching.

 The idea is simple : Get a brush (10$-15$), unscrew the head and put your stuff in it. It works incredibly well. Notes, CDs, ruler... almost everything fits.
Keep the wooden stick for later... we'll find something to do with it.


My parent's cabin does not have drinkable tap water, so we use a lot of water bottles, juice bottles and all kind of bottles (my father prefers beer bottles). There is also no recycling system in this area, so we have to bring all these containers back home. I found a way to reuse them (using only my father's tool box) by turning them into a useful, good looking and entertaining buoy for the lake. They can be used as seats for exhausted swimmers, anchor for your kayak or rock warning... It is also really fun to try to run on them like in a Japanese game show...

In 2009, I won the Instructables Tap'd NY design competition with this project.