Image from Bernd Helfert
Construction refers to the assembly of buildings, bridges, habitats, orbitals, megastructures, and so on using nano, meso, micro, and macro-technology. It may also refer to such items that are grown, rather than assembled, with bio, nano, or synano technologies.
- Active Materials - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Any construction material, fabric or coating that can respond to the environment in a controlled way.
- Adamant - Text by Stephen Inniss
A mixture of carbon allotropes in which the carbon-carbon bonds are carefully arranged through nanotech mechanochemistry to confer greater hardness, toughness, and flexibility than that of standard diamondoid.
- Aerovac foam - Text by John Edds
Aerostatic Vacuum-Pneumatic Cell Foam, a material that is often used in vacuum dirigibles and other large-scale buoyant vehicles and structures.
- Assembler - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after Richard Baker and David Dye (Ad Astra).
Any molecular machine that can be programmed to build virtually any molecular structure or device from simpler chemical building blocks. Also called a drexler.
- Aysee Tent - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
Air-conditioned pseudoarcologies within tent-like structures.
- BAESFTLA (Extensible Matter) - Text by John Edds
Biaxially Extensible Scrolling-Folds and Telescopic-Lamellae Architecture.
- Bionano, Bionanotechnology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Any molecular nanotechnology based on such biomolecules, genetically modified micro-organism or other biotech.
- Bubblehabs - Text by Stephen Inniss, With additional material by Tardigrada 2021
Artificial habitats that float in a planetary atmosphere, such as a cytherian, neptunian or jovian world.
- Bucky Spiders - Text by Steve Bowers
Small spidersplices with adapted spinnerets producing buckyfibre on demand - controlled by bionano (mostly Zoeific clades) or hylonano neural implants - used in small scale construction and the manufacture of fabrics.
- Buildbug - Text by Todd Drashner
An arthropod-like biobot used in construction.
- Carbon Nanotube - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Elongated fullerene carbon molecule in a tubular configuration. Nanotubes are cylinders arranged from a single layer of carbon atoms. They are are 10 times stronger than, and have a fraction of the weight of, steel.
- Civil Engineering - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original by Robert J. Hall
Field of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and management of physical infrastructures (buildings, highways, maglev tubes, spacedocks, recycling piping, bridges, moving walkways, etc etc) necessary for urban or habitat existence.
- Diamondoid - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Diamond-like; chemical structures or systems (especially nanomachines as envisioned originally by Eric K. Drexler) based on diamond derivatives and/or stiff carbon bonds.
- Dimple Worlds - Text by Steve Bowers
Worlds and habitats where only part of the surface has been terraformed, usually a hollow crater or canyon.
- Diskworlds - Text by Todd Drashner
Class of ring-shaped habitat that encloses nearly its entire diameter to provide an extensive and diverse habitable volume.
- Effector Frame - Text by Todd Drashner
Type of handtech device using utility fog based 'limbs'. Often used by sophonts working in non-angelnet conditions to generate a variable number of limbs, 'smart' anchor lines, grippers, etc.
- Genie - Text by Anders Sandberg, updated by Steve Bowers
An AI combined with an assembler or other universal constructor, programmed to build anything the owner wishes. A form of Santa Machine. This requires a high level of AI and nanotechnology.
- Gourd Houses - Text by AI Vin
A biotech house grown from a vine-like plant.
- Grazer Wormhole - Text by Adam Getchell
Purpose-built spherically symmetric wormholes carried into systems, such as globular clusters, that are rich in material and energy but (usually) poor in planetary materials.
- Hab / Habitat - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
An artificially constructed environment, whether a dome on the surface of a planet or moon, an orbital or artificial biosphere, a sealed environment in an asteroid belt, a worldship in deep space, or anywhere else, that enables, allows and encourages conditions suitable for sentient life, especially for civilization and sophont beings.
- Industrial Ecology - Text by Chris Shaeffer
The study and implementation of efficient industrial systems coexisting with the natural environments within which they operate.
- Klemperer rosette - Text by Stephen Inniss
A stable system of heavier and lighter bodies orbiting in a regular repeating pattern around a common barycenter.
