Okay, so you've got a printer at home.It's probably colour, and maybe it has a scanner built in, but I bet it doesn't print 3D models. Yes, I said 3D models.
3D printers are my new favourite things - through a process of squirting and layering they are capable of making three dimensional models from a computer design but unfortunately at $3000 for the cheapest models, they are just a squeak out of my price range.
Print company Sculpteo had the good idea of buying one and then taking commissions from people to print their work for them. Send them a computer file of your three dimensional design and they'll "print" it out and mail it back to you. Based in France, they cater for European customers and as of today, for any in the USA.
So you'll need 3D imaging software to make the model, and of course, you can't just design a house or a Harrier Jump Jet, there are size restrictions: between 2and 10 inches. But otherwise, cute idea right?
Sculpteo also point out though that you can get some free 3D imaging software online...
"Google provides a free, easy to use application called Google Sketchup. This tool allows you to design everything you want in 3D, through an intuitive interface, and offers free 3D models for download."
Sounds good eh?
Prices depend on various factors:
"Our price is based on your choice of material, monochrome or colour printing, and object size & shape. It is calculated automatically once you have selected your printing parameters, before confirmation of your order. A quantity discount applies based on the volume of the object. You can increase or lower the final price by adjusting each of these 3 factors."
See more on Sculpteo.com