The current Focus of the project (In Phase 1) is to build a functional set of basic machines.
This set of machines has limited scope, and equally limited capabilities, but are an essential step to subsequent phases.
By Phase 3, broad enough capabilities will be intrinsic to the system to begin to effect substantial issues in society worldwide by effecting the human activity centered around a particular activity, many of which are currently classified as economic sectors or market segments.
Keep in mind that “A penny saved is a penny earned” and sometimes it can be more:
Since if the “Penny Earned” has “Externalized” environmental cost associated with it. and producing it locally mitigates that cost, you get the “penny” plus you bypass the damage it may have done, applying this theory is tricky to quantify, but the UN estimates that 6.6 trillion in environmental damage are externalized off the books annually, with another 2.2 Trillion in Remediation
Manufacturing – 35 trillion USD Market Segment
Clearly, if you can make your own goods, or even a substantial subset of them, this conveys a displaced value directly to you! And, unless you need an oil tanker, a mining haul truck or a steel mill, small scale manufacturing might be a good starting point, what percentage of goods are feasible to produce on local, small scale mini-factories is an unknown, at this point, but any value above zero has significant potential
Shipping – $8 Trillion USD Market segment
An $8 trillion USD portion of the $86 Trillion worldwide economy with a 7.5% growth rate.There are 50,000+ active ships at any given time. Ships have terrible emissions profiles, with the largest 15 container ships emitting more pollution than all 760 million terrestrial vehicles. If you then consider there are over 5100 container ships… reducing the need for shipping through high efficiency recycling could reduce demand for many virgin materials from 30 to 70% saving $ billions in shipping and reducing carbon emissions by millions of tons.
Recycling – 500 Billion USD Market segment
Current recycling practices are generally low quality and inefficient The U.S. generates roughly 250 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) (Household Trash) of that number about 34% is recycled, of the un-recycled total 9% is metals, which at scrap prices are worth in excess of 40 Billion USD
By creating a precise, and broadly capable recycling resource that can propagate globally recycling could be made much more effective all around the world, and a trend away from non recoverable materials could be incentivized.
Materials (Raw Materials 2016 – 16.75 trillion USD) [link]
This concept leads to much lower barriers to new prototypes for novel robotics and automation, that, combined with new incentives and capabilities to mine old landfills should provide a multiple benefits: New recovery technology, lowered demand for virgin materials, and a high recovery rate for rare earths, plus remediation of old pollution, and strong disincentives against new litter and waste
Local Power – 1.4 trillion Market Segment
With each installed system a range of basic manufacturing capabilities become immediately available. Templates for basic power generation and capture systems allow for rapid deployment of small scale power systems. at the locale, building the basis for a resilient grid alongside the distributed manufacturing system
Inequality – Labor Arbitrage – Value Unknown
Since this system bring automation to small stakeholders at individual/hackerspace/village/neighborhood levels, goods can be made by automation from recycled materials, with local power. With low to no labor costs, low energy costs. declining material costs and no need for shipping or packaging the cost of goods can asymptotically approach zero, completely dis-incentivizing making things in poor countries to save on labor costs.
Inequality – Political Corruption – Value Unknown
With a buyers co-op model of ownership, there is no mechanism (or need) to concentrate ownership over multiple systems, each system acts as a utility providing service only to customers having direct interaction, so wealth concentration is not encouraged, without concentrated monetary wealth, alongside of universal material wealth, political influence becomes harder to buy, and in fact ceases to make sense if access to material wealth is not restricted (you can only fit so many gold plated couches in your house, and it won’t help your political friends if you do)
Local production is not subject to any trade agreements, restrictions or tariffs
More to come!…