Mechadense's Wiki about Atomically Precise Manufacturing

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The far term target

A personal desktop gem-gum factory that is in the process of extruding out some product. (Screencap collage of from concept video "Productive nanosystems")

The personal gem gum factory is:

  • Your personal device that can push out virtually every thing* of your daily use. (* at least every inedible thing)

The personal gem gum factory makes:

  • Your products that are as cheap as the abundant mining-free raw materials that it processes.
  • Your products that are far superior to today's best and ridiculously expensive high tech products.
  • Your products potentially in an environmentally friendly effluent free way
    (also advanced recycling is faster than producing from scratch)
Graphical Infosheets: [1] (work in progress)

The existence of a personal fabricator will have profound impact human society on a global scale. The basis for such a personal fabricator - the atomically precise manufacturing (APM) technology - is beginning to be figured out today.

Dodge the trapdoors

First off: Let's get the major obstacles out of the way.

  • There are no "nanobots" here!
    Check the info pages "Prime distractions" and "No nanobots".
  • Macroscale style machinery at the nanoscale?!
    It's well known, that there are several severe concerns regarding this idea. And for very good reasons.
    Less known is, that all of those major concerns have been considered in quite some detail with rather surprising results. Check out the main article discussing the concerns here:
    Macroscale style machinery at the nanoscale

  • Yes, lifes nanomachinery (molecular biology) does NOT constitute a feasibility proof of the targeted kind of technology. But it does not constitute an infeasibility proof either. For details see: "Nature does it differently".
    What does provide the very high confidence in feasibility is low level exploratory engineering applied without compromises.
    Additionally there are successful experimental demonstrations of manipulation of single atoms. Repeatable, precise, with strong covalent bonds, and at decently high temperatures ("decently high" meaning: no liquid helium involved). Plus there's a clear path how to speed this up to the necessary operations frequencies. Namely by scaling down the placement mechanisms.
  • No, making every structure permitted by physical law is NOT the goal here. Quite the contrary actually. What we want is to cheat and make it seem as if we could. It's even encoded in the name that this wiki uses to refer to the far term target. Specifically in the "gem" and "gum" parts in "gem-gum-tec". For details check out: "The defining traits of gem-gum-tec" and "Every structure permissible by physical law".
  • No, using soft nanomachinery to bootstrap stiff nanomachinery is not an abandonment of principles. It just might be a more practical approach to get to the target faster. See: "Pathways".

What APM is not

While early APM may have overlap with these areas the far term goals are very different.

  • Soft nanomachines: APM is all about targeting stiffness / stiff nanomachines / "hard" nanomachines.
    Nonetheless soft nanomachines can be very useful in the bootstrapping process.
    Note though, that self assembly (useful in bootstrapping) does not essentially rely on a lack of stiffness aka softness. There are experiments with hierarchical self assembly of structural DNA nanotechnology that have clearly demonstrated this (wiki-TODO: add reference).
  • Molecular biology: One main far term target in molecular biology is a complete reverse engineering of natures nanomachinery for grand improvements in medicine. This is strongly unrelated to the far term target of APM. A particular example where the interests diverge: The very difficult folding problem for natural proteins versus the relatively simple de-novo-protein-design for artificial nanomachinery.
  • Synthetic biology: The far term targets of this research is the recreation and expansion of the nanomachinery of life. It goes pretty much 180° in the opposite direction of APM.
    (Not to say that this research is not valuable in its own right. Its far term targets are just maximally unrelated to R&D efforts targeting APM)

Main article: "Brownian technology path"

What APM actually is

APM is basically the capability of manufacturing products such that the atoms they are constituted of link (bind) to each other in "exactly" the way one desires them to. Since "absolute exactness" in other words "making no errors ever" is a fundamental physical impossibility one just aims for extremely low error rates. On the long run error rates comparable to the bit-error-rates one can find in todays digital data processing systems.

APM in the near term and APM in the far term

  • On this wiki "atomically precise manufacturing" (or APM) will be interpreted in a wider sense. Including both earlier precursor systems in the near term and the targeted later systems in the far term.
  • On this wiki the shorthand "gem-gum technology" will be used to refer to the far term target.
    A technically accurate description of the far term target technology would be:
    "atomically resolving gemstone based metamaterial manufacturing and technology"

For more details see the main article:
Near term and far term.

Take a tour

Take a guided tour: (Work in progress. Please excuse the links dangling into construction sites.)

Or take a shortcut directly from here:

What, Why, How, When

DEFINITION: About APM What APM is not and what it is.
MOTIVATION: Reasons for APM Why we need APM.
OBSTACLES: conceptual and institutional challenges What impedes progress towards APM.
APPROACH: Pathways to advanced APM How we get to advanced APM.
PROGRESSION: Time till advanced APM When we will get to advanced APM?

Also there are:

Misc:

  • Intro: Here is an old version of the landing page. Containing a detailed introduction to atomically precise manufacturing as a whole. (warning, lots of text)

Links

Webpages

Brief introduction videos




Locally hosted files