A revolutionary machine which can make everything from a cup to a clarinet quickly and cheaply could be in all our homes in the next few years.
That is the first sentence of an article titled "New Machines Could Turn Homes Into Small Factories" -- which is not talking about nanofactories.
We are watching a meme spread right before our eyes.
Whether you call it RepRap, personal fabricator, or desktop nanofactory, the basic concept is the same: a miniaturized factory that can produce identical copies of itself, along with many other products, and that is so inexpensive that almost anyone can afford one.
Research by engineers at the University of Bath could transform the manufacture of almost all everyday household objects by allowing people to produce them in their own homes at the cost of a few [dollars].
The new system is based upon rapid prototype machines, which are now used to produce plastic components for industry such as vehicle parts. The method they use, in which plastic is laid down in designs produced in 3D on computers, could be adapted to make many household items.
...the latest idea, by Dr Adrian Bowyer of the University’s Centre for Biomimetics, is that these machines should begin making copies of themselves. These can be used to make further copies of themselves until there are so many machines that they become cheap enough for people to buy and use in their homes.
Doesn't that sound familiar? It is precisely the same way that exponential proliferation of nanofactories has been described.
We're pleased to see the meme spreading. As people hear more about concepts like this, they will be less likely to dismiss the possibility of nanofactories and should be more receptive to CRN's arguments for serious consideration of all the implications.