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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Advancements in nanotechnology require the development of nanofabrication methods for a wide range of materials, length scales, and elemental distributions. Today’s nanofabrication methods are typically missing at least one demanded characteristic. Hence, a general method enabling versatile nanofabrication remains elusive. Here, we show that, when revealing and using the underlying mechanisms of thermomechanical nanomolding, a highly versatile nanofabrication toolbox is the result. Specifically, we reveal interface diffusion and dislocation slip as the controlling mechanisms and use their transition to control, combine, and predict the ability to fabricate general materials, material combinations, and length scales. Designing specific elemental distributions is based on the relative diffusivities, the transition temperature, and the distribution of the materials in the feedstock. The mechanistic origins of thermomechanical nanomolding and their homologous temperature-dependent transition suggest a versatile toolbox capable of combining many materials in nanostructures and potentially producing any material in moldable shapes on the nanoscale.