Also known as a fab, nanofab, autofac, nanoforge, or nanofac.
Image from Keith Wigdor and Midjourney AI
Pre-Sundering media archive 216.01.22
Authenticity grade: B
Corroboration rating .85
[AUDIOVISIUAL CORTEX LOG] — DIVE 639
We see a smooth tunnel extending to an upwards-curved horizon. Several humanoids are standing before a thick assemblage of pipes that run its length. A young man in a crisp, white labsuit is attracting attention.
"Welcome, gentlepersons of the media. On behalf of Asimov Orbital, the Nanoscale Collective, and the New Economy Movement I am delighted to demonstrate to you today, our latest triumph in economic engineering. The culmination of mankind's search for ever better tools of manufacture, I give you: the Matter Compiler!"
The man is gesturing to the piping behind him. Status lights are blinking, tiny mechanisms are moving with an audible whir. The machine has been operating for some time before our arrival, but this observation appears unacknowledged by the man. The crowd is partaking in a brief ritual of manipulatory percussion [Historical context: rhythmic display of congratulations/respect].
"If you will all come with me, we can follow the fabrication process."
We are accompanying the man further into the tunnel. The bundle of pipes is thick, comprised of thousands of smaller conduits. It weaves, connects, splits. Our IR implants are registering a significant rise in heat. Also registering increased pumping of coolant in some segments. The man is speaking again, louder now.
"What you're seeing here is the first, general purpose, all-in-one, forge and factory!"
His hands are gesticulating with each point [Historical context: manipulator motions not thought to be coherent language].
"As you will have seen when your shuttle arrived our orbital recently secured an eighty-meter diameter C-type asteroid." Our heads-up-displays project a still image of the rock, held in place by multiple docking claws and wrapped in a plastic membrane.
"In conventional manufacturing raw material from an asteroid first has to be processed in dedicated facilities, refined into pure feedstock." The compiler pipes are thickening. An increasing number bulge from the assembly, the group is ducking and minding their step. The man is continuing.
"Pure feed is then turned into materials in other facilities, before finally ending up in a factory or printer for the final product. Several stages, several machines. The Matter Compiler does it all! That asteroid is being cored by drones as we speak, and the rubble sucked down here."
The group is arriving in a section of much thicker tubes. We can see through a dark window into one, it houses a red-lit chamber. From an array of spouts oily droplets are emerging. They're falling slowly in the low spin. Threads are emerging from the chamber walls, they're combining and shaping the droplets. The chamber temperature is rapidly dropping, larger arms are beginning to sort the now solidifying forms, placing them in exit tubes.
"Over half-way now." The man is calling us on. "By this point almost all of the molecular scale work has been completed. Macroscale products are being processed and assembled from here onward according to a fractal blueprint."
Our HUDs project a public image being broadcast from the Asimovian man's implants. It shows the full ring of the compiler, nesting in its tunnel. Readouts indicate the loop is two hundred meters in radius, suspended in the center of the much larger Asimov orbital. The compiler shifts into schematic form.
"Each segment in the compiler feeds into the next. The gullet takes in crude material, grinding and sorting it. This is passed to the digesters" A complex web of sacks is being highlighted in the centre of the loop, like a hub. Radial spokes link through blocky mechanisms, before connecting to the compiler at various positions. "The products of the digester pass through concentrators that use a variety of physical and chemical techniques to create pure feedstock. This is primarily fed into the nanotier modules."
Another segment has been highlighted; it looks like bundles of needles strapped together. "In this tier of modules an array of proprietary nanofacture techniques assemble any molecular products needed. Of course, there are major arteries that bypass to later tiers when this level of engineering is not required" Several pipes of varying sizes are flashing, many bulge out from the compiler just as often as they dive into it.
"You saw the beginnings of the macroscale assembly, each chamber from here builds closer to final product assembly. The fractal staging of the compiler maximizes the surface area we can construct from. It might not be the fastest form of production, but it is the most versatile and efficient. Of course, we have Next Generation designs in the simulators that could bring the space requirement way down." Our HUD is showing images of spiral and Mandelbulb configurations, we cannot recover a clear snapshot [Historical context: high resolution perceptions erased by NDAware]. The group has lapsed into small talk. It appears we are near the beginning of the loop. The man is stopping by a large door in the compiler housing.
"Thank you so much for indulging me and agreeing to share our revolutionary machine with the system. As a thank you for being such dedicated individuals in the pursuit of information, please accept these complementary personal servitors."
Again a crowd is engaging in manipulatory percussion, now at faster and more chaotic tempos. The door on the compiler is opening. Beyond I see an alcove. There is a line of vecs [Historical context: Goldwing Series X Adjunct series. Authenticity C, Corroboration 59%]. They're showing residual heat, transient chemical smell. HUD is displaying an invite to complete a loyalty circuit. A vec is approaching us.