As I understand it:
DAZ and the PAs spend a LOT of time developing content. They don’t want this content distributed freely in the public domain. This is entirely understandable. By allowing the mesh files to be distributed to 3D print services, there is the VERY slight risk that these services could accidentally allow the files to be re-distributed. Slight risk is still risk, hence the reason for a 3D print license. Also, there may be some paranoia that the mesh files could be extracted from the printed 3D models. I believe that it would be difficult to extract mesh files for several reasons, such as understanding what a 3D printer can do and the modifications that are required to produce a printable mesh.
Hobby 3D printers such as Makerbot, PrintRBot, Solidoodle, etc offer layer thicknesses of 0.1mm. While people may think that is a very thin layer, it is actually pretty thick.
Top quality commercial 3D printers (starting around $80K and going up from there) can provide layer thicknesses of 0.016mm. At that level, details such as eyelashes can be seen on the models.
So, hobby printers lack the accuracy and detail level to produce a high quality model, and even the top quality commercial 3D printers have layer thicknesses that would be too thick to provide an optimal scan. Keep in mind that a scanner capable of providing 0.001mm accuracy would cost over $50K.
And then, there are the mesh changes that are required to produce a good model. When preparing a DAZ model for 3D printing, there will be several errors created. These errors will need to be corrected. Correcting errors will alter the mesh so that it is no longer the same mesh as originally designed.
This means that there should be no concerns over 3D models being scanned and having the mesh reverse engineered, it would be easier to create a new mesh from scratch.
It should also be noted that the bulk of DAZ content is not appropriate for 3D printing. That is to say, the models are not designed for 3D printing. There will be errors. Lots of errors. Errors that can’t be easily or quickly repaired. Most hair, much of the clothing and virtually all of the props are not suitable for 3D printing.
What works? Nude, bald models, cartoon hair (usually), tight pants, shorts, shirts, flat shoes. And by “works” I mean you only have 1,000 to 30,000 errors to deal with.
So, while I really want to see availability of licencing for 3D printable models, it is understandable why DAZ has not posted any pricing yet. As one PA told me, “This is a niche market of a niche market”. Trying to get all the PAs on board for this, and trying to develop a unified pricing level would take a long time.
I could see a hobby license @ $100 (for the production of up to 500 models), a small biz license for $500 (production of up to 5000 models) and a big biz license for $2500 (unlimited production).
I imagine that when license types and pricing is posted, there will be a lot of initial interest. I know I will be interested in seeing postings of what the resulting models look like.