3D printers are a boon to industrial designers, many of whom have been happily using ultra-expensive real-life Star Trek replicators for years now. Yeah, cool, good for them, but when the hell will I be able to print my own Army Men? Considering the recent announcement of Objet's Alaris30 3D desktop printer, my miniature plastic battle royale may not be as far off as I thought. The printer is no bigger than a regular printer/scanner combo, plugs into a regular power source, connects to any office network and ships with simple drivers and software that let your send CAD files to be produced from modelling plastic in dimensions up to 29 x 20 x 15 cm.
No price has been announced yet, but if Objet want to go mainstream with this thing they should probably take aim at the $US2400 DIY systems that are already floating around the tubes (update: Oh shucks, it's going to be about $US40,000). Full details are on Objet's site, and you can see an example of the printer's capabilities at BBG. [Objet]