I was reading the Bim&Beam blog (nothing on my blog to read anyway) and noticed some discussion on STL (sterolithography) and 3D printing of models. So I rounded up some pics of stuff I had made and sent it off to the BB boys. Well they liked it enough they posted them which is cool. http://bimandbeam.typepad.com/bim_beam/2008/05/3d-printing-exa.html
Now as for my thoughts on this topic, there are a few methods out there and if you go down that road you need to run some tests. You need to know if your structure type #1) can support itself with whatever material you are using, and #2) can support other things as well. Both of these issues should be paired with the size of the members you are modeling. If your incoming member is thinnly walled the shape itself will have trouble keeping its strength.
Until these systems can actually do metal, one has to embellish the shapes to get them to work. Therein lies the rub, if you fake it to make it work - does it still have value as model?