Technology level I

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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.
Defining traits of technology level I
building method rudimentary robotic control (machine phase)
building material stiff AP building blocks
building environment liquid or gas
previous level technology level 0
previous step introduction of positional control
you are here Technology level I
next step switch-over to stiffer materials
next level technology level II
products of this level side products of technology level I

soft AP block positional assembly

Systems of T.Level I could be two dimensional arrays of robotic manipulators out of atomically precise blocks and other AP base structures on a self assembled scaffold on a chips surface. Building in the third dimension may unnecessary complicate design because a layered configuration is a natural choice favored by scaling laws.

This arrays could be produced by some method between

Bootstrapping high throughput capability from here

The bootstrapping high throughput capabilities may already happen in the preceding technology level or may only occur in the succeeding technology levels but it's not unlikely to happen in this technology level. This technology level is certainly the first technology level where large products that have structures on a large scale (aka objects of utility) become possible and not just large scale homogeneous substances can potentially be made. The mechanical properties of these products would be similar to hard horn.

Mascroscopic design examples for the direct self replication approach

There where already several block based self replication systems proposed designed and built. One example of those can be found here:
thingiverse_thing:978 (TODO: add more examples)
The shapelock-reinforcement concepts for more advanced stages may be applicable even at this early stage - see: structural elements for nanofactories. Vice versa a few of the solutions found here might be applicable even in technology level III.

Why many macroscopic self replicating designs are limitedly applicable for nanoscale self replication designs

An actual implementation will be more on the exponential assembly side and less of a "nonproductive replicator" (KRSM classification) since it moves out necessary structure nd makes design simpler.

Differences to most macroscopic models in existence capable of partial structural replication are:

  • the blocks / parts will have different properties (low stiffness, low smoothness)
  • the actuation method will differ (fast alternating big scale electric field / slow chemical stepping)
  • the actuation method will differ multiple highly localized embedded motors are infeasible in early stages (except slow DNA walkers maybe)
  • the system may be two dimensional
  • a productive instead of a non-productive replicator is wished for - read "has economical motivation"

To investigate:

  • minimal set of building blocks for productive exponential assembly system
  • How to assemble the materials used in the next technology level with the here present block based nanosystems?

Simple Linkage manipulators

  • inspirations from from 3D printer designs RepRap Morgan RepRap Wally
  • inspirations from MEMS designs ... e.g. [1]?
  • learn from paper stripe hinge mechanisms? Seam hinges between structural DNA bricks?


  • (To investigate:) How much of long range order of self assembled structures is necessary for exponential assembly?
  • (To investigate:) How long range is the order in protein crystals?


External Links

Interesting videos of nonproductive replicating blocks: