Yes, but not always. A good amount of Bionicle fans know someone with a 3d printer who would gladly do a couple prints for them, for little or nothing in return.
Well, yeah. That's the reality of the situation. For this question - which asks that there be some level of universal access to 3d printers - the short answer is those who can, well, can, and those who can't, can't - virus or otherwise.
And who are you referring to, exactly? Who exactly are you alluding to, who could get their hands on the Chrome Hau if there's an extra three months wait?
There is one. It's possible TTV is setting a time limit close to two months for building to occur, and maybe an extra two in between contests. If this is kept to, the amount of time for these contests, at a minimum, three years and nine months.
Now if the deadline is given a couple extra months and stuck to, the contests will take six years and three months. Honestly, I don't think anyone will stick around for six years just to participate.
Will they definitely do this? I don't know. It seems like a good idea to give a two-month timegap at minimum in between contests, but depending on how long the building period is, it could take a while.
Expensive? Not always. Some people could get theirs for free, other might not. Only a few would pay expensive amounts for a mask - and the model has to be free. It's right there in the rules:
And for those that do not yet exist:
It's possible - not explicitly stated, but possible - that TTV might allow you to use others' original models for their entry if they give permission. @Eljay will need to clarify on that, and it's also the only question I have thus far.
This is a bit of a strawman. I'm not arguing or implying any of that, what I'm saying is that a perfect world will never exist. People will never have exactly equal free time, the same amount of pieces as everyone else, or the same type of pieces. I've got a prototype piece and it's a one of a kind; I hold an unfair advantage to everyone else and yet it's an official LEGO product.
Will some people win with four, simply because they're 3d printed? No. If any of them are a factor, it will be the only one of its kind - the mask. The weapon will do extremely little.
Then you've set yourself a double standard. BZPower's mocing competitions, as you praise, also used the exact same logic I'm using. Some people have more time, parts, money (and for the longest time Birds as well) and those all impact your ability to win. It isn't 100% about skill, it's based on your inventory, knowledge of design, availability to sit down and build, and that leaves some people disadvantaged, no matter how long you give people.
So if you're going to argue against 3d pieces using that argument, you might as well argue against the whole concept. Including 3d printed pieces only follows the logic of the contest in the first place - barring canon implications - and no matter how you try, it will never be fair.