It has never been easier to go from a design in your head to parts in your hand. The barriers to entry are low on the front end. There are all sorts of free and open source drawing, mesh editing, modeling or CAD applications. On the fabrication end of things, services like shapeways, and imaterialise continue to improve their delivery times, material options and prices.
One of the recent developments that deserves some attention is in metal 3D printing. imaterialise has offered parts in DMLS titanium for a while, but they've been pretty pricey. They have now significantly reduced the prices on Ti parts, and are now offering a trial with aluminum. Not to be left out, Shapeways has graduated SLM aluminum from its pilot program.
It's great to see such thriving competition in this space. I'm working on some models specifically for this metal powder-bed fusion technology. What will you print?