Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Open source software for molecular machine design

A few months ago, before beginning my tenure at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society, I attended a meeting with Eric Drexler. He spoke about an ongoing Nanorex project to create open source software for molecular machine design. I was particularly impressed by his gallery of nanomachines (gallery link). As a spatial information scientist, I look forward to exploring the program code and possibly uncovering specialist insights about nanoscale space.

The Nanorex website describes the software:

NanoEngineer-1™ is a 3-D molecular engineering program. It includes both a sophisticated CAD module for the design and modeling of atomically precise components and assemblies, and a molecular dynamics module for simulating the movement and operation of mechanical nanodevices. NanoEngineer-1 is currently under development and is scheduled for release in spring 2007.


Image source: Copyright 2006, Nanorex


Within the site's download area, you can find specifications for the various machines shown in the gallery, including length, width, and number of atoms.

3 comments:

  1. I am especially interested in this issue of open source software as well as Drexler's role in it. Maybe this is something we should talk about...feel free to email me.

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  2. This is a useful blog, but it would be a lot more useful to me if I could see the real names of the contributors...

    --Christine Peterson
    Foresight Nanotech Institute

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  3. Christine,
    Inspired by your comment, I've converted to CamelCase! I'll suggest the other contributors do likewise.

    Regards,
    AlanGlennon
    UCSB Geography

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