“Beam me up!” A 3D printer that has been fittingly named ‘Scotty’ is the closest thing we have to teleportation at the moment. The printer works as follows: using cameras in the sender’s location to compose a perfect digital copy of the item; the digital copy is sent to the receiver’s location, where a second printer recreates the original item in physical form.
According to Gizmodo:
“The object being sent is placed in one of the 3D printers, which uses its camera to snap an image from overhead. The image is analyzed and sent to the other 3D printer, which creates its first thin layer….the sender machine then uses a mill to grind away a thin layer of the original object being sent, which it then photographs and analyzes again to generate the data for the next layer to be 3D-printed on the other machine. This process continues until the original object is completely milled away, leaving only the 3D-printed copy in the second machine.”
The possibilities are endless for ‘Scotty.’ In the future, one would be able to purchase any item online and have it recreated at home after only a slight delay. Another theorized use is in the music industry, where a label won’t have to fear endless copies of its music are out and about as the printer destroys the original leaving only the duplicate.
See video of Scotty in action below: