Along with NormL's thread on modeling his Atom, this is a great thread helping to flesh out the issues surrounding this rapidly progressing technology. It's following the general path I've seen with other computer-based technologies which eventually migrated to the home computer platform. I can remember the early days of Aldus Pagemaker and Photoshop, running them on 386 computers and sending the results out to service bureaus for output of acceptable quality. Even with today's powerful home computers, cheap data storage, commonly available photo art and drawings at little or no cost, and even high speed cloud (on line) computing, it's still advisable in many cases to use a service bureau for certain types of high quality output when the front end capital investment (for printers, materials, etc.) doesn't make sense or is simply unavailable.
In our world consider white or metallic colored decals. You may be able to create the original art on your home compuer, and even look at a proof by printing out in high resolution on your home inkjet or laser printer, a printer which may have cost you as little as $50.00. But you still have to go to someone who has a Micro-Dry or die sublimation printer (Alps, Oki, etc.) to get final output on decal stock. The cost of printers and supplies is prohibitive for the home hobbyist who may print 10-15 sheets of decals per year on the outside, and even fewer that actually require this technology. So, while making and printing decals is now a common part of our hobby, it still makes sense to job out parts of the process. And very importantly, cheap printing didn't destroy the aftermarket in decals or remove them from the inside of model kits.
Rapid Prototyping and 3D printing have evolved at breakneck speed. Home printing is a reality. High strength, high density print media are starting to be a reality. (Some F1 teams are now printing work parts in the pits during race meetings to mount and use on their cars immediately.) High resolution output is a reality. Over time all these key elements will continue to cheapen. The time it takes to process and print output will continue to shrink. But video game enthusiasts don't generally create their own game objects, any more than we car modelers make our own decals or mix our own paints.
The key issues to watch going forward are printer resolution at low prices, and the general availability of fused media technologies and high density print materials. For the hobbyist modeler cheap, fast printers, smooth surfaces for larger objects (bodies), accurate and finely detailed small objects and easily produced and/or readily available 3D drawings will be the pivot points that make the promise of this technology a reality. It will be at that point the Harry's vision will become something that we will add to our world, but not necessaily to the exclusion of the ways we do it now (purchasing complete kits and aftermarket parts).
Having said all this I gotta say, those Vector wheels are gorgeous!!!