Atomically precise rendering of proposed nanomachines is rapidly growing more sophisticated. Less than two years ago, images such as those shown here would not have been possible. This is the work of a young company called Nanorex, founded by Mark Sims.
The SRG-IIb (above) is a parallel-shaft speed reducer gear created by Mark Sims. It was designed and modeled completely from scratch using nanoENGINEER-1 (Alpha 6), the software modeling program his firm is developing.
"The goal of the SRG-II was to create a robust nanoscale gear complete with a casing and extended connector shafts," says Mark. "As you can see, the SRG-II looks every bit like a speed reducer gear."
This belt drive assembly, designed by Ninad Sathaye, is still under construction. The animation sequence shows partial results of an early version of the drive.
Above is a molecular pump design by K. Eric Drexler.
The SRG-III, above, is the third parallel-shaft speed reducer gear created by Mark Sims. A hybrid of the SRG-I and SRG-II, it is the first molecular gear train ever designed. With 15,342 atoms, the SRG-III is the single largest nanomechanical device that has been modeled in atomic detail.
In a few more years, with computer speed and power continuing to grow exponentially, far larger simulations will be made, enabling designers to study highly complex devices with atomic precision. This is an important step on the road to building a desktop nanofactory.