Google+ post by Derrick Oswald (curmudgeon) on 2012-12-15 15:34:46 UTC

I’m gonna call your little bluff here and state such. The guy in the particular community post you speak of in your blog, wanted to be able to (from the same machine) print basically any element in the periodic table of elements, assembled via atomic structures. No personal fabricator will ever be able to achieve that. You would need the power of a star in order to create some of those elements. Keep in mind, the guy asked about a personal fabricator…not the ability to create individual atoms in a specific arrangement…but the ability to create whole objects that way, from scratch, on a personal machine.

You will never be able to do what he was asking to do. No plant (as you claim) can produce the atomic structures for gold, silver, tantalum, etc.

Also, if you take a look at the old post, you’ll notice that me saying he would never be able to say “tea, earl grey, hot” – I did qualify it with “in your lifetime”.

I don’t see the problem.
I wasn’t suggesting that a machine could change hydrocarbons into elements like rare earth metals alchemically. My concept was that a machine could break down garbage like old PC boards into elements (like Mr. Fusion or simply process seawater which contains all the elements needed ( and use it to construct new products. You also wouldn’t need metals as much if you could easily form diamond into the shapes needed.

My real issue was with the word never. Never is a very long time. I totally agree with enlightening the masses that currently we absolutely don’t have the tech to make just anything, but I’m confident that in the fullness of time this will be a reality.

I agree with @Derrick_Oswald_curmu to understand what’s going on you need to read some of the good books out there on this in particular the I’ve read the singularity is near by @Ray_Kurzweil . Basically we are approaching a point where we can make anything from the fundamental ingredients. The real problem isn’t actually the assembly itself this is starting to happen, the real problem is how to process the information to construct something useful. This is a problem of information and currently everything is moving towards handling and processing large amount of information so I don’t see this been a problem for much longer.