It will be interesting to see what happens down the road for these printers as the price of the hardware and material drop. If this became an inexpensive consumer product, I could see it being used as a product delivery method for non-technical items. Just purchase a "use-once" file, download it and out comes your new coffee mug. Or, for that matter, "some assembly required" may include purchasng electronc hardware and inserting in into a infinitely customizable print - drastically reducing shipping costs.
@Rick: Your point about the mess and clean up is one that I think many of us overlook in the excitement of seeing these printers get more accessible. That is one area that can be problematic with traditional units and why many are relegated more to the shop floor, not the office. In order for these to take off in the home, the post-printing processes definitely need to be refined so they don't make a mess
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.