Learning CAD to do inexpensive, independent 3D printing is becoming the new “learning word processing to do desktop publishing,” and it’s happening fast.
I think we’re currently in the “crappy dot matrix printer, paper with tear-off holes, monospaced fonts and abysmal clip art” stage of the 3D printing industry.
Or, for people starting to think about the possibilities, for whom experimenting with it isn’t prohibitively expensive anymore, the “well, it isn’t pretty, but I made it myself and I’m proud!” stage.
Eventually, that will give way to the “wow, there’s demand for this? I see problems I can solve because I’ve been here long enough to notice it — I’m a pro at this!” stage, which will coincide with the "wow, it's that easy to get an object printed?" stage on the consumer side.
As with the beginning of the personal computer, word processing, and desktop publishing, this means a lot more opportunities are about to come over the horizon, for the people who can figure out how to make the most of this.