My father brought an interesting article to my attention that I think highlights great potential for modeling in the future. Printers that create objects in 3D using plastic are starting to catch on and could be a great asset for hobbyists like you and me, that is, assuming we have the money to throw around.
Since these printers are genuinely capable of printing just about anything using plastic as a medium I shouldn't have to tell you the significance of the possibilities here...
Once these machines become slightly more affordable, it is only a matter of time before they become more prevalent in household workshops, allowing you to print any number of kit parts in hours if not minutes. Broken or lost pieces would not have to wait long for replacement. Casting parts could become a thing of the past. It would truly be the next best thing since decal printing paper. Even the model manufacturers themselves could benefit from more accurate scales and faster production.
The article points out nine different ways the 3D printer will change the future. The effects on the hobby industry is really the only matter I was concerned with, but the article is still an interesting read. The technology is still young and the price is still high. But once demand rises and companies compete for our affection, the price will go down. It is certainly on my Christmas wishlist. Christmas 2023 that is.
Take a look at the prices listed here:
Brands and Prices for 3D Printers
Not cheap, but soon you'll be able to pick one up used on Craig's List at a bargain price I'm sure.
For a good look at their current capabilities, take a look at this: