Don your favorite bath robe, cream that coffee and get comfortable with this weekend’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader. This week we saw everything from how robots are changing the landscape of manufacturing to how toy manufacturers are leveraging 3D printing and more. So lay back, relax and take a load off while reading the top ten stories on SolidSmack this past week.

Humans Need Not Apply: New Short Film Explores the Future of Robots in Manufacturing and Automation

“We’ve all seen various images and video clips of robots on product assembly lines ranging from cars to pocket tools. While robots have helped automate the manufacturing process, few details exist about where the future is likely heading apart from whatever sci-fi theories that are floating around…”


The Uncomfortable Project: This Study of Everyday Objects Makes You Rethink the Purpose of Semiotics

“Inspired by a strange desire to create and design a collection of products for ‘all the wrong reasons’, product designer Katerina Kamprani has essentially created a collection of almost usable yet absolutely-not-usable product designs that bring to mind the popular Most Useless Machine Ever…”


Behind the Design: The ‘Sense’ Sleep Tracker That Has Raised Over $2 Million on Kickstarter

“Previously, SolidSmack reported on the Sense ‘Smart Sleeping System’ that launched on Kickstarter a few weeks ago. The well-priced $99 sleep management system aims to ‘combine the insight of your sleep patterns with the data of the environment in your bedroom, including noise, light, temperature, humidity and particles in the air’…”


‘Fab by Example’ Aims to Take the Complexity Out of Product Design for Consumers…Huh?

“So far we’ve seen 3D printing being used at the consumer/prosumer level as a way to create static objects with relatively few—if any—moving parts. A large part of this is due to the rampant use of low-level CAD programs that offer little more than digital pushing and pulling combined with an output method that is limited to one material. Ultimately, professional content creation tools are just too complicated for the general population to design products with…as expected…”


Behind the Design: The iPad Case That Can Hang

“If you’re like my grandma, you’ll pop a rum raisin in your mouth and say, “I’ve seen every iPad case, pack, flap and stand that’s been squeezed from a designer’s forehead pores!” True, there are many iPad cases, but every once in a while, someone actually thinks of the problems that come with the burden of high-tech devices like an iPad Air and provide a dead simple solution. Mozzic has done this with the design of Loop, the iPad case that can hang…”


The ‘Slash Lamp’ Encourages Design Customization Through Design Destruction

“Save for a piñata, few objects encourage destruction as a part of the user experience—let alone objects that aren’t meant to be discarded after their use. While you won’t be finding any Laffy Taffy or Skittles inside the cavity of the ‘/’ Lamp, it does however encourage you to beat the living crap out of it…”


Watch Bill Gates ‘Design and Fabricate’ the Ultimate Ice Bucket Contraption for the Ice Bucket Challenge

“In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with the popular Ice Bucket Challenge that originated from 29 year old Peter Frates, a former captain of the Boston College baseball team who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 (this according to a Facebook data science team)…”


Toymaker Hasbro Expands Licensed 3D Printed Toy Platform to Feature Monopoly, Scrabble, Transformers and More…

“Almost exactly a month ago, SolidSmack reported that popular toymaker Hasbro would be teaming up with Shapeways to offer My Little Pony fans (AKA Bronies) the option to 3D print and sell their own creations based on the Hasbro-owned content via their new(ish) SuperFanArt platform…”


Behind the Scenes at Bertone’s Concept Car Design Studio

“Founded in 1912, BERTONE has had a colorful history creating some of the most sought-after and futuristic car designs throughout the past century. The reputable Italian firm started out as a carriage manufacturing business and later turned into a styling studio that was commissioned by some of the most reputable car manufacturers in the world including Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini to create iconic supercars…”


Maker Galaxy E30: Design for Social Innovation (Patricia Gruits of MASS Design Group)

“This week we talked with Patricia Gruits of Boston-based MASS Design Group. Patricia—along with the talented designers and architects she works with at MASS—have been focusing on design for social innovation with projects ranging from large-scale buildings to smaller furniture concepts for international communities in need…”