I wonder if such 3-D printing might be a functional, if not actual, forerunner of industrial replicators?
FYI, I did re-read the DITL entry on replicators before posting this. The following passage from the DITL entry is echoed in the 3-D printing article:
However, these replicator systems are limited in their abilities - the main such limit being the size of the object produced. For larger manufactured items, it is necessary to replicate smaller components and assemble them via traditional methods. Unfortunately the dream of the replicated skyscraper or starship remains a long way off!