Global microcomponent redistribution system

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This article defines a novel term (that is hopefully sensibly chosen). The term is introduced to make a concept more concrete and understand its interrelationship with other topics related to atomically precise manufacturing. For details go to the page: Neologism.

A global microcomponent redistribution system would be a transport network for resources for gem-gum factories.
And gem-gum factories is what you'd find on its end point terminals.
The outlets of the microcomponent redistribution system could be dubbed facucets for things.

Microcomponent redistribution systems are one kind of the more general class of the superlube tubes.

Up: Transportation and transmission

High design effort

Note that the microcomponent redistribution system technology sketched out here seems quite beyond basic gemstone metamaterial technology with gem-gum factories. It requires lots of different gemstone metamaterials to be developed and to be working in a complex interplay.

  • As such eventual infeasibility of the ideas presented here does not imply infeasibility of the more fundamental individual base technologies.
  • As such the ideas presented here may not be to expect early after arriving at the basic target technology.

Particularly challenging design aspects seem to be T-Junctions and endpoint plugs to nanofactories, since there packages of microcomponents need to be reorganized repackaged and moved between different shear bearing rails on the go without anything stopping in motion.

Motivations - why such a system?

  • Minimization of diamondoid waste by enabling more recycling
  • Enabling sometimes practically "instant rezzing" assembly speeds

Instead of mechanosynthesizing and assembling new microcomponents of type A it's better to use the same the same microcomponents of type A that someone else already has made. Having a very fast microcomponent redistribution system makes it much more likely that such a reuse actually happened. Rapid version upgrades could throw a wrench into that idea though.

Mechanosynthesis from scratch is more energy inefficient and slower than mere microcomponent recomposition because more and stronger bonds need to be broken and re-formed. Thus a microcomponent redistribution system that makes the latter more likely and common is desirable.

Transported resources

  • already pre-mechanosynthesized and pre assembled microcomponents
  • resource molecule carrying microcapsules
  • eventually dual used for also carrying chemical and or entropic energy

Components of a microcomponent redistribution system

Microcomponent conductors

Shape look and feels

Endpoint microcomponent conductors might from the outside look very much like current day electrical cables. Their diameter sufficiently big (not as thin as a thread) such that they

  • are well visible
  • are easy to pick up by human hand
  • are not a cutting threat

Particularly clever metamaterials designs could eventually allow for a convenient cable selfdetorsioning proterty.

Intercontinental backbone microcomponent conductors will be considerably thicker. And some sized in-between. Hard to tell how big. Some as thick as mains water pipes maybe.

Inner structure - cross section

While outside they may look like electric cables inside they are very different.
Microcomponent conductors would have ultra low friction solid state mechanical transport inside.

It would basically be a wire thin vacuum pipe mail with superlubricating stratified shear bearings as rails. Just that the rails may go all around and the the inner space is so stuffed that there is barely any vacuum.

Microcompnents would be packed to small macroscopic packages a bit smaller than the conductors diameter (maybe millimetre sized). In the backbone conductors packages may come together and travel as multi-packages thereby reducing track surface area and friction.

There is some remote similarity to internet data-packages today. Of course matter can't travel at the speed of light by a long shot. That can be mitigated by:

  • local microcomponent caches
  • still quite high transport speeds

Top speeds in Endpoint conductors may be limited by centrifugal forces causing the conductors to get out of control like a water house only much worse. This could be countered by integrating muscle motor metamaterial in the conductor. As a weird side-effect the conductor could then move itself around like a snake.

Top transport speeds in longe range intercontinental backbones conductors that run quite straight over long distances ++ might come close to or exceed the speed of spacecraft in orbit. So several kilometres per second. These would most likely be deep underground for both land ownership and safety reasons.

Nanofactory Terminals

Related: Form factors of gem-gum factories

Terminals at home (and portable)

In homes a standalone photocopier sized nanofactory permanently attached to the global microcomponent redistribution system might become common.

Also used at home might be portable laptop or tablet sized nanofactories. For mobile use you'd plug in and charge up some also portable resource cartridges. Probably with more commonly used microcomponents and more raw resources.

Terminals on streets

They could come out of the street like hydrants. Or telephone cells. All these terminals would of course double as computing and communication devices. Eventually even "spawnable" at locations where currently is only a backbone conductor underground.

Some old asphalt streets might right away get replaced with (nondeteriorating) gem-gum metamaterial streets. Such streets would naturally come with a microcomponent conductor line integrated.

Keyfob sized nanofactory terminals

An endpoint microcomponent conductor plug alone without a nanofactory attached is rather useless. As a minimal seed one could leave a keyfob sized nanofactory on.

A "redistribution network nanofactory leafs-pawning" functionality could be developed but this seems rather difficult. Also eventually there is the specialized nanofactory for extending the network all the way to the thin wire like endpoint conductors and plugs. That specialised nanofactory would alo need a means for being sent away and being recalled.

Terminal cleanup

The idea here is that once a nanofactory terminal is no longer needed All the microcomponents of the terminal nanofactory can be sent away into microcomponent caches near locations where others will likely need them soon. Or sent to final dissolution recycling.

Microcomponent storage caches

These would ...

  • ... operate somewhat like the data caches in modern computer systems.
    Keeping microcomponenst close to where they're probably soon needed next.
  • ... be distributed in a somewhat scale invariant (aka fractal) fashion across the network.
  • ... come in various sizes. Some central ones may become enormously big.
    Like skyscrapers or whole cities or small mountains.

Component list

  • Endpoint microcomponent conductors
  • Backbone microcomponent conductors
  • microcomponent conductor T-forks
  • Microcomponent storage caches
  • Terminal nanofactories
  • specialised concuctor assemblingnanofactories
  • plugs

Local microcomponent redistribution systems

  • Marine ships
  • Spaceships / space stations / asteroid mining
  • redistribution systems on other celestial bodies in our solar system like Mars or Titan (see colonization of the solar system)

Higher rates of radiation damage for insufficiently shielded microcomponent redistribution conductors in
outer space may complicate the design by requiring more self repair capabilities.

Old intro

Sometime in the future there might be a global microcomponent redistribution system running through our streets into our houses leading to faucets where you tap from or dump to microcomponents (possibly into a portable storage device containing a microcomponent transport metamaterial). These can then via microcomponent recomposer devices (that are either directly mounted to the faucet or separate and portable) blazingly fast extruded to whatever (non-biological) thing you need.

This system would be part of an upgraded street infrastructure. Related: recycling.