You walk up to the washing machine. You turn a knob, and it breaks off. Now you have to call the manufacturers and order an expensive new knob. Or do you?
Printing started with ink splashing into sections of paper, creating words and things 2D, for you to look at and create plans. As time went on, another dimension was taken over and used to make 3D printed objects. Objects would start to pop out of your printer bed. Suddenly, everything changed. The world was a more automatic. Cases were made. And that time, is now.
The knob you previously had purchased now can appear on a bed where plastic is extruded. The 3D printing world is actually a lot simpler than most would expect. A circuit board, such as an Arduino, has a connection adapter to connect to various electronics. The circuit board tells the three motors to go to a position. 0,0,0 is commonly known as home. The circuit board is told to go to a position, then another position, one after another, layer by layer. The 3D printer will print a layer, then move up, and then another layer is printed. Continuously this happens, making a final 3D object. The printer will also have to let filament come out and melt, so the extruder was created. The extruder is also a very simple component. The extruder has a motor to push the filament into the hot end, which will heat the filament, and places it on the bed. The filament then dries and gets covered by the next layer of the 3D print.
Suprisingly, this is all that is to a 3D printer. So now that you know all how a 3D printer works, you can get one for yourself. Now talking about costs, they can vary from as little as $200 (for a kit to make one), up to thousands of dollars, depending on quality and size, choose the printer that is right for you, or maybe even make one.