We do go on about the possibilities of downloadable designs, where you can pick the best from around the world and get it printed up at some form of 3D Kinko that might some day be in every neighbourhood.
Perhaps that vision isn't wild enough; the Ponoko blog notes that the desktop publishing revolution was born when the Apple LaserWriter was released in 1985 for $6995. Now Desktop Factory is launching a 3D printer that isn't much bigger than that laser printer, and at $5,000 in 2008 dollars a whole lot cheaper.
While we are not at the state where we can print out our chairs or cutlery yet, it is coming. I don't know how a designer could live without one of these. Ponoko
Read our website about downloadable designs
and more in TreeHugger:
Downloadable Designs: Turn Your Phone into a Scanner
3Fold Desk From Formtank
Ponoko ID: If You Can Think Of It, They Can Design and Make It
Reduced Carbon Footprint Souvenirs: A Whole New Way to Give Gifts
Google Earth+CNC=Fluid Earth
Don't Be a Flat-Pack Statistic: Follow the Directions!
Downloading Designs: Build Your Own 3D Printer
TreeHugger Picks: Downloading Design
Bruce Sterling on Downloadable Designs