with a Makerbot as example.
On the Technology page New York Times explains how a 3D printer works.
The New York Times Company is an investor in True Ventures, one of a number of venture capital firms that has invested in MakerBot Industries. Therefor it is not so strange that they use the Makerbot as example.
The Ultimaker (who was at the Maker Faire in New York, this weekend) is a comparable product with more or less the same features. Not so strange as these products have their source in RepRap open source 3D printer community.
Anyhow, it explains that 3D printing is getting affordable for the consumer.