Originally Posted by aizan
replicators are supposed to be based on transporter technology, though. pattern buffers and all that.
In a way, yes. Transporters disassemble your component molecules in one location at precisely the same time as they reassemble them in another location -- relying heavily on theories within quantum physics. Whether or not they're possible sort of depends on your personal view of the Schroedinger's Cat paradox, to put it very simply and a bit reductively.
Anyhow, replicators are basically "half" transporters. They don't disassemble existing structures, but rather, assemble new structures based on component atoms and molecules available through some sort of feeder substance (a primordial stew of a sort). There has to be that feeder base of molecules available, due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy. Replicators don't actually create a cup of coffee out of nothingness; they create the coffee and the cup out of other molecules. They are basically molecular assemblers, or, in a sense, molecular printers.
Of the two technologies, it's silly to say that replicators are "based" on transporters, inasmuch as transporters are a far more complicated technology that would almost certainly come second in any sort of development timeline. If the show says replicators are based on transporters, that's what the show says. But it would never be the case in real life. Replicators rely on the technology we don't have but which is theoretically plausible. Transporters rely on technology we don't have and don't even know is possible -- at least not on anything larger than the quantum level.
Interestingly, it's actually possible to "transport" quantum particles in today's world using today's technology. There's quite a massive leap from doing that to transporting a living creature, however, and assuming the creature will still be alive on the other end of the transportation.