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Proceedings Paper

Toward the personal factory?
Author(s): Jean-Marc Breguet; Arvid Bergander
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Paper Abstract

Production tools undergo a constant process of miniaturization. Technical, economical, as well as environmental reasons motivate this process. The research in the field of the Microfactory and Nanofactory addresses these issues. The question is how far and how fast will this miniaturization go? Does it make sense to have a factory so small that you can put it on your desk, next to you computer, and start to produce whatever you can imagine? Will Personal Factories (PF) ever exist? We first present different scenarios of the Personal Factory. One approach, which is generally favored by physicists, chemists and biologists, consists in the assembly of atoms or molecules, like LEGO-bricks, to build up complex devices (bottom up). We will not follow this approach in this paper. The second approach consists in the 3D microstructuring of the parts and their assembly (top down). We briefly present different structuring technologies that could apply in the PFs. We then briefly present micro-positioning systems developed at EPFL that could be used in assembly in PF.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4568, Microrobotics and Microassembly III, (8 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444138
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Marc Breguet, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/Lausanne (Switzerland)
Arvid Bergander, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/Lausanne (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4568:
Microrobotics and Microassembly III
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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