I believe the other company might have been Helisys which used the Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) rapid prototyping process. I have seen this process also and as stated below it has advantages and disadvantages (like every rapid prototyping process).
No doubt 3D printing is becomming very common these days but initially this tecnology was considered too expensive but after reading this post i am very excited to hear that a 3D printer can come within$1000 as well and that can be used very easily in house holds as well .This is really amazing .
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.