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How to calculate 3D printed cost

Posted by epareja 
How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 29, 2012 02:39PM

I'm new to this and I would like to setup a commercial 3d printing service here in the US but I would like to know how to calculate the costs for this type of service.

I read here in this forum that the 1Kg ABS filament weighted 700g or so. It seemed weird for me but I want to confirm that with you the experts!

When I go to the online printing services as Sculpteo or Materialise, they calculate the volume of my 3d piece in cm3 but I've also read that the infill uses very less material than the outline.

Thank you very much and sorry if those are dumb questions.

Ernesto Pareja

Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 29, 2012 03:07PM
1 kg of ABS should weigh 1 kg. Otherwise it's false advertising. Online 3D printing services usually produce either solid parts or ones with a fixed infill amount. For home 3D printing you can choose the infill density based on how strong you need the part, which can dramatically reduce the amount of filament needed. When you run the .stl file through a slicing program, most will tell you how much filament will be used.

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Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 29, 2012 03:24PM
Thank you Cameron!

So if 1K and ABS density of 1.04 g/cm3 then I'll have

1000g / 1.04g/cm3 = 961.5cm3 per 1K of ABS extruded material.
If 1K of ABS cost about US$45 then I'll have

cost per cm3 = $45 / 961.5 = $0.047 / cm3

Is this calculation ok?

Thank you in advance!

Ernesto Pareja
Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 30, 2012 05:32PM
Cura will calculate this for you...
Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 30, 2012 06:15PM
Thank you WildBill,

I downloaded Cura and it gave me the grams the piece will have and the expected cost. I first configured the cost in dollars per KG of material but I didnĀ“t know the cost of each meter. Cura said this piece will consume 2.9gr and 0.34m of material. Will it work with either of them or needs both parameters?

How accurate is this cost and weight in reality with your experience?

I'm trying to upload my test part for all of you in the business let me know how much material and the average cost if printed with a prusa mendel with 3mm abs fillament and a 0.5mm nozzle.

Thank you

Ernesto Pareja
open | download - Knob 12.STL (100.3 KB)
Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
May 30, 2012 07:13PM
I figure that to print one of those knobs at your listed filament cost it would be $.07/ea @ 50% infill, I also recommend flipping the knob 180* and print on the other end.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2012 07:15PM by WildBill.
Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
June 02, 2012 10:17PM
I have seen this question posted a few times, and it is a bit hard to figure based on just a slicing program. I know Skeinfordge does generate a cost but unsure how accurea it is.

A lot of CAD programs will give you the total volume of a part allowing you to do figure the weight of the part based off the material dencity.

If it where me I would base all quotes off 100% infill. This allows for easy cost calculate as well as a profit buffer for your self. Your time cost, electricity, as well as scrap % is going to weight in more of the cost of the item, then if the part was 2 grams or 2.5 grams

Check out this web based stl volume and weight calculator softwares

1. [codecanyon.net]


2. [stlfoo.lazywasp.net]

have fun!
Re: How to calculate 3D printed cost
November 29, 2015 05:26PM
NO LUCK on a simple Solution???
Ive got one.

$.02 per Gram
$.06 per Meter

If you pay $20 per 1kg spool, thats $.02 per gram. Weigh your prints in grams, x2 is how much it cost, so a 50 gram print will cost $1 in Plastic.

If your calculating based on required length of filament, A meter of Pla is right at $.06 per Meter or 3 grams. A 1kg Spool has approximately 333.33 meters. So if your print requires 18,000mm, Thats gonna be $1.08.

Different manufactures will have different densities. But this is the average i have found.

I also was told to price by the printing time $2.50 per hour @50mm/s, and the actual cost of filament.

Hope it helps. smiling smiley
Nate Rogers

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