Self-Reproduction of a Universal Machine Tool

Starting with a universal wood/metal working machine tool like a Smithy Super Shop, for instance, with the goal of reproducing the
tool, I see a few ways open for progress:
One, starting with raw metal stock, reverse engineer blueprints for the machine tool and then build a copy from the blueprints.
Two, Starting with two of the machine tool, disassemble one copy, using each piece as a model, and then copy each piece.
Three, Order all the parts as replacement parts from the manufacturer, and assemble a copy.
Four, Order all the parts as replacement parts, and set about reproducing each part to build a copy.
Five, If the machine has N parts, order N machines and assign to each machine an operator capable of reproducing one of the N parts on their machine, then assemble a copy. Seems simple enough: you need to pick a machine, hire N operators, order N machines, and just have at it.
The reason I say wood/metal working machine tool is that I am pretty sure any universal self-reproducing machine tool has to have this character: Woodworking operations usually let the part guide itself through the machine under operator control, and this means such a machine has a work envelope that is potentially of infinite size; it certainly isn't closed or of fixed size. Metal working operations such as millling usually hold the work in a fixture of finite size and capacity, and so have a closed work envelope. Best of both worlds?
I have an email out to sales at Smithy asking for a part count and pricing for the set of replacement parts needed to assemble a copy of my Super Shop.
Doug Goncz Replikon Research Seven Corners, VA 22044-0394
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Follow the link in my sig to see a woodworking machine that can be used to make nearly all of its own parts.
The electricals, nuts/screws/washers/couplers, and hardened shafting were all purchased, but the aluminum parts could be reproduced on the tool (they were done on another CNC router).
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On Aug 18, 10:34am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Last night on Sarah Conner Chronicles the good(?) terminator Cameron was wandering around outside a computer chess match contemplating a display of chess robots, one of which might be her direct ancestor.
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Smithy asking for a part count and

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Since this is a conceptual exercise, how about this option: Order another Supershop, and disassemble it. You will then have all the parts required to assemble a Supershop. How is this different from disassembling your own Supershop and then reassembling it? Since this is no different from disassembling my car and then reassembling it, could I say that my car is capable of reproducing itself?
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The difference is that the sum of the parts costs MUCH more than the same parts assembled.
Free men own guns - www(dot)geocities(dot)com/CapitolHill/5357/
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Yes, and that establishes one of several metrics by which self- reproducing machine tool designs can be compared: If there are N parts in a machine tool, and they cost m times the assembled price when purchased as a set, then m is relevant. Also, if there are M distinct parts in the set of N parts, then the ratio M/N is relevant. I haven't named these ratios. but they are relevant. I feel like M/N should be called the "distinctness fraction", with a value of 1 for an assembly of distinct parts, and lower non-zero values for more evolved designs. m might be called the "assembly disincentive".
Widespread adoption of a self-reproducing machine tool design seems like it will have the effect of reducing m. On site, at the shop floor, at the factory that builds the machien tool the way we do things now, m < 1. Out in the consumer market, m > 1. Kinda makes me want to be where m=1. Where would that be?
Probably in my home shop, or yours.
Doug (who is just tickled to drop by here again)
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On Mon, 18 Aug 2008 17:14:27 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

von Neumann Machine?
Sounds like my cats......
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality", John F. Kennedy.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Why would you waste their time with that? Are you actually going to buy an entire set of replacement parts?

Your Smithy can't reproduce itself. Only a Smithy/Human combination "tool" could reproduce it. And since the "combo tool" doesn't reproduce the human half at the same time, the tool has failed to reproduce the whole thing. So even as an intellectual exercise, it has failed.
If you allow a human to be part of the loop but then "pretend" the human isn't part of the solution, then you might as well just cheat and let the human build something twice, and call the second one the work of the first one reproducing itself. For example, bake a cake and then eat it. Then bake a second cake (driven by the energy from the first), and just say the it was the first cake that was making the second cake. :)
I'm not aware of anyone building a machine that could reproduce itself, but It could be done. It's really a question of what raw material you are willing to make available for it to work with. Does it have to go out and mine and refine iron ore, cut down trees for the wood, and drill for oil to make the plastic, etc? Or it is fare to just give it a pile or steel, wood, coper, etc to work with? If you allow the second, I'm sure it would be very possible to design and build a machine that could reproduce itself. If you want it to work with the raw materials that exist on earth or elsewhere in the universe, you have to give it far more intelligence than we currently know how to build into a machine.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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On Aug 28, 9:19am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Personally I think you are wasting your time on an intellectual exercise and if you do succeed Sarah Conner will come back and kick your butt.
Develop a rechargeable aluminum battery.
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 06:32:30 -0700 (PDT), Jim Wilkins

Hey Jim,
Not real fair. Doug has been dabbling with this concept for a long long time, and brings up many a good engineering, machining, mechanical, chemical, inventive and philosophical point from time to time. It is at least as interesting to the RCM world outside the USA as the spamming and slamming of any but died-in-the-wool neo-cons.
Keep up the good work Doug!!
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
ps Ummmmm....for us dummy's, or even just this one, who is Sarah Connor, and where does she have to come back from?
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 11:13:53 -0400, Brian Lawson wrote:

...
...

