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Let's assume a caster able to cast the spell Major Creation. What he is trying to do is exploit this to be able to avoid having to pay for certain things. As explained in this question, what is produced by Major Creation can't be used as a material component to cast a spell, but can it be used to...

  • craft a manufactured item? Does the item disappear when the created materials vanish?
  • craft magic items? Does the magic vanish with the materials?
  • craft constructs?
  • craft a one-use magic item, like an ability enhancement tome and use it before it vanishes?
  • use it in experiments to create a new spell to reduce its cost?
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craft a manufactured item? Does the item disappear when the created materials vanish?

Yes, you could, but yes it would disapear once the spell duration is gone. So it mostly won't last long enough for you to actually craft the item, unless it is either vegetal or mineral matter. By RAW, you can't even use the Fabricate spell to increase it's durability, because the spell has a original material as a material component.

craft magic items? Does the magic vanish with the materials?

The costs to create magical items says:

Cost: This is the cost in gold pieces to create the item. Generally this cost is equal to half the price of an item, but additional material components might increase this number. the cost to create includes the costs derived from the base cost plus the costs of the components.

So, we can see that magical item crafting also requires magical components, which cannot be replicated by the spells. And we don't know how much of it is magical in nature, so you are in GM's fiat territory here. We do know that some of it is magical.

Unless said magical item is not part of the magical ability cost, such as adamantine to create a +1 adamantine sword. The duration is prohibitive though, but creating a +1 Wooden Shield should be last enough for a single day of use, though thats a waste of the (magical) material components (500 gp in this case).

craft constructs?

You could probbaly use the spell to create the raw material to craft a homunculus, but that would only save you 50gp at most, and unnecessarily reduce it's usefulness. Otherwise, it follows the same rules for magical creation (see above).

craft a one-use magic item, like an ability enhancement tome and use it before it vanishes?

There is no difference between a permanent magic item or a one-use magic item, other than their relative cost and usefulness.

use it in experiments to create a new spell to reduce its cost?

In general, the costs of magical research are related to magical components, special inks or another rare ingredients. So you cannot do that either.

However, using the Downtime Rules, you could probably convince your GM to allow you to create Goods using those spells, which could be used on your research on a daily basis.

Assuming this is done by a wizard/sorcerer of at least 15th level (or cleric with the necessary domains), your best bet to create actual permanent materials would be casting a Wall of Iron (or a similar spell), then transmute it using Polymorph Any Object. Both spells are either instantaneous or can become permanent, so you are actually creating matter from nothing, and neither spells has a restriction on the use of this matter.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This raises an obvious possibility: the creation of bulk quantities of consumable material, particularly fuel. This would be very useful in any medieval economy (for cooking, production of cement, lime burning, production of ceramics and so on), and doubly so in a setting with early industrial tech for converting heat into motion (steam engines). If the waste matter of the material (i.e. ash) disappears when the spell expires, it would even take care of waste disposal! \$\endgroup\$ – Hydrargyrum Jun 8 '16 at 6:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell is great to produce wood and coal, for instance. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jun 8 '16 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ One wonders if magically created food that disappears after a few hours would be fattening. How about diet feasting, on the cheap compared to farming and hunting, for major celebrations? \$\endgroup\$ – Hydrargyrum Jun 8 '16 at 14:18

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