I have written this article for many of those would be hobbyists that lack a 3d printer. Below I will cover several options for one without a 3D printer who is still interested in 3D printing. Keep in mind that if you really enjoy 3D printing having your own printer is no doubt the best option. Please read below for my list of alternatives:
Option 1 (3D Hubs):
If you haven't already heard about them 3D Hubs is a wide network that connects would-be makers to people who can do the printing. The network takes its cut from the people who make the prints. The downside to this is unless you live in urban area there are not to many places like these nearby, however some of these printers can do shipping. Another problem experienced with them is that the individuals can set their own prices. I have never used 3D Hubs before! If you have a good experience with them please comment below.
Option 2 (Libraries):
Each library does it differently, but usually they function much like how internet services like I.materialise and Shapeways work, except with lower quality, prices, and options. I have had good experience with my library system and how they have managed 3D prints in the past. If you like your library system it doesn't hurt to support them. Plus some are very low cost. (Mine does 5 cents a gram.) Note: Not all library systems have 3D printers for public use, but it is still worth checking out. ;)
Option 3 (Shapeways & other internet services):
The last and probably most expensive option is Shapeways, I.materialise, or some service like them. I have seen some of Shapeways work first hand and it was amazing! I don't think any desktop 3D printer could ever come close to the resolution of a 3D print by Shapeways, or if it did it would cost like 8000 dollars or something. Anyway if you want something high quality choose one of these services here.
I hope this compiled list gives you hope about your future in 3D printing and if you have a question feel free to leave a comment below. Also don't forget like, share, and subscribe! Thank you and have a good day! ;)Tweet