Choosing the right option to get started as a 3D printing service is a tedious exercise. Indeed, there are various printing technologies in place, compounded by an increase in materials. You have the task of understanding the right option that agrees with your budget.
Most importantly, you should know how much it would cost you to print in 3D. Firsts, you should determine the entire components that contribute to the whole project. There are several factors that you will use to arrive at the cost.
Therefore, follow us as we take you through understanding the cost of 3D printing services. Let us discover more.
Factors that Determine 3D Printing Cost
Several variables will contribute to the 3D printer service cost. As a result, several 3D printing companies will bill based on the following parameters:
a) Print Time
Multiple factors will influence the duration one will take to complete a full 3D print. The following elements will affect the build time:
Mostly, the geometry of the part materials will determine the cross-sectional layers’ shape. The printer will quickly complete them if the layers are simple. A perfect example is the single island layers for the cube.
On the other hand, other 3D printing technologies make use of support materials for more complex designs. As such, there will be a layer that features both the support and model materials. Such a design will take longer to create a print.
The size will either prolong or shorten the printing time drastically. For instance, a large part will need a print head to move away from the starting point. Consequently, it will take longer to complete when compared to smaller parts.
The chosen height will determine the time it will take to make a 3D print. For instance, it will be easier to print thicker layers than it would take thinner layers. The good news proves that the thinner layers are ideal for higher quality appearances.
As you calculate the print time, the 3D printers’ resolution plays a great role in determining the quality. For you to get a finer resolution, it will mean that you go for more layers. As a result, you will require more time to print your part.
The cost of 3D printing service will largely depend on the type of materials used. The costs might fluctuate, depending on the type of materials that you will be using. Some of the commonly used materials are as follows:
It is a rigid material that you must meet before extrusion. Such materials are commonly used in FMD 3D printers. Notably, these materials come at a low cost. For instance, the average cost of such materials ranges between $ 3.70 and $ 7.50 for every cubic inch.
Again, the FDM printers need the use of support material. In the same vein, you should include the support materials filament costs.
The photopolymers are typically liquid resins thermosets that you will cure by UV lights. You can use such materials in multi-jet, poly jet, and SLA 3D printers. But note, the photopolymer material will cost between $ 0.36 and $ 0.38 for every gram. The support materials will cost around $ 0.11 and $ 0.21.
Although you will find them in a powder state, the polymers resemble thermoplastics, making them suitable for Selective Laser Sintering. The powdered material is cost-effective as it costs around $ 0.10 for every gram.
Metal 3D printing materials will resemble polymers since they also exist in powdered form. You will melt them together through a laser using Directs Metal Laser Sintering. On that note, the metal material is expensive. They cost around $ 0.60 per gram.
Most importantly, you will need support structures since metals happen to be denser than the plastic materials.
c) Post-processing Costs
Such cost will feature when your 3D printer completes the part. Typically, you will let the part cool down before removing it. You will, therefore, remove any imperfections and give it an impressive finish.
d) Maintenance Costs
As you use your 3D printer, it will be reasonable not to overlook the maintenance aspect. It is noteworthy that printers will also have serious mechanical challenges that you will require to address.
You must maintain them periodically to evade some of these related problems. For example, you should clean and grease the moving machine parts and replace the damaged ones.
e) Error Costs
The error may occur even to the best and most reliable 3D printing machine. Some of the errors are; laminating errors, jams, or printing errors. If you neglect your machine for long without servicing it, it will be prone to such errors hence pulling your efforts down.
You will have several options when you want to get your suitable model. You can buy CAD software, or hire a freelancer design to do the work for you. The density of your part will determine if you will use fewer or more materials. In case you want to cut on costs, then let the objects have thinner walls.
On the other hand, thick walls make your 3D printing costs to go a little higher. The great advantage of such an option is that the parts will remain strong. When you use a more advanced 3D printer, the electricity cost will go higher. Also, when you are using a low-end 3D printer, your printing costs will go down.
We cannot overlook such an aspect that we live in a tech-savvy society. In the process, one would want to get the right service by using the latest technology. The new technology is fast and more effective.
You must understand the cost of a 3D printing service. Indeed, it is evident from this article that several factors will contribute to your tasks’ entire cost. Furthermore, it would be best if you exhausted all the options as listed above so that you pick the most appropriate one that agrees with your budgeting.
If you are looking for any type 3D printing services, contact us for more details.