3D Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations

A 3D printer and scanner combo named Scotty uses a process similar to the description of teleportation described in science fiction to scan and then send an object that 'materializes' in another printer in a new location.


(Scotty 3D printer 'transporter')

Many readers may recall this from Star Trek, but as I recall there were earlier versions of this idea.

My favorite description in science fiction is in Clifford Simak's 1962 novel Way Station:

Moments ago the creature in the tank had rested in another tank in another station and the materializer had built up a pattern of it - not only of its body, but of its very vital force, the thing that gave it life. Then the impulse pattern had moved across the gulfs of space almost instantaneously to the receiver of this station, where the pattern had been used to duplicate the body and the mind and memory and the life of that creature now lying dead many light years distant.

And in the tank the new body in the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form - an entirely new being but exactly like the old one so the identity continued in the consciousness ( the very thought only momentarily interrupted) that to all intents and purposes the being was the same. There were limitations to the impulse patterns, but this has nothing to do with the speed, for the impulses could cross the entire galaxy with but little lag in time. But under certain conditions the patterns tended to break down and this was why there must be many stations, many thousands of them. Clouds of dust or gas or areas of high ionisation seemed to disrupt the patterns and in those sectors of the galaxy where these conditions were encountered, the distance jumps between the stations were considerably cut down to keep the pattern true. There were areas that had to be detoured because of high concentrations of the stars and gas and dust.

Enoch wondered how many dead bodies of the creature now rested in the tanks left behind at other stations in the course of the journey it was making, as this body in a few hours time would lie dead within this tank when the creature's pattern was sent out again, riding on the impulse waves.

A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars, each to be destroyed by a wash of acid and flushed into deep lying tanks, but with the creature itself going on and on until it reached its final destination to carry out the purpose of its journey.
(Read about the way station materializer)

Via Vice.

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