“Beam me up, Scotty!” Back in the 1960s, in the vast expanses of Star Trek, matter was already being “beamed” across the universe to and from the starship Enterprise and reassembled into its original state on reaching its destination. Even the protagonists of this space opera had themselves seemingly magically teleported from one place to another. Some viewers believe that the main reason why the producers of Star Trek invented "beaming" as a method of space travel is that over 50 years ago it would supposedly have been too expensive and troublesome to film scenes in which the Enterprise landed or took off from other planets.
But while scientists continue to debate whether such a teleportation system could ever be created, technologies already exist that might make a layperson think of Star Trek’s beams. One of these technologies is additive manufacturing, which long ago stopped being science fiction or a vision of the far future.