Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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fabulous egg

Not printed to be honest
  [vote for,

Jim has been hearing a lot about 3d printers ... and it got him thinking again.

He proposes a machine capable of removing a single atom from a block (comprised of the same). Its a laser (edit or particle accelerated) milling machine ... and it can produce a fabulous egg.

The egg sculptured in this mill is as detailed as is possible. No other method can achieve any greater detail. Its also quicker to produce in this mill than in an additive machine.

Jim is confident that even though this level of detail has been achieved using additive methods (and that is pretty impressive) it is only a mater of time before the laser milling machine sits in my garage...

(edited to suit mr meche)

madness, Apr 10 2012


       Doesn't Jim have a garage of his own?
mouseposture, Apr 10 2012

       ...or a chicken?
xandram, Apr 10 2012

       So it cuts away one atom at a time.   

       How many atoms per second can it address and remove?
pocmloc, Apr 10 2012

       //though this level of detail has been achieved using addative methods//   

       In monolayer items only, and only on atomically smooth surfaces, at that.   

       // laser milling machine // In order to get a beam capable of impacting single atoms, you would need, with theoretically perfect optics, a hard x-ray laser. In order to get said beam with real world optics, you would most likely need a gamma ray laser. Since, to the best of my knowledge, the highest energy currently possible is soft x-ray, we're a long way from being able to produce this sort of tool.   

       The aforementioned monatomic construction was achieved through the use of a mechanical probe to, put crudely, drag atoms around. This approach is not able to remove atoms from a bonded material, just to re-arrange loose atoms on the surface of a material.   

       Therefore bad science.
MechE, Apr 10 2012

       [marked-for-category-change] to whatever category includes "something that does <x>".   

       Monatomic construction would be quite energy intensive/wasteful with all the de/reattaching of individual atoms.
FlyingToaster, Apr 10 2012

       Which came first, the atom or the egg?
Alterother, Apr 10 2012

       I see that your a long way from appreciating this idea...   

       In simple terms the fabulous egg represents the pinicle of achievement (by anything, bar nothing, etc) - with regards to detail in sculpture. This is perhaps more than fabulous ... but that term is qwerky so I like it.   

       With regards to the construction of the milling machine - addressing a single atom has been achieved... as has imaging individual atoms.   

       Perhaps a particle accelerator is better - but this is not important.   

       Incidentally I am not sure that I would create a cutting program to remove individual atoms when it is possible to remove billions at a time...
madness, Apr 10 2012

       Well repetition is boring and infantile ... noise is, perhaps more, disagreeable...   

       All of the above and an image perhaps - with atomic structure approximated where materials would change.
madness, Apr 10 2012

       A particle accelerator is worse from a single atom milling perspective (kinetic energy transfer is not that precise).   

       I fully understand the concept is to make an absurdly intricate sculpture on the model of Faberge Imperial eggs. I also am completely aware of the current state of the art in nano and pico scale arrangement of atoms. No question that we are a long way from being able to make this sculpture. The state of the art allows for the atom by atom arrangement of atoms on the surface of a perfectly flat plate. It does not allow for the three dimensional arrangement of atoms and it likewise does not allow for the large scale removal of individual atoms from a substrate.   

       I would strongly suggest that "make an sculpture as intricate as the state of the art allows" is hardly a new or unique idea, nor is attempting to anticipate the state of the art by decades at least.
MechE, Apr 10 2012

       marked for tagline: // I see that your a long way from appreciating this idea.//
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 10 2012

       // make an sculpture as intricate as the state of the art allows   

       Not going to argue semantics --- but I never said that! Paraphrasing correctly would be "a more accurate sculpture cannot exist".   

       Anyway have moved on from this... a more pleasing egg can be produced by vapour deposit and laser vapourisation. With regards to vapourisation what is best is uniform elevated temperature, a vacuum chamber and the application of a precise amount of heat precisely (edit for mr meche either by the application of kinetic or electro magnetic energy).   

       The vacuum chamber is desirable because it lowers the input energy required to achieve vapourisation cf boiling point (vapourisation temperature) at altitude... And incidentally thats good for the environment. Uniform heat of the substrate also lowers the amount of additional energy required to achieve vapourisation --- but thats not so good for the environment.   

       Now I understand that electrons are responsibile for creation of chemical bonds and storage of heat in molecules --- which means that application of a precise amount of heat (precisely) is exactly what is required to mill an individual atom.   

       Now I prefer the application of electro magnetic energy since this can be applied by focusing additional energy through the substrate, i.e. a hollow can be milled out of a solid given a suitable channel for the energised material. And incidentially the "bits" in a laser mill never need to be sharpened --- which is also good for the environment.   

       You can imagine the egg as being a green ovaloide silicon chip (hollow inside and painted all over)...
madness, Apr 11 2012

       As the ocean cuts bays and outcrops, the right solution and score would be needed.
wjt, Apr 12 2012


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