3D Printing The One-Of-A-Kind: New 3D-Printing "Teleporter" Destroys And Redeploys

It's kind of like teleportation...except a little more destructive.

According to rawstory.com, scientists have discovered a way to use "destructive scanning" and 3D printing to make objects rematerialize someplace else.  The process involves milling down (shaving away layers of) an inanimate object so that a 3D printer can make a scan of each layer.  Then, the printer sends the imagery from each scanned layer over an encrypted connection to another 3D printer.  The second printer then reconstitutes the item.

Slash it up, then beam it up, Scotty!
(Image courtesy 3Dprint.com.)

The device is powered by a regular 3D printer, 3-axis milling machine, camera, and encryption microcontroller, 3Dprint.com reports.  A Raspberry Pi provides the brains, while an Arduino works the milling.

The system, called "Scotty" in homage to Enterprise engineer from "Star Trek", is considered useful in its destructive protocol, due to the fact that it enables security by only allowing one copy of an object to exist at any given point.  This could be important for future online vendors who can assure that once purchased, only one copy of an item will be available to the client.

It'll make 3D-printed art forgery a pretty bad idea.
(Image courtesy independent.co.uk.)

The encryption elements being developed for Scotty will hopefully combat homemade mass-production, ensuring the scanned files are difficult or impossible to pirate.  Copying your newest set of 3D printed flatware won't be as easy as copying a CD.

While it'll still be some time before full-scale teleportation comes into public use, it's somewhat comforting to know that even if we can replicate complex items via 3D printing, they still can't always match the originals.

Some one-of-a-kind items should remain so, in their original form.
(Image courtesy replicatorinc.com.)

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