A microcomponent recomposer is a production device that constitutes a standalone sub part of a nanofactory. It is something like an incomplete nanofactory. A microcomponent recomposer only contains the upper assembly levels beginning with microcomponent assembly (level III or IIb).
A microcomponent recomposer can hanle bigger parts that can be taken apart again - that is:
And in contrast to a full nanofactory a microcomponent recomposer can't handle smaller parts that often can't be taken apart again - these are:
- The many crystolecules in microcomponents
(Note: After assembly microcomponents often can't be disassembled to their constituting crystolecules because of irreversible fusion of dense surface interfaces. Also the possibly necessary vacuum lock in is much more difficult than vacuum lockout.)
- The many atoms / molecule fragments in crystolecules
(Note: mechanosynthetic disassembly is more difficult than mere normal forward mechanosynthesis)
As a consequence (unlike full nanofactories) everything that microcomponent recomposers can build they can take apart to the building bocks they made them out. Thus microcomponent recomposers are excellent recycling machines. They shuffle existing that is prefabricated microcomponents into new configurations to create new different products from old ones (or from virgin microcomponents of an macroscopically external nanofactory).
More general purpouse Microcomponent maintainance units may do the same job as a microcomponent recomposer but less efficient.
Global microcomponent redistribiution network
Microcomponent recomposers become especially effective when connected to a global microcomponent redistribution system. Main article: Global microcomponent redistribiution system
One could lug around around a bag of the most often used microcomponents - this is somehow comparable to a computer cache with the most often used dater nearest to the ALU.
Integration into normal everyday experience
Thing source and thing drain
Instead of packing microcomponent recomposer functionality into each and every surface of our environment it is probably more sensible to put them where we expect them. Physical locations are usually associated with functions.
No one wants the immediate delete button right next to the save button.
E.g. The good old dustbin. It may be replaced with a microcomponent recomposer that is set to disassemble its contents when "a button is pushed".
Note: The other direction - general purpose production devices (e.g. the size of a laserprinter are probably more likely to integrate the full nanofactory functionality. (Regulations?...)
The fridge and the freezer
The fridge and the freezer are further physical locations associated with a special use. Especially at those locations full nanofactories are needed instead of just microcomponent recomposers.
What one usually expects to be in a freezer is food and medicine. Since they Food and medical drugs (at least the non serious ones) absolutely need to be synthesizable locally. Otherwise they need to be be carried in from afar which makes little sense - see below.
Food (made directly in the fridge) may contain nonpoisonous digestible microcomponents (made exclusively from e.g. periclase, calicte, appatite, DNA-meshworks, de novo proteins ...) but certainly not as a main component. Food is not made to be disassembled - its made to be eaten by humans or other forms of life.
The same holds for medical drugs (that may be temperature sensitive)
Medicine will often come in the form of advanced medical nanodevices. those nanodevices may be standalone microcomponents (slowly degrading or nonderading but well egestable) - there's no need for a recomposer.
Why microcomponent recycling involving transport: (Main article: Recycling)
It boils down to that everything that biodegradates quickly is not worth the effort of transporting in from afar. The point of paying the cost of transport for microcomponents is: not to create even more non degrading waste which is more costly to get rid of. Critical drugs will very probably be subject to intense regulations - thus no local synthesis.
(TODO: Write about this very important aspect)