Very interesting thread! Funny thought I had the other day:
I just bought a house that is a bit older and more accommodating of outdoorsy decor than my old place. I wanted to get a carved wooden sea kayak to put over my fireplace, but I soon realized that they were a bit difficult to come by. (Also, if you're not familiar with real wooden kayaks, they are extremely beautiful: http://laughingloon.com/
). I started looking into the proper tools and skills I'd need to acquire for carving and staining my own wooden kayak model. As someone who sadly doesn't work with wood a whole lot, it was a bit daunting.
Then I had a thought: it would be really cool to have a model of the boats I currently own, and since they're made of plastic in real life, why not just get a 3D printer and some CAD software and print connectable sections that I can hand-finish? (Clearly this is getting away from mantle-piece territory and into moonshot brainstorming). At that point, a 3D-printed Adventure Island model seemed within the realm of possibility. I'm a software engineer, so naturally that means I'm automatically good at anything to do with computers (not really... CAD software is a beast). Print several pieces, connect them together, add some black string, a vinyl sail, etc... Maybe paint the body afterwards to give it a smoother surface and vibrant color.
Fast-forward, and I've settled on a 3D printer and trying to calculate how many custom kayak models I can sell to people in order to pay off the price of the printer.
I'm also considering the ramifications of the Hobie vs bicx lawsuit after selling scaled models of their boats.
This is a typical evening for me. It will probably never happen, but I'm still tinkering with the idea. A custom 3D-printed model of my AI on my desk (maybe not on my mantle) would be pretty sweet.