Well, as a sculptor I usually don't make more than one part but recently (past 10 years) I have been using the same characters in more than one of my assemblage sculpture. For example, I have been using the Laurel & Hardy characters from the 1/18 Gates Jeeps. I am accumulating a number of Unmanned 1/18 jeeps this way. Don't know what to do with the empty jeeps, yet, but who knows? I also have a bunch of the 1/32 Laurel and Hardy Gates Jeeps. Haven't put them in anything yet.
But, to get to 3D printing, this saves me from buying a scanner to scan the characters so I can reproduce them in 3D. Not needing a scanner and a printer saves me tons of money, by the way.
So I am still a little old craftsman/sculptor whittling away in my little industrial complex (that is camouflaged to look like a humble cottage) in the Black Forest. Just me and Snow White and the 7 dwarfs (sorry, little people) and she makes coffee and cleans up after me and a few other little chores.
So, as much as I really like the latest technology I have no intention of getting in over my hear financially to make sculpture that I can do by hand at almost no cost.
When I can get a good scanner for about a Grand ($1,000 in Chicago talk) I will get a 3D printer for about half that and then I can make assemblages that have multiple pieces in them. Is it worth it money-wise? No, it is still less expensive to simply purchase what i need in terms of figures and the like.
But people like me love to have the latest gizmos. My buddy just bought himself a CNC machine. Oh we old geezers do have fun with our toys.
Besides, using ready made parts in my assemblages means I can peruse garage sales and flea markets and find tables full of comic characters to buy at low cost and use in my work. Some guys get their exercise walking around on a golf course, swatting a poor inoffensive little ball all over the place until it finally hides in a hole in the ground. Well wandering through a local flea market that occupies an 8 acre field for the purpose of buying what I like for mere pennies on the dollar to put into my sculpture is my idea of exercise.
If I need an original character I can carve my own, I am a sculptor after all.
So I will sit on the sideline and observe what advancements are being made in 3D technology. Popcorn anybody?