Some interesting things that have happened lately with 3d printing...
Stratasys purchased Makerbot, They are owning a big part of the market now, They also have 1000's of patents from what I have read.
Patents on things like how plastic parts will be cooled in a closed printing environment, how hotends works for FFF style printers, heated beds, patents galore, its crazy how they can patent so many things
All the big name printing companies like cannon, hp, have been wanting/waiting to get into the market and working on designs..
Stratasys sues Afinia oven patent breaches, Why Afinia when many other companies are already making the same thing?
I believe it is to mark their territory before the other big companies get on board.
Stratasys reminds me of Apple.
Trying to patent the rounded edges on phones ..
Markerbot/stratasys are now selling $6500 consumer grade printers, no doubt they are great, But most of the ideas look like they have came from the reprap project..
So for now until the standard of printing changes to lasers hardening materials or printing at the atomic level or something crazy, the repraps are the best way to go for fused filament fabrication, printing plastics..
The cool features of the new hi end makerbot model,
Larger build volume
Inbuilt Camera on all models that automatically captures video and photo of prints, share it on the cloud
Easy to change hotend/extruder.
Increased connectivity, Wifi, Internet, Mobile apps
Check out their beast