Today’s 3D printers range in size from compact desktop units to large commercial machines that allow the creation of large parts and prototypes. While they serve different purposes, they perform similar tasks, laying down layer upon layer of material to gradually build up a part until it is complete. eWEEK recently took a closer look at some of the latest consumer and commercial 3D printers on the market at the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in New York City, where a diverse selection of devices was on display and in operation from a myriad of vendors, including Stratasys, 3D Systems, XYZ Printing, LulzBot, Robo 3D and Formlabs. Commercial 3D printing has been around for almost 30 years, used by a wide range of product manufacturers, aerospace companies and others to quickly design and produce prototypes, molds and one-off parts without having to invest lots of money and time. Top-of-the-line industrial 3D printers can sell for as much as $5 million, while consumer-based devices can be purchased for as little as $349. Here is a sampling of some of the 3D printers we saw in operation.