This is one of those stories that makes you go "Hmmm...." and was spotted by Ms. K.M. who sent it along with the observation that the "breakaway group" appears to be gradually leaking  more and more information about its capabilities. We'll get back to that and to today's high octane speculation in a moment. The story is an article written by Eric Mack for Forbes magazine, and it contains some rather stunning statements. Here's the story:

A Real World 'Star Trek' Replicator Is Now Possible Thanks To New Breakthrough

Now if you're like me, there's a few statements in that article that caught your eye. The first little bombshell was this:

A startup with alumni from MIT and Yale says it's made a breakthrough in creating a next-generation material that should make it possible to 3-d print literally anything out of thin air.

New York-based Mattershift has managed to create large-scale carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes that are able to combine and separate individual molecules.

"This technology gives us a level of control over the material world that we've never had before," said Mattershift Founder and CEO Dr. Rob McGinnis in a release. "For example, right now we're working to remove CO2 from the air and turn it into fuels. This has already been done using conventional technology, but it's been too expensive to be practical. Using our tech, I think we'll be able to produce carbon-zero gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that are cheaper than fossil fuels."


The company says their breakthrough brings down the difficulty and cost of manufacturing the material, which should allow the technology to burst out of the confines of university labs.

Following this little bombshell, toward the end of the article there's this:

"It should be possible to combine different types of our CNT membranes in a machine that does what molecular factories have long been predicted to do: to make anything we need from basic molecular building blocks," said McGinnis. "We're talking about printing matter from the air. Imagine having one of these devices with you on Mars. You could print food, fuels, building materials, and medicines from the atmosphere and soil or recycled parts without having to transport them from Earth."

A molecular factory is a long-predicted technology that, in theory, should be able to accomplish some of what the Replicator from "Star Trek" does, although not nearly as cleanly as on the show.

So look what we have:

(1) a claim that a new nano-engineering technology has been achieved dramatically lowering both cost and difficulty of manufacture; (2) a claim that this capability will basically allow Erix Drexler's old dream of genuine engineering at a molecular level, including the ability to take one kind of material and transform it bottom-up into another finished product without the usual machining; and (3) that this ability also implies an ability to reengineer basic carbonm based fuels that are both cleaner and cheaper.

Now, if you're like me, I've long suspected that such stories are one of two things: (1) pipe dreams, or (2) a "slow drip drip drip" of information into the public of things that have actually been covertly achieved, and in this case, I suspect the latter for a very interesting reason that I've blogged about before on this site: 3d printing, or to give it its more technical name, "additive manufacturing." The fundamental difference between conventional machining and additive manufacturing is not so much in the final product, but in the way the final product comes about. Say, for example, that you want to make a replacement leg for a dining room table, and you have some metal and wood-working expertise and a lathe in your shop. You go out, buy some wood, and turn out a new table leg on your lathe by subtractive machining, chipping wood away from the wood until the table leg is revealed. In the process, some of the original wood is wasted. With additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, the new table leg is printed in three-dimensional versions of computer pixels, tiny bit by tiny bit is added to a construction until the new table leg emerges, and it emerges with notably little waste as compared to turning the leg on a lathe through the process of subtractive manufacturing.

Now scale that process down to the size of a molecule, and Eric Drexler's 1990s dream of "engines of creation", the title of his book first introducing the concept of nano-engineering to the general public, comes true. One has, as Mr. Mack puts it in his Forbes article, a distinctive step in the technology tree toward the "Star Trek replicator", which, if one knows the lore of that popular science fiction television series, produces things - including foods and drinks - by nano-engineering them into existence from other material. It is, so to speak, the ultimate in recycling. One can imagine, for example, the utility of such a technology to the problem of waste, human and otherwise. Giant landfills of garbage would be a thing of the past, as materials could be broken down molecule by molecule, and re-engineered from the molecule up into new products. Of course, this has its downside, but I'll leave that, for the moment, to your imagination.

