Shared componenting

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Shared componenting is having all devices and machines using the same components, for example, uniform sizes of nuts, bolts, gears, ball bearings, etc. This minimizes tooling and labor costs to produce the parts, often at the cost of lower precision and/or greater use of raw materials in the resulting machine. Since raw materials such as iron are abundant, the second disadvantage is generally not an important concern. Because of the strong economic incentives to make things on Mars instead of importing them, lower precision will usually be a good tradeoff to bring lower labor and tooling costs for Martian manufacture. To minimize labor, the resulting devices should be easy to assemble. Thus the set may come to resemble a larger-scale and professional version of sophisticated toy construction sets such as Meccano or Erector, and most parts in most machines and structures used on Mars will come from this set.


Ore is mined, processed and smelted. Then, the raw metal is shaped into "starter shapes", rods, sheets, wire. Then, automated machines cut and shape the metal into the components. The components can then be assembled into the machine or device needed.


Standard Plastic parts can molded far more quickly than custom parts can be made with a 3D Printer. Various machines might be constructed to create plastic fibers, film, etc. Bioplastics might be used.


Electronic hardware could be made using some sort of printer. For simplicity and ease of repair and construction, all computer systems would use the same hardware with only the software differing. Software can be produced by colonists trained in computer programming.