What is TakeItApart? is where the world can share photo-driven disassembly guides. It is a place to see how to take apart everyday things, and to find things to do once inside.

What is a disassembly guide?

A disassembly guide is a series of photographs or videos, with notes that describe how take something apart, the components present, and the underlying engineering or industrial design principles. A guide could explore something you've purchased and are curious about, something you have repaired, or something you have built. It could be a clock, a car, a computer, or anything else you can photograph.

A guide helps others learn how things work, shows ways to repair, and identifies components that can be salvaged for new projects.

How can I help?

You can start by taking photos and videos whenever you take something apart, then you can upload them to a new guide on TakeItApart. We want to give you credit for your hard work though, so you'll have to register an account first.

To make the best guides possible, just follow our few simple guidelines.

Where are the guides?

You can browse to see what has been taken apart or search for a guide detailing a specific item. You can even find items items that contain a certain component, say an MSP430 microcontroller.

What does a disassembly guide look like?

See for yourself.







Why do this at all?

TakeItApart is a resource for STEM education, and helps students learn how things work by physical example. The disassembly guides on the website allow anyone to take things apart, virtually, without ever picking up a screwdriver. It is a visual encyclopedia for learning how things work, from engineering and manufacturing to industrial design.

It also supports sustainability, by providing information that will allow us all to hold on to our things longer. It can be used to document maintenance processes, show replaceable components, or identify salvageable items. If we can repair and reuse, we can save a few things from entering the landfill.

How do I describe it to my friends?

TakeItApart is a place to see how to take apart everyday things, and to find things to do once inside. It is a child's question; curiosity without "Stop." A broken washing machine, a grandfather's watch, an old model train. The latest gadget.

In disassembly there is commonality with the crypt robber, the historian, the plumber. Each screw turn and careful pry exposes the artistry of engineering, and the beauty of design. By taking things apart we can see how they work, and find ways to repair. We can learn.

A disassembly guide on TakeItApart includes step-by-step photographs of the disassembly process, along with text descriptions. Rich hover-over image annotations show users troublesome screws, microchip part numbers, and detailed locations. Visitors can carefully search for specific guides, look for items containing specific components, or casually browse.

For those with the urge to get out their screwdriver, it is a new community. Creative users can author their own disassembly guides by uploading photos, videos, descriptions, and annotations. Making a new guide is as easy as uploading a bulk selection of images, and clicking "Continue" a few times. Basic image editing like rotation and cropping can be done on the site, and it's easy to include image annotations and tool lists.

Are there TakeItApart camps?

We do not currently run official TakeItApart camps, but we are present at several Maker Faires throughout the year. Come visit our booth and take things apart!