Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing

There’s an excellent round-up over at Next Big Future on the Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing. This is solid freeform fabrication, 3-D printing, stereolithography, rapid prototyping, and so forth.

In the long run, 3-D printing is one of the more straightforward paths to full-fledged nanotech with mechanosynthesis. Mechanosynthesis might be seen simply as the ultimate in precision and range of materials for additive manufacturing.

In the intermediate stages, there is going to be increasing synergy between bottom-up nanotech, biotech, and AM. For example, the Roadmap calls for printing of living organs in 15 years! In general, bottom-up nano will create new materials and precursors that will continue to give the AM process an ever-widening range of products.

The key thing about AM as a pathway to nanotech is that there are useful (and remunerative!) applications at every step.

Note the whitepaper in the AM roadmap by Dave Forrest (a Foresight associate and President of IMM) about Molecular Manufacturing (page 58).

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