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R package for visualizing data using a 3D printer

The r2stl function generates STL files. The command is:

r2stl(x, y, z, filename = '3d-R-object.stl', object.name = 'r2stl-object', 
      z.expand = FALSE, min.height = 0.008, show.persp = FALSE, 
      strict.stl = FALSE)

To view and test your STL files before you print them, you can use various programs. I have had good experiences with the free, open-source Meshlab, which even has iPhone and Android versions so you can let people interact with your data even when you’re in the pub. Even if all you ever do is show people your 3D plots using Meshlab, I believe r2stl() still offers a useful service, as it makes viewing data far more interactive than static persp() plots. To actually get your hands on a printer, you might try your local school - apparently lots of schools have got rapid prototypers these days.