How do I calculate the cost of a 3D print once it's done?

  • How do I determine how much an individual print costs?

    I'd like an answer including support material, failed prints, and (ideally) wear and tear / printer maintenance costs.

    To clarify, I'm not asking how to predict the cost before printing, but rather how to calculate the actual cost after printing. Though predicting the cost beforehand is useful as well.

    Failed prints are going to vary drastically, as will maintenance costs. It will depend on the part and the printer. The two things that will always been factors are filament cost and electricity usage. I would advise specifying the others to a better degree.

    @HDE226868 See my modified question. I'm asking about calculating cost after the fact, rather than a prediction of cost before printing. I.e. you have the failed print(s) and successful print in hand to use in your calculations.

    An approach we have developed in Cranfield University is presented here A System approach for Modelling AM moreover you can find the Mathematical model here FDM Mathematical Model

  • Jeff

    Jeff Correct answer

    7 years ago

    For FDM printing:

    Both Cura and Makerbot Desktop (and perhaps others I'm not as familiar with) will give you a preview of both the length and weight of your print, including supports/rafts. Once the print is done you can weigh it on a kitchen scale.

    PLA Filament currently runs about \$23/kg on Amazon, which works out to \$0.023/g. Multiplication can then give you a good estimate of materials costs for a print.

    Only experience with your specific printer will give you an idea of how often you're going to hit a failed print, and how often you're going to need to replace parts. For wear and tear you could try using a depreciation model of 2-3 years, but that's only an estimate.

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