What we are looking at here may well be the future of models. If so, the future is going to be PRETTY FREAKING AWESOME! As this functioning 3D-printed Toyota engine/transmission demonstrates, the precision available from the technology is already astounding, and its getting better by the day! Just imagine the possibilities for micro-specialized runs of pretty much any model you could dream up. As long as someone had the time and skill to render the CAD drawings, manufacture would be scarcely more than the push of a button.
The initial applications would probably be limited to internal components–say, a single body-style still crafted in the traditional diecast way, but with multiple powertrain, interior or wheel options–offered and 3D-printed on demand. (Want a ’67 Camaro SS with an AC-equipped L48 350 and three-on-the-tree? No problem!) But eventually it will get precise enough to do bodies, and from there the sky is the limit. Its a good time to be alive!