Designing molecular machines from the comfort of home


Tom Moore, a nanotechnology blogger, has set up a Machine Phase blog at to chronicle his nanotechnology adventures designing molecular machines using NanoEngineer-1 software from Nanorex. The software is a 3D molecular engineering program that includes a sophisticated CAD module for the design and modeling of atomically precise components and assemblies, and a molecular dynamics module for simulating the movement and operation of mechanical nanodevices.

If you go to http:/ and click on the picture of this bearing and shaft designed by Moore, it will open a new window with some animation of its turning. Photo by Tom Moore
Click here to enlarge image

Moore’s journey to design a molecular machine started on March 3, 2007, when he constructed a molecular bearing in about an hour. What’s interesting is that he used “his trusty old Toshiba laptop” to do so. Designing his own machine required construction of speed reduction gear, which took more than 100 hours to simulate, with many trials and tribulations along the way. Moore also built large output gear, as well as pinion gear and a “shaft,” which he depicts in still shots or animation.

-Marcy Koff