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Exponential Assembly

George Skidmore*, a, Eric Parkera, Matthew Ellisa, Neil Sarkara, b, and Ralph Merklea

Richardson, TX 75081 USA

bUniversity of Waterloo

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
Eighth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
The full article is available at


A replicative assembly methodology may be based on assembly stations each with two degrees of rotational freedom. These stations share translational degrees of freedom in the three cartesian axes by using a common translating mechanism. The methodology provides replication of the assembly stations, but due to the common translating mechanism and control computer it cannot be termed self-replicating. The term “exponential assembly” is proposed to differentiate this from self-replication. The exponential assembly architecture can use parts made from many manufacturing methods, provided that parts of considerable complexity can be produced. Because integrated circuit manufacturing methods used for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) allow for large numbers of complex components to be produced, it is one possible method for pursuing such an approach to manufacturing. The methodology is scalable and therefore useful for producing assembly stations and other devices at ever-decreasing length scales. A description of the necessary components for exponential assembly and the effort underway to design and build such a system using MEMS components will be presented.

*Corresponding Address:
George Skidmore, PhD.
Manager Top Down Assembly Group
Zyvex LLC
1321 North Plano Rd
Richardson, TX 75081 USA


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