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IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications has a long tradition of addressing CAD/CAM problems, a tradition that extends even beyond the well-known special issue on solid modeling. Here, we discuss the conversion of a standard representation for a solid object (for example, a boundary representation) into a set of complex message-passing instructions for manufacturing the object by a distributed system-a swarm of robots. Nanotechnology is currently hampered by a lack of manufacturing processes capable of both high throughput and high resolution. Direct-writing systems such as electron beam or scanning-probe microscopy are serial and slow but achieve high resolution, whereas various lithographic techniques are parallel and fast but typically have resolutions on the order of the tens of nanometers. Self-assembly, that is, the spontaneous assembly of components into the desired structures, is a promising concept that might lead to a revolution in nanomanufacturing.