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  • Essentially identical concept as with the transporter
    • Tied together into a shared system (DS9 Novel: Mission Gamma: Cathedral)
  • Known as "shifters" among the systems near the Gamma Quadrant terminus of the Bajoran Wormhole (DS9 Novel: Rising Son)
  • Permanently-stored molecular-resolution patterns for devices to be replicated
    • One isolinear chip sufficient to store a pattern for a single meal (DS9 Novel: Gamma: Original Sin)
      • Suggests home units fairly limited in selection
      • Central server? Global network for trading recipes/etc?
  • Stored matter tank used as source material for materialization
    • Specific organic mix statistically similar to most food items available for food replication; other items require other base compounds of course (Reference: TNG Technical Manual)
      • Default dishes and other such items possibly organic plastic or polymer in home units to reduce base stock needs?
    • Replicators can dematerialize items to restock stored matter as needed
    • Matter streams directed on internal waveguides rather than open air transmission (DS9 Novel: Mission Gamma: Cathedral)
      • Increases efficiency and reduces overall error rate
  • Not developed within the Federation until the 24th century (VOY: "Flashback")
  • Limitations
    • Certain substances cannot be replicated
      • Latinum, dilithium, other exotic materials
        • Possibly due to hyper-molecular structure, fourth-dimensional configuration?
      • Living tissue unable to be replicated due to molecular-level resolution of stored patterns, materialization hardware (ENT Novel: Live by the Code)
      • Sufficiently complex organic molecules cannot always be properly reconstructed (TTN Novel: Taking Wing)
    • Home units locked from replicating certain dangerous devices by hardware safeties (DS9 Novel: Gamma: Original Sin)
      • Pharmaceuticals, weapons, illegal items, etc.