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.


  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.

  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

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

    UCSB Geography