Aye, Scotty would be proud. The Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany has devised a CG teleporting system that they've called Scotty, after everyone's favorite Star Trek engineer. A six-member team has created a process that enables small objects to be scanned on one end of the system, a layer at a time, as a grating machine slowly but steadily destroys it, the idea being that layering permits a full exploration of the object, including cavities. A second machine in turn receives a full and encrypted digitally transferred replica and it reconstructs the object with a 3D printer.

"The Scotty system is made up of two MakerBot Replicator 3D printers that does the main job while the 3-axis milling machine then effectively cuts through the item being transferred," the TechTimes.com site explained in a recent story. "The micro-controller and camera that encodes and decodes information complete the job of recreating or, in a sense, transporting the object to the designated location. The device is made easy enough for use; just place the chosen object into the sender section in your end, specify the receiving unit to whom or where you want to send it and then press the button for teleporting."

The technology isn't quite at Star Trek levels yet, of course. The original objects used in the process can be ruined. And real world applications are far from numerous. But everything has to start somewhere, right?

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