A replicator, also known as a matter replication terminal, is a widely used nanotechnological device employing nanites to fashion a wide variety of substances and items, ranging from everyday tools to exotic materials. However, the replicator can only create inanimate matter, which it has on file: therefore, the replicator cannot, for an example, create antimatter or living organisms of any shape or form.
The smallest of replicators are usually situated in various starships as main sources of food. There are, however, bigger industrial replicators used for the creation of various construction materials. Some attempts have been made by various races to create replicators capable of manufacturing starships, but these projects have been met with immense difficulties. To date, the food replicator remains the most popular of all the available replicators, despite claims of its' food tasting somehow bland and synthetic.
Current replicators are based on nanotechnology, where nanobots (also known as nanites) use various bulk materials to create the desired product. Some attempts have been made to utilize pure matter-energy transfer, but these are currently only in theoretical stage.