The Millennial Project 2.0

Materials Processing and Recycling[]

GreenStar Materials would be a firm with a seemingly simple objective; the manufacture of processed industrial materials that would be used by all the other members of the industrial cooperative. But as straightforward as this seems, the nature of it in the context of TMP presents a great technical challenge to this firm. Traditional materials production had been based on an Industrial Age strategy of very large scale, great centralization, and great specialization. It is not unusual today for a single company to dominate the entire production of materials like steel or aluminum for an entire major industrial nation. TMP’s network of communities cannot tolerate such overspecialization. A given isolated community –especially at sea or in space– must be able to cost-effectively produce an extremely broad spectrum of materials in quantities consistent with just local demand. And the spectrum of materials is growing all the time. Thus GreenStar Materials will be charged with the task of devising very new and sophisticated processing methods that can provide small volume on-demand production of this vast materials spectrum –and do it without any safety hazards to residences in close proximity. Furthermore, it would have an imperative to pursue 100% recyclability or reusability of all materials it produces. This company clearly faces one of the greatest industrial challenges of all cooperative members. It is likely that nanotechnology will feature strongly in the pursuit of these objectives.

Over time GreenStar Materials will also have to deal with new trends in the way materials are delivered for use. With the advent of fabber technology, a growing spectrum of materials will need to be produced and packaged in forms very much akin to the ink used by computer printers. Typical forms of materials will be replaced by forms such as wire, tapes, sticks, powders, granules, fluid suspensions, and the like packaged in modular recyclable cartridge forms. Even many food products may begin to appear in such forms in the future. As nanotechnology becomes more developed, its materials feedstocks will also assume similar packaged forms often based on fluid suspensions. GreenStar Materials will ultimately have to pursue, in concert with the new tool makers such as GreenStar Toolworks, development of such things as NanoSoup and NanoAspic as a way of generically packaging an impossible diversity of materials and nanomechanical sub-components.

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