Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Cyberpunk worked when the Internet was in its hand-wound crystal radio phase, when you had to be a sort of hobbyist to do e-mail, and it all had a very steep learning curve. Those days are over."
- William Gibson

Nanofax  
  Send a copy of a three-dimensional object to a distant place.  

If you think that this sounds unlikely, you should understand that something like this already exists, and was in use for at least a few years before being described in the novel. It's called stereolithography, and it is used to create a three-dimensional plastic model from a three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) drawing. All you need is your CAD model and

  • A tank full of liquid photopolymer
  • a perforated platform in the tank (which moves up and down)
  • an ultraviolet laser (which solidifies the photopolymer at particular points)
  • and a computer that drives the laser and the platform.
Sound expensive? Read on.

"Nanofax?"

"Everything the name implies," says Klaus, "and considerably less."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance. Within certain rather large limitations, of course. A child's doll, placed in a Lucky Dragon Nanofax unit in London, will be reproduced in the Lucky Dragon Nanofax unit in New York-"

Technovelgy from All Tomorrow's Parties, by William Gibson.
Published by Putnam in 1999
Additional resources -

Stereolithography (or a nanofax machine) is not likely to show up at your local convenience store anytime soon. The machines cost about $250,000 and the polymer is about $800 per gallon.

Keep in mind, of course, that computers no more powerful than a $5 calculator once cost millions of dollars, and random access memory (RAM) that I once paid $600 for now costs one-half of one cent.

The commentary for dustmice discusses a very small robot that is partly fabricated using stereolithography.

Compare to the idea behind the cosmic express from The Cosmic Express (1930) by Jack Williamson and the plastic constructor from Things Pass By (1945) by Murray Leinster. Also, the Biltong life-forms from Pay for the Printer (1956) by Philip K. Dick are able to "3D print" an object organically. Don't forget the product prescription from The Magellanic Cloud (1955) by Stanislaw Lem.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from All Tomorrow's Parties
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to All Tomorrow's Parties
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Nanofax-related news articles:
  - Desktop Manufacturing - 3D 'Printouts'
  - Mcor Matrix 3D Paper Printer
  - Zprinter 350 Full-Color 3D Printer
  - MGX 3D Printed Goods Almost Has it
  - Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart

Articles related to Manufacturing
Varda Space Industries Orbital Factories
Boring Company Bricks Predicted In 1929
Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.