Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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3d swimming nozzle printer

radiometer with a toroidal center makes plastic thread models with all degrees of freedom, the metal version is AgGaAu based
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

a tiny nozzle with rotating wings moves through a tank of acrylamide gel or possibly Au blended with Ga liquid metal

as it travels electromagnetic waves or confocal photonics cause the center of the nozzle to firm the gel to a durable thread

EM induction motors or photonics similar to a radiometer cause the nozzles rotating wings to move at any direction weaving or reinforcing the thread

the delicate threadwork is a thermoshrink plastic that draws thickens tightens when warmth is applied to the entire tank

the vectorbuilding 3d printer makes things, building duplicate polymer nozzles at tinier sizes than the original is a favored purpose

meanwhile, some amazing person has figured out how to get Au or Ag to plate out from a liquid AgGaAu blend creating ultrafine3d vector wire models These are then electroplated with vanadium or osmium to create durability

The reason, to build autoreplicating robot parts of course

beanangel, Nov 18 2011

reprap 3D printers that print 3D printers as well as robots http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page
[beanangel, Nov 18 2011]


       By /rotating wings/, do you mean a propeller?   

       I was thinking that the flow and turbulence (reaction wake?) would distort the shape, but if the substance hardens quickly enough, flow in the bulk liquid shouldn't be too bad.   

       Variations on this theme are common, but I've never heard of a swimming nozzle printer, so [+].   

       Having said that, /nozzle/ makes me think that something should come out of it - such as one part of a binary plastic.
spidermother, Nov 18 2011

       Think it's got stuff coming in the front and out the back. That would mitigate turbulence concerns.   

       Leaning towards pastry distribution, but won't the resultant wire be heavier than the solution and sink ? Unless the gel is firm enough to stop it in which case it'd be too firm to swim through without messing it up.
FlyingToaster, Nov 19 2011

       At those scales, the swimmer itself won't create any turbulence or wake - any reasonable liquid will be like stiff treacle as far as it's concerned.   

       Convection in the bulk liquid would be an issue though.   

       I like the idea, though I'm struggling to justify having a free-swimming nozzle instead of using two different-coloured lasers, intersecting at a chosen point, to initiate some sort of reaction. That's done, as far as I know.   

       [+] and [beany], you've bean away too long. Or at least long enough. Your writing is almost human- readable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 19 2011


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