As an admitted techno-luster, I've been following the trend of 3D printing with intense interest, particularly as prices continue to drop from previously stratospheric levels. Gizmag reports that Solidoodle 2 has broken the $500 barrier--which puts it right in line with that sweet spot for home/hobbyist use. With that said, the output does look far rougher (particularly texture-wise) than I've seen from the more expensive units (which are double or more in price, though), but I'm sure that will improve over time.
Personally, I think many of us will have these in our homes within five years, particularly as various manufacturers start to see an uptake in ownership. If you really think about it, if you have the right machine, you can manufacture your own replacement parts for small parts/items - say for a dishwasher or other appliance, as just one example - that would take too long to ship or might be too niche to find in a local store. Obviously, we have a long way to go for this home-based nirvana, but this is definitely the next big/coming thing, potentially equivalent to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s (and hopefully not the still-born personal robot revolution of the 1980s). There are even more expensive units that can output objects with moving parts, which clearly would make things even more interesting. So, what do you guys think of all this? Certainly at the moment this is a somewhat limited solid toy/object maker, but the overall potential seems pretty clear.