3D printers add material rather than removing it (like CNC Mills or Lathes). This is done with a powder which is bonded together or with a melted plastic which is extruded (basically the love child of a CNC mill and a hot glue gun).
Stepper motors are commonly used to drive these printers because they are low cost and require no position feedback.
The UP! 3D printers are user friendly, and the UP! 3D Plus and Plus 2 are well made metal frame printers with very reliable operation.
UP! Studio is generally easy to use and works pretty well. The lack of documentation and online help is an issue. Don't trust the automatic nozzle heigh detector. It's a good starting point, but you still need to check the height manually to be sure. Mine is 0.60 mm off consistently. The auto bed leveling system is useless. Do it manually, clicking on each of the points, and then moving the little arrows up or down while feeling the friction of a sheet of paper under the nozzle. When printing anything with very fine parts, set the Extruded Width setting below the nozzle width, e.g. to 0.35 vs 0.4 or 0.5 in the advanced printing dialog, from the pull down under "Print" in the print dialog.
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<A HREF="http://www.piclist.com/techref/3DPrinters.htm"> 3D Printing / CNC extruding</A>
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