Me and my (nerdy) colleagues have been mesmerized by the whole MakerBot revolution that has enabled 3D printing and DIY laser cutting. The only caveat to our potential MakerBot nirvana is the price of admission. To buy even the least expensive 3D printer is well over $1000.00. This may not sound like a huge investment, but is significant, if you only want to make a few things.
AutoDesk Inc, the same folks who bring you AutoCad and Maya, have release a new way to make 3D models a reality. They call it 123D and they are offing not only the software to build what you want, but also the tools to turn those designs into actual built objects. They have apps designed to be used on your computer, phone or tablet. They have just released new software for the iPhone (123D Catch) that allows users to take pictures of an object and convert those images into a sculpted 3D object. You can then pay them a small fee to 3D-print it. They are also offering laser cutting. I only wished they offered various material. They only offer cardboard right now.
If you are a frustrated designer, or have been wanting to jump into the DIY 3D maker scene without the upfront costs, 123D is worth a look.