in the world of Transmetropolitan
that, well... makes. It can make anything, from food
to random household objects
. However, to make such things, the maker needs the proper code
s so that it knows how to make it.
Makers are powered by a base block, which "contains superdense neutral matter suspended in a drift vise." Makers are also capable of fuel conversion, in other words they have the power to convert garbage and other unwanted material. In The City, one often sees the underprivileged scrounging for trash, before the streets get cleaned.
As far as legality goes, Makers have software locks to prevent illegal things from being created, such as disassemblers which can break anything down at an atomic level, reducing anyone who gets caught in the tide of nanomachines to a pile of goop. However, there are always things that have not yet been declared illegal, a loophole which Spider Jerusalem loves to take advantage of.
For the most part, aside from Issue #1, we don't see Spider and his assistants use their Maker (a Godti 101 model) for anything other than potato schnapps (chilled or frozen) or coffee (Arabica, Colombian, etc). The group is plagued by their machine's addiction to drugs, as Spider finds out multiple times that his Maker has created hallucinogen simulators, which summarily get removed in a hostile fashion.
Makers are seen in various shapes and sizes. In issue #56, student protestors slap stickers of the Transient movement logo onto the shields and helmets of riot police. These were created using handheld MiniMakers. In The City, it is not uncommon to have complimentary makers in posh locations, such as hotels.