bigbluesaw.com (or similar places) are a more practical alternative. The common 3D printers on the market today are slow, expensive (both to buy and operate) and generally output very low quality components from a finished-goods perspective. Years ago when doing home automation I had some custom mounts and things manufactured based on designs I did. Of course there were no 3D printers then, but even if there were it still would not have made sense. I also did some custom front bezels for a server/appliance at another startup and had those milled by a local guy. They would have been too big for any consumer-grade 3D printer and the resulting component would take too mich finish work to really look presentable. IMO, the next revolution in 3D printing would be more services (either local or just online like Big Blue Saw) where you can send a design and have it manufactured relatively quick and cheap. This also requires people to learn more about 3D CAD, which isn't just super-easy to learn on the fly. Autodesk is making some pushes into this space with things like 123D: Tinkercad | From mind to design in minutes
and related services. For the average guy though, the learning curve is still too steep and expensive just to make some small plastic widget.
This kickstarter project looks pretty interesting - FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer by Formlabs — Kickstarter
Is $2500 'affordable' for 3D printers? Could this actually produce any real components for custom integration?
Click, print, shoot: Guns made on 3D printers | Fox News
There was a lot of controversy last week about this Gun Stock that was "open source" for 3D printers. I am not sure what you would use a modeling printer for in surveillance other than making housings for cameras. Maybe you could make hyper realistic pole cameras.
IPVMU Certified | 01/05/13 12:53am
I recently heard from an integrator who used a 3D printer to produce 'custom' trim pieces for card readers for a series of high-end executive suites. The customer was very sensitive to appearance, and requested the card readers to be framed by border molding and finials that matched the woodwork in the rooms. Someone had access to a printer through a Vo-Tech, and was able to make a custom designed set of 6 plates more cheaply than it would take to special order through a mill. The plastic was painted to match trim, so it worked out well.
I think it could be neat for an integrator who needs to make custom parts/mounts/accessories.
If you were to use the Mobotix M15D with an 82 degree lense on a 25' high wall, at the near edge looking straight down, your field of view would spread out from a width of just under 40' at the base of the wall. This would work best with a custom angled ring mount looking down with boresight 50 degrees below horizontal or so. I suppose you could build up almost that same angle by aggregating four of Mobotix' 15-degree mounting rings, but a custom mount might be more stable and reliable. It could also improve the already low profile of these units by more closely emulating building exterior trim and finish near the mounting point.
Higher zoom LPR options should also be easier by planning the installation before hand and printing a custom mount.
At present print speeds, it's not terribly likely that you'd print your custom mounts on the job. You'd need to plan and print prior to the installation.
If you were a Mobotix installer, tube mounts of different lengths and presentation angles should be variations on a theme. Now if only the 3D camera planning tool could work directly with RipRap...