Well, now MIT has said it. 3D printing is not exactly going to take over the world. Several important issues (quality, speed, development or setup time) are raised here. And I think there are others.
4 Reasons Why 3D Printing is Still a Niche Application | Supply Chain @ MIT.
So I wonder if the maker labs people have really thought this stuff through. What they’re doing reminds me of shop class in high school– we put some folks together and let them make stuff. But we don’t know whether anyone wants them, and often no one does. So the yield of products, jobs, economic value might not be large.
Perhaps they should spend more time with design thinking and less with building stuff. What is the problem, who has this problem, and what would solve it for them?