Just one other thing: Why the ability to print ships out in 3d? I just checked how much one of these 3D printers cost. It isn`t cheap by a long shot. Who, except some guy with more money than sense is going to spend that much on a 3D printer for a game? And how many gamers seriously own one of these things already?
Lots of public and university libraries are making 3D printing available to patrons, usually at pretty near cost of materials and operation. I've seen some models produced at the university library near me, things like a decent skull with some texture, that cost only around twenty bucks.
Of course, some ship designs call for a great deal of texture, which would run up print time. The shop I've seen bills for a combination of thread (think paper plus ink) used and print time.
My guess for the future of the market is that any widespread home units will be mainly for testing models using the cheapest input materials (and probably much slower printing times) while really good prints will be cheaper per unit through public/pay-per-print systems.
I played hundreds (tens of hundreds?) of hours of GC2 and never put much time into making my ship designs pretty. The 3D printing option might change my mind about that, though.