If you were looking for confirmation that 3D printing -- sometimes used synonymously with rapid prototyping -- is here to stay, here's further evidence:
NYU now offers a course on the topic that results in students receiving a certificate.
According to the university's course description:
Rapid Prototyping is a certificate geared to familiarize students with digital tools and techniques relevant to the task of visualizing and prototyping 3D designs. Focusing on products and sculpture as the primary area of application, students will be taken through a series of hands-on class exercises supported with specialized video tutorials in order to become comfortable with the process of realizing their designs digitally.
Upon completion of the course, students will know how to take a concept and execute it into a successful 3D model using tools like Maxon's Cinema 4D, Autodesk's Mudbox, and Pixelogic's ZBrush software. At the end of the class, students will create professional 3D product visualizations and physical prototype models of their designs created with a 3D printer.
Some further investigation shows NYU as a pioneer in this field. A quick search showed that a few other reputable colleges offer similar courses. Clearly, 3D printing, and the expertise that's required to make it successful, are making inroads into the design engineering community.