...
Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Connor_ (Terminator) , "Sarah Jeanette Connor is a fictional character, the heroine of the first two Terminator films and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." But perhaps you're just pretending not to know? You spelled her name correctly, and Jim Wilkins didn't.
-jiw
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...

The concept of Terminator is that self-replicating robots take over and kill the humans. The people whose work leads to them have good intentions and don't see the abuse potential. Sarah Connor is the mother of the future leader of the resistance who tries to protect him from time-traveling robots that come back to kill him.
It's just fiction and not really first-class sci-fi at that, although there's been some interesting acting in the series. It's why Schwartzenegger is called "Governator".
I watch the TV version only to see what loopy stunts Summer Glau will pull off. In the sci-fi TV series "Firefly" and its movie "Serenity" her character was as crazy and dangerous as Hannibal Lector with rabies. She plays the good(?) robot with the cold creepy stare like an owl watching a mouse.
Maybe I'm just old and bitter but I've helped develop a lot of other people's ideas and inventions and then watched many of them die because they were too early for the technology or too late for the market or more fun to do than practical, which is my impression of the self-replicating machine tool concept. The Segway is one of them, it certainly isn't dead but it didn't change the world as hoped either.
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 10:57:01 -0700 (PDT), Jim Wilkins
<big snip>

Have you seen Toyota's Segway knock-off? The Winglet. See:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,396261,00.html
http://www.vitalsignsreport.com/articles.php?entry $531
http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/01/toyotas-winglet-aims-to-usurp-segway-why-we-dont-know /
I guess they figure it is worth emulating or something...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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There was some bad stuff like a 2o7 cookie in that last link, and Zonealarm blocked 12 intrusion attempts.
It isn't that hard to make a self-balancing machine, only hard to make it safe.
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 13:24:31 -0700 (PDT), Jim Wilkins
<snip>

If you are really concerned about "cookies" you best stay off the Internet. You can't get anywhere much nowadays without accepting them, BUT you don't have to keep them around after you get what you wanted...
I've been messing with Google's cookies for years now. I'll leave them for several days and then edit them a bit. Nothing like feeding some bogus crap back into their system. They always catch it and feed me a new set of numbers, but it gives their techs something to do setting up validating routines and such.
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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IE6 is set to accept first party and session, prompt for third-party, which I usually then add to the blocked list. Only Enco chokes on this setting so they get to mail me the paper catalog. This is why I usually use Harbor Freight to illustrate various tools.
I only noticed the 2o7 with a new user account with restricted priviledges for browsing that hasn't build up a large blocked list yet.

Good one!
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No rebuttal?
Much of the space program fits the impractical category although I'd work on it for free.
I didn't, the [mumble] program paid for my house, cars and machine tools.
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On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 06:32:30 -0700 (PDT), Jim Wilkins

Completely different set of skills needed, and you know that, so why mention it? (Not that I wouldn't be happy to see such a battery, but I wouldn't expect the OP to make one.)
S.
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wrote:

I am impressed by the range of DG's skills and don't think it's an unreasonable shift. I'd pick it up again but with EPA regulations chemistry isn't a home project any more.
Have you considered pancake motors milled from circuit board material for actuators? Maybe with those and interferometric or other remote position sensors a mother machine with intelligence could make and control daughter copies of its mechanical design. Perhaps it could carve the parts from bar and rod stock with a die grinder.
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You know, I have a lot of experience with Kollmorgen pancake motors. I've disassembled and modified them for the MOEPED. And I knew you could mill PC traces from stock, but I'd rejected computer control because there's such a large gap between the scale on which reproduction is done: great heavy lumps of cast iron, versus lithographed integrated circuits. My vision is for machine tools operated manually to reproduce after the fashion of those outlawed in Samuel Butler's 1879 novel "Erewhon". So we're talking about auxilioprodutive, subtractive, universal, self-reproducing machine tool, making "one-off" copies of themselves.
A single pancake rotor made subtractively is a fine achievement and adds depth to the universality of such a machine, but...well...how do you wind a one-off armature? By hand, of course. That is included in the scope of the term auxilioproductive. But then where do the armature pieces come from? Ay, there's the rub!
Efficient motors usually use stamped and varnished armature pieces stacked and then wound. Such pieces must be stamped to minimize the hysteresis induced by machining. So we'd need to mill a copper board to be a rotor, but then mill out hundreds of armature bits and live with a little less efficiency. Chemical milling of such pieces is strain-free, but the resultant torrent of chemical waste is entirely antithetical to the zero-impact soul of the effort. I don't see a compromise; do any of you here see one?
Doug
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