An attempt to pull together some of the constraints and drivers for the workplace of the future...
HP labs researchers have been doing some interesting work working Glass as a medium for 3D printing. Although not quite the same as having a print and your done method like plastic, it does have a number of advantages. The article has some good examples of the variables and capabilities of the current research.
The article also included a good, short summary of why 3D printing is of such interest:
“Traditional assembly line manufacturing is speculative, costly and environmentally unsustainable. It is speculative because it commits substantial resources-energy, materials, shipping, handling, stocking and displaying-without a guaranteed sale. It is costly because each of these resources-material, process, people and place-involves expense not encountered when a product is manufactured at the time of sale. It is environmentally unsustainable because, no matter how much recycling is done, not using the resources unless actually needed is always a better path. Three-dimensional printing is currently of great commercial interest as it can be employed to manufacture parts on-demand economically and without the significant cost & environmental downsides, i.e. inventory and waste, associated with traditional manufacturing processes."