3D Printers fall under additive manufacturing and then can be classified by the material first. Usually, the material dictates entirely what the design looks like and it would be foolish to not differentiate what you look at by this first. For some materials, there are a couple of subtypes that tell us about which method for fusing the material is used, but usually, there is just one.
- light curing resin
- Paste, gel or air curing resin
- direct deposit from syringe
- Filament (FFF/FDM)
Of all these printers, only the FDM/FFF Group has a large diversity in how they are designed on the outer side, with the main 4 designs (and one example) being
- Cantilever (TronXY X1)
- Core-XY (Hypercube)
- Portal (Prusa)
- Delta (Kossel)
Now comes the kicker: Most FDM/FFF Printers do use only stepper motors and use G-Code that is derived from CNC - just like the whole idea of FDM was invented as reverse CNC. Only very few use an encoder at all. Marlin, the main firmware used in 3D printers, executes usually point-to-point instructions (
G0 X10 Y10 Z0 E5), but some implementations are able to perform arcs (
G2 E7.85 R5 X-5 Y5). Usually, printers run in relative coordinates (to the last position of the nozzle/tool), but for some operations absolute coordinates (mainly start or end codes) are used.
Among the printers that use servos instead of steppers are, to my knowledge, mostly laser-based systems.