"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
See also the needle gun from Slacker's Paradise, a 1941 short story by Malcom Jameson, and the more detailed description of the needle pipe from Ray Cummings 1928 classic Beyond the Stars.
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