A full explanation of what 3D printing is can be found on Wikipedia Here.
This project is all about using one 3D printer to help build another (better) 3D printer!
We used a Makerbot which was donated to the Hackerspace, a ReStrap belonging to Peter Rogers and another 3D Printer belonging to John Boshua to build many of the parts for the RepRap Prusa Mendel 3D printer for the HackerSpace.
Thanks to the very kind Michael Joffe, for the regular loan of his Makerbot Cupcake CNC printer, which was used to print all manner of plastic objects and parts. This printer is now being modified to make it much more like a Thing-o-matic.
CCHS is also a meeting place for members of the Melbourne RepRap User Group. Some of these people will be hoping to use the CCHS Mendel to print their own parts, or will be able to print parts for the CCHS Mendel/other MRUG members.
This is a question that comes up on the CCHS mailing list from time to time. The answers change over time as the 3d printing scene evolves, and also depend on what you want from your printer.
Reading this thread may give you some answers: