Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer turned YouTube content creator, first gained worldwide fame with his unique science content, including building the world’s largest NERF Gun and the world’s biggest Super Soaker. Fast forward seven years, and he took on a fresh challenge: creating the world’s smallest NERF gun, this time with help from the engineering minds at BYU.

World’s Smallest NERF Gun Presented by Mark Rober
Flexing with a compliant mechanism NERF gun.

This remarkable feat hinged on using compliant mechanisms, allowing for a single-piece construction that could still shoot projectiles. But the story doesn’t end there. Mark continued pushing the boundaries, exploring the potential for even smaller creations. But before proceeding on to the rest of the story… for those of you who are curious and want to try your hand at a one-piece compliant blaster to understand the science behind it, you can download the 3D print files from the BYU website.

In the next phase, Mark ventured into a micro-mechanism lab, where the team used carbon nanotubes to craft a functioning NERF blaster, one that was a mere 1% the size of the original.

World’s Smallest NERF Gun Presented by Mark Rober
Functional NERF blaster made from carbon nanotubes.

In a nutshell, Mark’s journey culminated in the creation of the tiniest NERF blaster ever – it’s about the size of DNA, developed in collaboration with the esteemed Salk Institute. To put it into perspective, it’s roughly 0.02% the width of a human hair. Interestingly, this minuscule NERF blaster may not actually shoot anything. I strongly recommend watching the video to witness this incredible achievement. It’s likely to be the most fascinating 21 minutes and 49 seconds of your day. So, jump ahead and check out the video for yourself.

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Images: YouTube (Mark Rober).

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.