Assembly level 2 (gem-gum factory)

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The from crystolecules to crystolecular unit assembly level.


Processing is done:

On (ir)reversibility

This assembly step potentially still involves irreversible steps. But less so than assembly level 1.
That is: Not all small crystolecules that are assembled can be removed again.

  • Some covalently weld together to form larger machine housings frames of crystolecular units
  • Some get irreversibly form closed in into these larger machine housing frames

Note that not all covalent welding is necessarily irreversible.
It is especially likely to be irreversible if it is:


It makes sense to have for each type of input crystolecule an adapter crystolecule such that

  • only one single manipulator can via those adaptors grip a multitude types of crystolecules.
  • small crystolecules (with little surface area to spare for assembly specific details) do not need to adhere to specific shapes constraints just to be grippable by the manipulator
    This is less critical in the next (the third) assembly level because
    bigger crystolecular units have more surface space to spare for such adapting to constraints imposed by the manipulators geometry.

Constraints on the assembly of parts that shall remain movable

Machine phase: Parts which are supposed to remain moveable in the final product must be temporarily held down by one of the following means:

  • VdW forces – a very convenient option
  • sparsely distributed covalent bonds (which can serve as predetermined breaking points for later break-free)
  • a second manipulator holding it in place till it's locked otherwise

These are possible but typically not needed:

  • Energetic flex-clips would provide way more than necessary energetic barrier against disassembly.
  • Form closure for a part can typically only be applied after addition of that part except by one way clips which are difficult to operate efficiently and difficult to disassemble.

Why that constraint?

Holding stuff in place during assembly is absolutely necessary because thermal motion still has a strong effect at this size scale.
Any part that is completely free and no longer held in place shoots off with high speed.
High speed is due to kinetic energy by the fact that every degree of freedom of motion gets kT worth of thermal energy on average (equipartitioning theorem).

Well, what actually more likely happens is that parts just stick to places tey are not supposed to. Also parts could theoretically skitter along some perfectly planar surface till they get stuck in some random corner and held there by VdW forces. Consequences:

  • The part is missing where it would be needed and
  • where the part ended up it may or may not get in the way of other machinery motions.

To gain an intuitive feeling how violently/fast stuff shoots of once no longer holds onto it see page: Intuitive feel.
Thermal motion drops quickly with bigger sizes (by third power).