None of this is, however, my high octane speculation of the day. My high octane speculation concerns more the possibility that this story might be a "drip drip drip" sort of story, of the sort that is designed to prepare the public for a dramatic and drastic shift in paradigms of "how things are done." Consider only my "nano-waste recycling" scenario. when Drexler first wrote Engines of Creation about the whole subject of nano-engineering, the topic was so bizarre and "out there" that he made an appearance on Art Bell's popular overnight radio show, Coast to Coast AM. But Drexler pointed out something in his book that should give us pause, something that in my opinion might make the "drip drip drip" interpretation of this new discovery all but certain. Drexler revealed in his book two astonishing things. First, that IBM had managed to spell out its corporate logo using a small amount of xenon atoms. And as if that were not impressive enough, Drexler also pointed out that AT&T's laboratories had successfully created the first man-made atom. That was in the 1990s, folks.

And to top off my speculation about this story possibly being one of those "slow and deliberate releases" of information about capabilities in the possession of some "breakaway civilization," I've also pointed ouy on occasion that 3-D printing itself has been around in the military and corporate worlds since at least the 1970s. Just as computers have been around since World War Two, but became a public technology affordable and practical for public use in the 1980s and 1990s, 3-d printing is now increasingly cheaper, and home versions are being made and sold as we speak. Wed the two technologies - additive manufacturing, and nano-engineering - and that "Star Trek replicator" technology is not all that far away.

And let us note something very significant. Such a technology would not only be a boon to long-term human space missions, it would be almost a prerequisite condition to their feasibility... especially if one wants not only to mine asteroids, but to manufacture, on the spot, products from what has been mined.

See you on the flip side...



  1. Which “God”???? Why the statement, “Ye shall have no other Gods before me” if there WERE no other “Gods”????!!

    Does a “mature” person wish to be worshiped??? Can Love be commanded??? What does one accept as one’s “base” for all other thinking?!

  2. Loxie Lou Davie – might interest you (or scare the jahaabees out of you).

    And pray tell me how much energy does it take to sequester carbon and turn it into stuff?

    I’d bet they would have the carbon tax by the time any of this pans out to the plebs, and they would, without blinking, change it to be based on carbon consumed rather than carbon produced. 4 legs good 2 legs better (Animal Farm) style.

    It is illegal in Australian to own the information to print a 3d gun.
    Lawyers guns and money (AI and 3d printed) get me out of this (warren zevon).

  3. hm is right. what are the receivers of this message supposed to make of it.

    if the breakaway’s do not exist, then we’re supposed to feel grateful for changes that are coming too late to help any of us. maybe soon enough to help our grandkids. but only after enough war and genocide to select out the vast majority of who’s standing now. even after all this so called darwinian social lie, the tech that does trickle through will be faulty versions that spread more harm than good while indemnified and protected by the same tobacco science currently protecting corporations in food, pharma, military, comms, well pretty much everything.

    if the breakaway’s do exist – well first we better not say that in public – if they do exist then we’re supposed to feel grateful for their allowing some flawed version of their national securitized tech to trickle down and what – get fought over in a religious / idealogical war?

    either way once the tech does trickle – and narratives get revised enough, this tech will probably have a place in every home as much as every home today has a cell phone, computer, refrigerator, stove, furnace, tv, plumbing and on. and like all these industries they’ll sell it like cable. consumers will be an entry fee and a subscription to cover a cost that drops to zero quickly while the fees only keep rising. anyone here old enough to remember ted turner et al pleading that cable would be free after that initial $35 installation fee and $20 or $25/ month? we just needed to pay for the infrastructure and build out costs. tollroads were supposed to be temporary too. just a quick financial fix to pay for construction.

  4. Those of us who have been following the tales of various “whistleblowers” were made aware of the fact that replicating parts of human bodies has been in use on Mars. I DO believe this is all a drip…drip…drip!!

    I think of rocket scientist, David Adair, who at age 17 climbed up into a “biological” craft that was sentient & responded to him at Area 51….back in the 70’s!! So, I guess we can assume this has also been part of the back-engineering going on!

