Interesting post on JIN SAOTOME'S DANGEROUS BLOG! where John Mallamas describes his state of anticipation of the arrival of practical 3D printers. He's a "self taught action figure/toy customizer" who saw a sample printed object and realized the potential for his efforts.
Interestingly, he predicts a scenario similar to one we've espoused:
What does this mean for us in the near future? If you can scan it, get the data for it, you can make the part(s) with a 3D printer. Imagine wanting some GI Joe weapon. You'll pay $3 or something for the data file and hit 'print'. A few minutes later the plastic weapon pops out of the hopper. Scan your face, select 1:6th scale, hit print. You now have a head for your Hot Toys True Type body. The possibilities will be endless.
One thing we disagree with:
Gone will be the days of sculptors, it will be programmers.
Nope, the sculptors will be the programmers!