1: First attempt at self-reproducing machine tool (SRMT)

In 1984 I coined the term Replikon to denote a self-reproducing *conventional* machine tool closed to matter reproduction of non-stock parts,

open to energy input, and open to control inputs from the operator; this definition was not published.

From about 1993-2003 I discussed the concept in news:rec.crafts.metalworking.

Look for "SRMT" and my name there.

I constructed 2 self-reproducing machine tools in 1995-1997, advertised a "Self-Reproducing Four Axis Milling Machine" in the local Want Ad,

and sold 1 for $300 in 1997 to Larry Ritchey, my first Replikon Research cash receipt.

$300 cash receipt dated 10/24/1997

The machine is cited in Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, 3.12, p. 40,

Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 2004.

The machines incorporated their own reproduction template, a drill jig made from 3/8 cold rolled steel using the cross vise.

The method of incorporation was to include the 4 x 6 x 3/8 inch drill jig with its 3 x 5 inch array of 1 x 1 inch spaced 1/16 inch holes,

15 holes in all, with the exception of a 5/8 bushed hole in the center,

as the cross slide in the cross vise, replacing the vise,

supporting the included four jaw lathe chuck in its vertical axis mode,

unfortunately not shown.

The horizontal axis mode is illustrated in the picture here using the collet indexer component.

120 teeth were cut into the chuck rim with manual feed and a rack gear cutter,

using the collet indexer component and pin indexing.

The jig could be copy drilled or lacking a copy, originated again with the cross vise.

The jig patterned matching holes in the base and vise.

The holes in the base were self-replicated by moving the jig.

The jig was a working part of the machine.

It was a dovetail top slide.

The dovetail gib slide was aluminum, milled on the machine.

The jig was given with the sold machine, and no jig copy was kept.

The remains are still here are Replikon Research.

The chuck that is shown here has no teeth milled into it.


Grey Photo of Self-Reproducing Milling Machine

Copyright (c) 1997 Douglas D. Goncz All Rights Reserved

Annotated, with apologies; in 1997 the available digital camera was 320x 240.

Long Feed Scale

Anti-Backlash Quill Feed Spring and Quill Drive Pulley

Right Side Clamp Screws

Long Feed Inch Scale and Zero

1/16 inch and 1/8 inch scales

Quill Feed Anti-Backlash Spring

Anti-Backlash Spring Adjustment Nut

Cutting Teeth into the Chuck


Color Photo of Self-Reproducing Milling Machine, First Attempt, by Doug Goncz, Posed with Bicycle Cranks, which in theory could be made by this machine, and power screwdriver, used to build and operate the machine

Color Photo Scan of Self-Reproducing Milling Machine, First Attempt,

Posed with End Mill; Bicycle Cranks, which in theory could be made by this machine; and

Power Screwdriver with 5mm Ball Bit, used to build and operate the machine,

a classic C-frame machine tool.

Copyright (c) 1997 Douglas 'D. Goncz All "Rights Reserved

The machine--the pair of machines--took two years to build.

I would stand on one leg holding an impossible part with both hands and think: how do I make *this*?

I followed a method of co-modification; first I would remove a part from one machine, and if possible,

modify that part in the other machine, or, if that was not currently possible, add parts to create

the needed capability, or work on a different part, so that

the part queued for modification could eventually be modified.

The last modification was to add gear teeth to the chuck,

providing an indexing feature.

Coopyright (c) 2020 Doug Goncz, Replikon Research All Rights Reserved

You may link to this page, of course.

This work was completed under the auspices, requirements, and restrictions

of a generous grant

administered by the United States of America's

Social Security Administration, and its

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,

spanning the years 1980 through 1997.

Certain export restrictions on the computer software used in this work apply.

With thanks to

Northern Virginia Community College,

Annandale Campus,

Annandale, VA 22003

Follow the blue "index" link for more.

The work continues.