- Logistics - Text by Alex Mulvey
The sourcing and transportation of materials from their original location to their required destination
- Low World Houses - Text by Wesley Bruce
Low canopies to retain a breathable atmosphere on an otherwise inhospitable planet.
- Mattercache - Text by Todd Drashner
The stores of feedstock matter maintained on a ship or habitat for use as building material, whether for standard operations or emergency repairs.
- Megastructure - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
An exceedingly large construct, typically measuring tens to thousands or even millions of kilometres along its greatest dimension. Megastructures may serve any of several puposes, not all of them mutually exclusive: archailect node, orbital for vec or biont habitation, computronium node for virch or ai life, large ISO, and work of art are some of the possibilities.
- Microbot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Autonomous device on the microscale (10-6 m); larger than a nanobot but smaller than a macroscopic bot (the limit is usually set somewhat arbitrarily at one millimeter). Microbots are used for a variety of tasks such as monitoring, repairs, nanite transport and production and smart materials.
- Microgravity Space Habitats - Text by Steve Bowers
Non-rotating habitats with a zero-gee environment
- Morphable Pressurized Tensegrity Cells - Text by John Edds
A technology for producing rigid polymorphic materials and structures that have a low density.
- Nanobot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B
A hylotech, biotech or syntech bot that uses nanoscale mechanisms and manipulates objects on the nanoscale. By convention nanobots are less than one micrometre in size; larger bots enabled by nanotech are referred to as mesobots, cytobots, or microbots, or if they are still larger then they may be called as mitebots, synsects, or simply bots.
- Nanofab/Nanofac Models - Text by Thorbørn Steen
Notable/historic fabricator models
- Nanoseed - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Nanotech "seed", a self-contained and sealed capsule containing assemblers and replicators either pre-programmed with templates or instructed from an external source. The seed is "planted" on a substrate, and activated with energy or a nutrient spray. It then grows into the desired product, using locally acquired resources and ambient energy (e.g. sunlight) or in the case of some large nanoseeds, a small amat battery.
- New Brooklyn Beamrider Arrays - Text by Mike Miller
Boostbeam emitters set directly into the surface of the cool star Little Brooklyn.
- Ouro - Text by John Edds
Polymorphic material architecture using smart robotic filament swarms
- Plasm - Text by Todd Drashner
Multipurpose biological material, sometimes described as biotech utility fog.
- Pneumatically Supported Structure (PSS) - Text by John Edds
Materials and structures that derive their rigidity from contained gas pressure.
- Polymorphic Architecture - Text by Ryan B
- Programmable Matter, Smart Matter - Text by Steve Bowers
Matter which can change its physical properties on command
- Reseal - Text by John B
The civilized galaxy's version of Old Earth 'duct tape'.
- Ringworlds - Text by Ron Bennett
Ring-like megastructures that completely encircle a star.
- Santa Clause (Santa Claus) Machine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
A robust matter compiler employing nano-, meso- micro- and macrotech. Placed on a planetary surface it can build anything out of available material
- Self Extracting Archives - Text by Anders Sandberg
Nanotech archive / mass-assembler.
- Space Spiders - Text by Steve Bowers
Vacuum and zero gee adapted, sentient or semisentient spidersplices, from micro-scale to giant; usually capable of producing buckyfibre silk. Contribute to many megascale building projects, sometimes controlled directly by transcended postspiders.
- Spaceweed - Text by Steve Bowers and John B
A gengineered organism based on bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) that has been modified so that it that can develop in Gas Giant rings, with a small (100-200 metres) bladder full of breathable air, and edible fruit and nuts growing on the inside. The bladders are loosely connected, with insulated flexible corridors between the bladders, and all the ice and rock of the rings incorporated into the spaceweed to avoid collision damage.
- Star Lifting - Text by Alex Mulvey and Steve Bowers
Removing material from a star for industrial use or for stellar husbandry. Methods include increasing its rotation until material begins to drift off the equator or squeezing it using intense magnetic fields from particle accelerators.
- Valhalla Cluster - Text by Todd Drashner
Colloquial term for massive artificial concentrations of matter believed to be operating as archai level (Fifth Singularity or higher) industrial centers.
- von Neumann Self-Replicating Systems - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Self-replicating autonomous machines, mainly referring to those working in space, especially exploring regions too remote to be easily reached by organics.