In CRN's construct of a desktop nanofactory, products are built by putting together combinations of predesigned nanoblocks. This is intended to maximize the latent innovation potential in the widespread distribution of low-cost (or free), albeit technically restricted nanofactories. It also could prevent illicit, unwise, or malicious product development.
Product design will be made simple by CAD (computer aided design) programs, so simple that a child can do it—and that’s no exaggeration. New product prototypes can be created, tested, and refined in a matter of hours instead of months. No special expertise is needed. Just imagination, curiosity, and the desire to create.
Functionality must be contained within small blocks, which must then be fastened together by the trillions to make a finished product. In our initial design, the blocks are only 200 nanometers on a side. However, this is big enough to hold a small CPU or a motor. Larger functionality can be split between blocks—power, force, and signal can all be transferred between the blocks by simple, efficient interfaces. A product that needs a supercomputer or a powerful motor can combine smaller computers or motors. This splitting will add some inefficiency, but not enough to seriously impair product function.
When combined with automated verification of design safety and protection of intellectual property, this approach will open up huge new areas for originality and improvement while maintaining safety and commercial viability.
Working with nanoblocks, designers of all ages, nations, and backgrounds can create to their hearts’ content. The combination of user-friendly CAD and rapid prototyping will result in a spectacular synergy, enabling unprecedented levels of innovation and development. Among the many remarkable benefits accruing to humanity from nanofactory proliferation will be this unleashing of millions of eager new minds, allowed for the first time to freely explore and express their brilliant creative energy.