Here is a 3D print cost calculator. Good for 3D print e-shop owners or casual 3D printer users. It may happen that colleagues, friends, or relatives may ask you to 3D print something for them. And they may insist to reward you by paying cash to cover the cost of the material, but there is more to it. This online calculator will help you to estimate the costs involved in creating a 3D printed object taking into consideration various factors.
Disclaimer: If you decide to start selling models, please make sure that they are licensed appropriately. It should be Creative Commons – Attribution. If not sure, please contact the designer.
Calculator – The Cost of 3D Print
To get the final cost of a printed part all fields should be filled in.
Example Calculations of the Popular 3D Models
We placed some of the popular models’ 3D printing details into our calculator and this is what came out (Considering that the cost of the filament spool is $20, 3D printer is $300 and the labor hourly rate is $20p/h):
– 3DBenchy – $0.51 (only material and printer costs) – $3.51 (with 10 min 3D printer set up cost, and a $1 tip for the designer)
– Flexi Rex – $0.68 (only material and printer costs) – $5.68 (with 10 min 3D printer set up, 10 min slicer settings configuration, and a $1 tip for the designer)
– Dog The Gardener – $4.32 (only material and printer costs) – $ 9.32 (with 10 min 3D printer set up, 10 min supports manual placement, and a $1 tip for the designer)
* Price of the Machine – For How Long Will a 3D Printer Last?
Price of the machine ($) – We would recommend adding up all maintenance costs to the price of the machine. Let’s say a 3D printer costs $300 and a new PTFE tube is $5 plus labor $20p/h, then the new price of the machine is 325$. And so on.
This ranges between 300-3000h, with an average of 1500h – Any 3D printer costs money, and over time it ends its life cycle, after that it either gets thrown away or is disassembled for scrap. This metric is quite difficult to estimate precisely as it depends on many factors like the brand and model of the 3D printer, techy level of the owner (maintenance), quality of 3D printing materials, etc. So this “average 1500h” number is our approximate assessment that we came to after researching various sources of information together with our own experience with desktop 3D printers.
– Minor repairs. Most of 3D printers are very easy to fix (nozzles, belts, PTFE tubes, etc.). If the owner manages to fix small issues and even implements a few upgrades, then the 3D printer may last much longer. (Read the real experience of upgrading 3 years old Original Prusa i3 MK2.5S) We would recommend adding up all maintenance costs to the price of the machine.
– If you have had a 3D printer for a specific duration, you could place the number of total working hours instead.
** Time spent to set up a 3D printer?
0.1-0.2 hours or 0 if none – The first thoughts that come to our minds are the following: is it an automatic or manual bed levelling system? Is the material has bed adhesion issues? In short: how long it will take to start 3D printing successfully (the first layer check).
Also, was a nozzle change involved (f/e for a 0.2mm thinner or 0.8mm thicker nozzle)? Nozzle changing and recalibration may take another 15-30 min. Unless u have a specific 3D printer ready.
*** Time spent for slicer settings customization?
0.25-1 hour or 0 if none – Some 3D printing jobs, especially those that require supports, may require tunning in a slicer software. Customized support placement may be a lengthy process. Slicer settings optimization is an important skill. The same model may take much fewer hours to print and use less material if tuned well or used known techniques as a vase mode 3D printing or hollowing (no infill).
**** Extra – Electricity, Tips for Designers, etc.
Model, electricity, etc. or 0 if none – Any extra charge that may occur.
– Is a 3D model acquired for free? In some cases, it is possible to leave a tip for a designer.
– Electricity – an important metric for 3D printer farms but not for the casual printing jobs.
– Design printability. Does the design need adjustment to make it 3D printable? For example, a lion’s tail or the hands’ fingers may need to be made thicker for FDM 3D printers. If yes, then the hourly rate for such customized design jobs may vary greatly.
We hope this 3D print calculator will help you to get an idea of the costs involved. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment below if your think some metrics should be included.