    I do wonder HOW will they bring the human race up-to-speed with what has been going on in The Breakaway Civilization for decades??? Or is the plan to decimate us all & start anew???

    Personally, I cannot figure out if the horrific weather scenes that are playing out all over the world is totally due to the Maunder Minimum or partially due to manmade weather wars! We know there are companies that advertise their weather making capabilities….so, if you have enough money, you can ‘create’ the type of weather you desire, WHERE you want it!!!

    Our Western thinking, in my opinion, has been kept inside a tiny box because of the adherence to a “Biblical” view assuming that the “god” of the Old Testament was the Creator of All, when he might well have been an Imposter!! Looking at the stories of the O.T. in the light of modern technologies does give one pause!!

  5. Just a sideways thought, it is co2 and it’s acid build-up in our bodies which triggers our inhalation breathing response. If we keep cutting down rainforests, and begin making stuff ‘out of thin air’ we may become carbon dioxide deficient to the point where we just asphixiate, or starve for lack of food as all plant-life and therefore the food-chain depends on co2. Seems like we need to keep an eye on this co2 ‘mining’.

    1. Life needs CO². Its our waste product..
      We need Oxygen to breathe. CO² would kill us.
      But yes.. I see what you’re saying.

  6. I studied electrical engineering in the 1990s. When I graduated in ‘96, nanotechnology was already being discussed with some interest by classmates. Since then
    I have no doubt that many engineering departments in universities have been exploring the tech and developments have been quietly ticking along. This announcement does not seem too surprising to me in this context.

    In fact, I would guess that development has been SLOWED DOWN somewhat and “put on the back burner” in favour of allowing the current production-economic model to run to its nth possible degree of extraction.

    Neal Stephenson wrote a sci-if called “The Diamond Age: A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer”, published in 1995 – about a nanotechnology world. The plot features a young heroine in a future version of China. Interesting reading 🙂

  7. So, what if this tech is applied to say…….gold?

    How about confecting super explosives without using reactors or complicated chemical processes? Imagine altering the brisance at a molecular level of an explosive-you could make all kinds of nasties in theory.

    What about applying this tech to biology?

  8. This discovery reminds me of the ‘craft’ in some early UFO encounters. The humans were told that the craft was built molecule by molecule (perhaps atom by atom?). That was why the craft had properties so different than welding plates together. Also, occasional artifacts (before they were ‘disappeared’) were scientifically an@lyzed and showed very odd alloys and properties.

    So (if this not just B$ to obtain venture capital), we could be seeing an outworking of some alien/human collaboration, ‘seeded’ into our R&D channels for plausible deniability…

  9. What occurred to me was this was just too convenient. By that I mean, this looks like a universe designed for mankind[and other intelligent life forms?]. Earth, originally looked like the Goldilocks planet. But now, the universe itself looks to be not only be intelligent and living; but much more than you or I can begin to imagine.

    1. The reason for keeping these secrets of the universe.
      Physic law/equations, for example; is to keep “others”
      from using this power…
      Is to prevent them from using it for?
      Breakaway civilizations?

      ]One puny public’s face civilization
      under the powerful private boot of another?

      Is this drip, drip upon the public face; in addition to the trickle down from another part of the private anatomy?
      How big of them. To be so considerate.

  10. Not convinced. Went to see the science explanation. Seems like a water filter to me… The articles all focus on the separation. A video on youtube tries to explain how this is done, but is so lousy that you really can only look at it like a hoax or a magic trick. Moreover, nothing is given as to how the printing is done (separation is one thing, combining is another)… Maybe drip drip of the SSP capacities is the right way to describe this. The real techs have not been explained.

  11. You could also print currency and medicines and that might also add an element to the corporate mafia wars that we are seeing.

    Imagine also embedding such a machine on the earth somehow, could you then build a comprehensive global megalithic grid with exquisite precision?

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