For my study mechanical engineering I often use 3D software packages like Solidworks. Besides of mechanical engineering I like to print funny things and gadgets like bottle openers and cases for phones.
Because I wanted to see products for small projects at home and study projects become reality I decided to purchase a 3D printer, a Solidoodle 4. Very soon after using ABS I wanted to print exotic materials like Ninjaflex, so I modified my printer. Now Shapeways allows me to extend the use of very nice materials, which would be impossible for me to print at home with a low budget printer.
And other people can enjoy my designs as wel.