Very Cool! A quick search looks like the Printers start about $2,000.00- $3,000.00 upwards of $8,000.00- $10,000.00.
Fast forward a few years.
Prices are dropping!
You can now buy a 3d printer from Dremel for $1000https://3dprinter.dremel.com/
I was really surprised to see Dremel in the 3D printer business.
For a little more money you can get a Makerbot.http://store.makerbot.com/replicator-mini
A few others 3d printers on Amazon are now less then $1000
Still a little out of my price range, but I can see myself buying one down the road if they get cheaper.
First I need to learn more about getting my idea's on the screen and ready for printing. I have given up on http://www.123dapp.com/design
as it always needs a internet connection. A lot of times I'm trying to draw simple things it slows to a crawl. It would be fun to play around with the full version of AutoCAD but it's simply to costly for me.
I started researching 3D printing software again a few weeks ago and come across http://www.sketchup.com/
I remember playing around with SketchUp a few years ago when it was owned by Google. About three years ago Google sold it to http://www.trimble.com/
Now I don't have to worry about putting so much time into learning SketchUp only to have google drop it down the road like they have with some of there other products.
One of the best parts of learning to use SketchUp is they have a free version for guys like me that just want to learn how to use it for more or less as a hobby. Even the SketchUp Pro version at $695 is not out of reach unlike AutoCAD that cost thousands for a subscription! Why do so many software companies seem to be going the subscription route?
Been working my way through 3D Printing with SketchUp
along with many other online resources for learning SketchUp and 3d printing.
The guys on the SketchUp forum have been one of my best resources ever! http://forums.sketchup.com/
I was looking at some of the places you can send your designs to for printing and I was surprised how cheap some things are to print.https://www.shapeways.com/
and another http://www.thingiverse.com/
So that's what I have been doing with my free time in the evening for the last few weeks.
Maybe some day in the future there will not be so many NLA parts as you will be able to simply print your own.