Star Trek Replicators

nate_wrench

Villager
Hi ever since I saw the replicators in Star Trek, I wondered if 3D printing is like replicators because you are creating stuff from small molecules of plastic. I hope they become real in my lifetime, I would like to replicate some of my old childhood stuff from my memories.
 

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Not exactly, but it's getting closer. Replicators as 'originally' designed re-used waste products from the day to day life on the ship, broken down into base molecules to be reconstituted in the future.
Food, uniforms, weapons, materials, etc.

3D printers are currently just single input matter reproduction systems, like a printer bit with polymers instead of ink.

When we can recycle our sewer and garbage output into the input matter, we'll be getting closer.
 

3D printing works for a lot of basic objects, but many high tech devices have parts that require complex processes to manufacture. Even if the mechanics were perfect (which they aren't yet), 3D printing by itself can't replace processes like electron beam curing, thin film sputter coatings, or even basic heating/cooling cycles.

So, sure, you may be able to replicate old action figures and re-build furniture. But we're epochs away from replicating things like electronics or optics.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
There’s a research team at one of the major Scottish universities that has been working on 3D printed pharmaceuticals for a decade or so.

The last I checked, they had working formulas that enabled them to print several different drugs, but still hadn’t gotten them to purity levels safe for human or animal consumption. Nor had they been able to get the process & gear refined enough to make their tech commercially feasible.

But if they ever do? It could be a major, world-changing technological advance.
 


There’s a research team at one of the major Scottish universities that has been working on 3D printed pharmaceuticals for a decade or so.

The last I checked, they had working formulas that enabled them to print several different drugs, but still hadn’t gotten them to purity levels safe for human or animal consumption. Nor had they been able to get the process & gear refined enough to make their tech commercially feasible.

But if they ever do? It could be a major, world-changing technological advance.
Last I heard, the only current medically accepted use is creating replacement joints for recostructive surgery and one case of a valve reconstruction for an open heart surgery where transplant was not an option (but to be fair that info is most likely out of date.) But that's still light years ahead of the standard 'off the shelf' design they were working with because they can recreate what was lost (size, shape and unique imperfections) versus replacing it with an approximately sized joint.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think once we hit Next Generation time, replicators had evolved into a pure energy scenario.

Energy is converted into matter, which creates the specific atom you are looking for, and then repeated trillions of times to generate a specific pattern. We have technically done this with quarks (and why we believe they are the true indivisible particle of matter). In trying to break quarks, the amount of energy used actually created a quark. So theoretically it is possible to generate matter from an energy stream.

Ultimately that's a major major MAJOR step forward from just pure matter recycling, and so I think the recycling-based model is much more likely.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think once we hit Next Generation time, replicators had evolved into a pure energy scenario.

Energy is converted into matter, which creates the specific atom you are looking for, and then repeated trillions of times to generate a specific pattern. We have technically done this with quarks (and why we believe they are the true indivisible particle of matter). In trying to break quarks, the amount of energy used actually created a quark. So theoretically it is possible to generate matter from an energy stream.

Ultimately that's a major major MAJOR step forward from just pure matter recycling, and so I think the recycling-based model is much more likely.
I believe that you're correct and that Next Gen replicators were essentially transporter tech.
 

MarkB

Legend
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think once we hit Next Generation time, replicators had evolved into a pure energy scenario.

Energy is converted into matter, which creates the specific atom you are looking for, and then repeated trillions of times to generate a specific pattern. We have technically done this with quarks (and why we believe they are the true indivisible particle of matter). In trying to break quarks, the amount of energy used actually created a quark. So theoretically it is possible to generate matter from an energy stream.

Ultimately that's a major major MAJOR step forward from just pure matter recycling, and so I think the recycling-based model is much more likely.
It varies from episode to episode. As originally conceived, they used transporter tech to draw from stores of various elements and rearrange those elements into new forms, but in some episodes they're treated as essentially converting mass into energy and back again so that they can pretty much build anything from anything.

My issue with the latter interpretation is that Starfleet ships carry around huge reserves of dangerous, hard-to-store antimatter and use massive warp reactors and expensive dilithium crystals in order to accomplish the task of converting mass into energy. Why would they need all that if a little wall-mounted replicator can do the same thing just to make a chocolate fudge sundae?
 


daniellemill

First Post
The technology has not yet reached this level, but it is very close to it! Our country USA is doing everything to create a great future! While it is expensive, but soon it will be very cheap and accessible to everyone!
 

aco175

Legend
@daniellemill thank you for posting and welcome to the site. Hope you stay and contribute more.

Our country USA is doing everything to create a great future!
I want to believe this part, but then every new technology is turned into porn first and not to better mankind- unless you think that porn is better. I does bring in the money to make the technology cheaper though.
 

@daniellemill thank you for posting and welcome to the site. Hope you stay and contribute more.


I want to believe this part, but then every new technology is turned into porn first and not to better mankind- unless you think that porn is better. I does bring in the money to make the technology cheaper though.
<Picard>Computer... lovedoll, MILF, redhead, white. </Picard> shakeshead
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
@daniellemill thank you for posting and welcome to the site. Hope you stay and contribute more.


I want to believe this part, but then every new technology is turned into porn first and not to better mankind- unless you think that porn is better. I does bring in the money to make the technology cheaper though.
How soon ‘till someone changes the “B” in “Bitcoin” to another “T”, then?
 






Dire Bare

Legend
In the new animated Star Trek: Prodigy, the Federation ship USS Protostar has a vehicle replicator on board. There is a scene where a character uses it it replicate a shuttle, and then there is a hand-to-hand fight within the replicator while it is creating the shuttle. The visuals are very reminiscent of 3D printing, to me. It was a fun scene and a logical extension of the replicator technology.
 

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