glyph 583: nanotechnology, atomically precise manufacturing (APM) ... K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, 1986 . Richard Feynman: "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," 1959 ... Foresight Institute . Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) . rapid nanoscale assembly of almost anything, illustrated by a machine to make whiskey, Robert A. Freitas, Jr.
An introduction to how IMM thinks about manufacturing nanoscale substances:
'Somewhere in the bowels of the cabinet a bartender went into action - a non-human bartender whose electronic soul mixed things not by jiggers but by atom counts, whose ratios were perfect every time, and who could not be matched by all the inspired artistry of anyone merely human.' - Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Specialized nanofactories will be able to manufacture specific products or classes of products very efficiently and inexpensively. This paper is the first serious scaling study of a nanofactory designed for the manufacture of a specific food product, in this case high-value-per-liter alcoholic beverages. The main purpose of this paper is to assess the technical opportunities for the inexpensive chemical analysis and manufacturing of fine spirits and other alcohol-based beverages using the equipment and techniques of atomically precise manufacturing. Of particular practical concern to commercial interests is the vulnerability of existing fine spirits business models to potentially disruptive new sources of atomically indistinguishable replicant products having significantly lower production cost and/or higher consumer desirability than traditionally produced products.
Abstract. Specialized nanofactories will be able to manufacture specific products or classes of products very efficiently and inexpensively. This paper is the first serious scaling study of a nanofactory designed for the manufacture of a specific food product, in this case high-value-per- liter alcoholic beverages. The analysis indicates that a 6-kg desktop appliance called the Fine Spirits Synthesizer, aka. the 'Whiskey Machine,' consuming 300 W of power for all atomically precise mechanosynthesis operations, along with a commercially available 59-kg 900 W cryogenic refrigerator, could produce one 750 ml bottle per hour of any fine spirit beverage for which the molecular recipe is precisely known at a manufacturing cost of about $0.36 per bottle, assuming no reduction in the current $0.07/kWh cost for industrial electricity. The appliance's carbon footprint is a minuscule 0.3 gm CO2 emitted per bottle, more than 1000 times smaller than the 460 gm CO2 per bottle carbon footprint of conventional distillery operations today. The same desktop appliance can intake a tiny physical sample of any fine spirit beverage and produce a complete molecular recipe for that product in ~17 minutes of run time, consuming <25 W of power, at negligible additional cost.
Cite as: Robert A. Freitas Jr., 'The Whiskey Machine: Nanofactory-Based Replication of Fine Spirits and Other Alcohol-Based Beverages,' IMM Report No. 47, May 2016; http://www.imm.org/Reports/rep047.pdf.
November 3, 2017; edited/updated May 27, 2018