The School of Media Arts at The University of Montana purchased a Thing-o-Matic 3D printer kit in the Fall of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be the one who put most of it together and also got to bring the working printer home over winter break for optimization, testing, and lots of printing.
I was hooked, so at the end of February I bought my own printer, a RepRap Prusa Mendel from Lulzbot. So far I've been very impressed with what it can do.
It's been a blast, I've learned a ton, and I've printed a lot of cool stuff. Some I designed, some I downloaded from thingiverse.com. I've also brought the Thing-o-Matic into my 3D class and have really enjoyed watching my students make things with their fledgling modeling skills. More recently, I enjoyed presenting the printers to state higher education professionals at the XLi conference at The University of Montana, and have two more 3D printing presentations forthcoming later this spring. We even got a write-up in the Missoulian newspaper. Who knew, when that box of Thing-o-Matic parts showed up, how much fun I'd be having now?
Now I'm looking into 3D scanning technologies to pair with our printers.
My page on the Thingiverse is here. Three of my designs have been featured on the Thingiverse front page, and my Fat Bunbun model took First Runner Up in a recent modeling contest. Below are two slideshows with pictures of some successful prints. The first group are pictures of my new Prusa Mendel printer and its output. The second are images of prints from the School of Media Arts' MakerBot Thing-o-Matic.