In story after sci-fi story you have images of clones stepping out of some sort of gooey bathtub or cloudy coffin type device. Be they a single doppelganger or whole clone armies.
I am interested in all cloning scenarios as they may influence what I incorporate and how my story can be edited. Currently my scenario is a Interstellar Hospital Ship. Designed to get to planets/space-stations during emergencies that are not equipped for large disasters/conflict etc.
It would settle into orbit around planet or dock with space-station and provide medical relief. It would be designed to deal with large numbers and varieties of patients and medical issues. Most patients would be treated with 'normal' technology and returned back to their wherever they came from, Some would undergo lengthy procedures onboard and some would be shipped back to more centralised systems and undergo whatever lengthy medical procedure is needed that the ship can't deal with. But in some cases this wouldn't be feasable. This is where cloning and a combination of other tech would come into play.
For whatever reason death is imminent and the individual/s are necessary for the survival of the colony/station etc and they can't wait for travel back to the central systems or longer medical techniques on-board the ship. Cloning would be a last resort solution. Numbers for cloning can range from a single individual to the entire colony. There could be renegade situations where the cloning tech is used to create a clone army! You know human nature; anything for an edge in conflict!
Consensus seems that you can't clone a person's brain as the neurons and brain chemistry etc goes down to the quantum physics scale. At best you would get a 'fuzzy copy'. Right now that is not the issue. Clarifiction: I don't need the clone to have any knowledge, memories or skills at the moment. Just a fully functioning body.
Consensus also seems to be that you can alter a person's DNA (we do it even today with genome therapy, though on a very small scale) but any changes would only be seen in future descendents.
MY QUESTION: How would your sufficiently advanced human/alien/other-worldly scientist grow a clone in a short timeframe of a day or so?
Taking into account energy requirements, and materials needed to make a healthy copy of your subject (we are essentially a very big and complex sandcastle of different minerals and stardust)?
Would you have a batch of pre-manufactured body blanks that could be 'dressed' with the genetic code of a subject? Give them some sort of energy boost to activate the DNA into action.
IMAGINE a larder full of blanks (at varying age development) hanging on conveyor belt like system.
Would you have to start from petri dish level and watch them develop though embryo, foetus, child, toddler, to the age of your subject in some sort of suspended animation sort device? (as Jay pointed out, this could be some sort of enhanced growth machine of your cloned material)
IMAGINE a room full of containers with lots of goo, with clones in varying age development
As Ghotir Suggested, you simply, print the clone using a very advanced 3D printer.
IMAGINE pretty much just watch 'The Fifth Element' cloning scene and ignore the dated graphics.
Which clone is more likely to be able to 'get up and go'?
Would you have to incorporate some sort of muscle strengthening/conditioning so they don't just collapse on the floor the moment they step out of their gooey bath/cloudy coffin shaped birthing chamber!
Note. I'm using the reality check tag to get some perspective on how totally insane a science fiction process can be while still sounding plausible to my ever-suffering, only mildly-bewildered reader! I'm also assuming this would have to take place some time in the far future. At least a couple hundred to thousand years.
EDITED to include some suggestions/reminders/clarifications from the comments and answers so far. Also included my story setting.