A molecular assembler (sometimes called a device for molecular manufacturing) is a proposed device that is able to recreate chemical reactions by positioning reactive molecules with utmost prevision.
Battelle Memorial Institute and several national laboratories in the United States and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the United Kingdom were working with the development of ribosome-like molecular assemblers. These projects are in the very early stages of development.
Although still very elementary compared to a futuristic molecular assembler, the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company Z Corporation can create different mechanical and physical objects with a copying machine - a three-dimensional (3D) printer.
It uses layer upon layer of material to actually make a working wrench, as seen in the YouTube video "3D Printer."
The company states, 'ZBuilder rapid prototyping systems create high-end functional prototypes for a fraction of the cost of stereolithography machines. These all-in-one devices build parts additively using a high-resolution Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector to solidify a liquid photopolymer, resulting in durable plastic parts that mimic injection molding for accuracy, material properties, detail, and surface finish.'
And, 'Imaging an entire cross-section at once, the devices build at twice the speed of machines with comparable performance. ZBuilders enable you to verify designs for form, fit and function prior to full-scale production; eliminate costly modifications to production tooling; and ultimately shorten time to market.'
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