Apparently Pixar used a 3D Printer to create models of the movie characters in Toy Story 3. Check this video where Warren Trezevant explains the process.
I had the opportunity to talk very briefly with Jerome Ranft a few years ago during a behind the scenes exhibition at Pixar Studios and was able to see a sculpture he made so modelers could use it as a reference.
Check out this other interview with another Pixar sculptor.
Below is the second part, equally entertaining for those of us that like and enjoy 3d animation.
Both videos were shared by pop17