Don your favorite bath robe, cream that coffee and get comfortable with this weekend’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader.

This week we saw everything from a DIY Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) for Viewing Atomic Structures to a modular Nerf Blaster and more.

So lay back, relax and take a load off while reading the top ten stories on SolidSmack this past week.

Oh and uh…don’t forget to shed some much-needed sunlight on your face, too.

Inspire the Nascent Nerd within Your Children with This Robot Coloring Book


“For our readers who might have little ones running around playing engineer or designer, we noticed something on that quite frankly…we couldn’t help but share…”

Fabrisonic – UltraCool Ultrasonic Additive Fabrication


“Although there’s an overwhelming amount of column inches expended on consumer 3D Printing, there are some substantial movements in the Industrial 3D Printing World. Fabrisonic has been one of the most interesting and perhaps most stealthy after having developed a unique additive manufacturing method on a large-scale with large implications for design and engineering…”

Modular Nerf Blaster Lets Kids Play Engineer with Over 30 Possible Design Combinations


“For those that grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s, it’s likely that some of the best weekends-ever consisted of epic Nerf soft-dart Blaster fights and fort-building. Unlike LEGOs, the soft darts didn’t hurt if you stepped on one and the combination of building strategic forts for protection certainly led to at least some productive brain-play with creative civil engineering brainstorming and strategy…”

Build Your Own Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) for Viewing Atomic Structures


“With an 80 cent piezo buzzer, tungsten wire and some spare MDF, Dan Berard has managed to build an working Scanning Tunneling Microscope that can image whole atomic structures. Arthur C. Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic…”

Smoothie-3D is a Deliciously Free Photo-to-3D Modeling and 3D Printing Tool


“One long-standing user problem for 3D content creators has been in turning 2D images into 3D models, as we have the tools of photography within our grasp at all times but fewer tools for 3D capture…”

Researchers Use This One Weird Trick to Make Superhydrophobic Metal


“Brace yourselves – this is actually a pretty big deal. Last week, researchers out of the University of Rochester used laser etching methods to create unique patterns that made metal surfaces extremely hydrophobic i.e. water-repellant…”

It’s Finally Here: Luxion and Pixologic Partner to Release KeyShot for ZBrush + Bridge


“When it comes to CAD software, ZBrush, like many other types of digital sculpting software, can oftentimes be compared to the odd friend in the group that nobody really knows well, but always wants to be better friends with. Most often used by character designers and conceptual artists, the extremely powerful digital ‘clay’ modeler is known throughout the 3D industry as the go-to software for developing digital sculptures both quickly and cleanly…”

Things You (Maybe) Need: The 2,996-Piece Lego SHIELD Helicarrier


“For those who enjoy the brain activity of assembling thousand-plus part models in SolidWorks, this new ‘desk toy’ just might be right up your alley. Set to be unveiled at next month’s Toy Fair in NYC, the LEGO SHIELD Helicarrier is among one of the largest and most sci-fi builds to date with 2,996 elements and an estimated 24 cups of coffee build time…”

There Is Now a Video Game Centered around Assembling IKEA Furniture


“For some (college students?) it’s a necessity, for others (psychopaths?) it’s a hobby. Assembling flat-packed IKEA furniture really isn’t as bad as many make it out to be, but it’s still a chore worthy of purchasing a six-pack of root beer for and putting on a Pixies record in advance…”

Going Old-School: Learn How to Render with Pastels in New Scott Robertson Video


“Last time we checked in with master design sketcher (and even-better sketching instructor) Scott Robertson, he was releasing his second interactive design tutorial book How to Render. The book, which follows the equally-awesome design sketching book How to Draw, features what are quite possibly the most in-depth explanations of how to render sketches ever published…”