3D printing has earned its name in the current market but since its relatively new technology, many people are not aware of its intricacies. Many people also wonder how much it costs to 3D print different objects, whether it is a small article such as a miniature figure or something big and heavy like a mask or 3D print a helmet that can be worn.
Since 3D printing uses both, filaments and resins, sometimes it gets confusing which material costs how much. So if you also have similar questions, keep reading this article because we are going to talk about 3D printing and its costs in detail.
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If you already own a 3D printer, then you must be aware that your cost for the most part is the electricity bill and the filament. If you are to 3D print an object that is going to use 100 grams of filament, it will cost you around $2.50 if we assume the price of filament to be $25 per KG.
The same 3D print in resin will cost you a different amount. For instance, $4.50 if the price of resin is $45 per KG.
Resin, filaments and similar materials’ prices do not fluctuate too often so it is relatively easy to estimate the cost of any object we are going to print. However, you might want to do some maintenance and take care of some post-processing after you are done printing.
Now let us look into the basic costs of 3D printing so you can have a better understanding of different objects and how much money they are going to cost you.
How much does a 3D Printer Cost?
In this section, we will be looking at the biggest initial cost which is also very basic in 3D printing. This initial yet most important object is the 3D printer itself. Fortunately, with time the costs of 3D printers have lowered so it is beneficial for normal customers.
The materials used for making 3D prints are also increasing in supply as well as the number of manufacturers dealing with 3D printing material. You can buy a standard FDM filament 3D printer like Ender 3 for about $200 from Amazon.
There are a few other types of 3D printers which are growing in popularity such as SLA resin 3D printers. Although these printers are very good in functioning, with time their prices have also decreased. You can easily purchase a budget SLA resin 3D printer such as Elegoo Mars 2 Mono for about $230 which is a very reasonable price for a great functioning 3D printer.
If we compare today’s prices with those of a few years back, then you would be paying $1000 for a basic version of a 3D printer. So you can see how profitable the prices have become for customers.
The 3D printers we mentioned above are great for entry-level hobbyists. So if you want a more detailed featured and highly functioning machine, you will have to spend more. The Artillery Sidewinder X1 V4 is a great option for a 3D filament printer and you can buy it for $450 only.
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 V4 comes 95% pre-assembled, which means a beginner can also put it together quite easily without any external help. This 3D printer also comes with a larger build volume of about 300 x 300 x 400mm, which is more than the Ender 3.
It also has a touch screen display and a direct drive extruder which makes the printing process a lot easier. Its design is simple, clean, compact, and professional-looking so investing in this machine seems the right option because it is a long-term machine.
Cost of Printing Materials:
When it comes to 3D printing, there are two types of printing materials, Filament and Resin. Resin starts around at $35 per KG, while Filament starts at around $20 per KG.
The resin comes in a dark bottle that is UV protected and contains the photopolymer liquid resin that you need to pour into the resin vat of your 3D printer. The resin bottle is stored exactly in this manner because when the liquid is exposed to UV light, it hardens up.
Filament, however, is packaged into a round spool of plastic which is usually placed on the top of a 3S printer and it also has a spool holder for FDM printers.
Cost of 3D Filament:
A standard spool of 3D filaments costs around $20-30 per KG, but there are different types of filaments and their prices vary a bit.
- PLA filament usually costs around $25 per KG.
- A spool of ABS filaments is priced at $22 per KG.
- PETG filament can be bought for $21 for 1KG.
- You can buy ASA filament on Amazon for around $32 per KG.
- TPU filament costs $33 for 500 grams.
- Nylon can be purchased for $35 per KG.
Cost of 3D Resin:
There are two most popular resin brands for 3D printing, the Anycubic UV-Curing Resin, and the Elegoo Rapid Resin. These are great quality resins and you can produce high-quality products with these.
These harden quickly and exhibit good levels of rigidity and toughness. Moreover, these resins also have great fluidity so these can be molded into detailed and complex shapes quite easily.
The Elegoo Water Washable Resin costs about $40-45 per Kilogram and you can wash the products made by this resin with a plain model instead of Isopropyl Alcohol.
The Siraya Tech Tenacious Resistant Resin costs $65 per Kilogram and the users can make products with this premium quality resin quite conveniently. The great advantage of this resin is that it can be easily mixed with other resins to increase the overall flexibility and strength.
3D Printing Metal Powers:
To complete the material knowledge of 3D printing, let us look into the mental powers. One of the most popular metal power is Aluminum Alsi7mg. It costs somewhere between $24-$26 per Kilogram, but the printer can set you back with $50,000-$1,000,000. So these printers and materials are not very regular-customer friendly, rather industrial machines.
How Much Does 3D Printing Cost?
If you think purchasing a 3D printer and filaments means your job is complete, then you might be mistaken. Here are a few other materials and their costs that you need to print 3D objects like 3D print helmet using a 3D printer.
You can try to be as cost-effective you want to, but if you want to produce great 3D objects, then you will have to invest some into the basic materials.
Elmer’s disappearing glue is one of the most popular and best glues for 3D printing. It is known as disappearing glue because initially, it’s purple. But once you apply it, it turns clear after drying up.
This glue was manufactured using an acid-free formula which makes the adhesive properties of this glue splendid. You can glue tiny parts of your model together without worrying that they might come off because they will not. Moreover, Elmer’s disappearing glue is also non-toxic which makes it a great glue for use at homes, schools, and office places.
Austor sandpaper is made using silicon carbide so it provides a great dry or wet sanding experience. One package of Austor Sand Paper contains 102 pieces of abrasive sheets with different grits that range between 60 to 3,000.
Paint and Paintbrushes:
When you paint your finished models, their aesthetic values increase, and this way you can also add your personal touch to these products. But you need to use the right type of paint and paintbrush to finish your 3D object.
Acrylic paints and paintbrushes are the best options for painting 3D prints. These are bright and can be used on a variety of surfaces such as PLA, wood, PTEG, and ABS.
In terms of the paintbrush, you can use any paintbrushes that are suitable for acrylic paints.
How Much Does a 3D Helmet Cost:
So once you have assembled all the required materials, you can begin to 3D print the objects you want to. And if you are going to make a 3D helmet, depending on the costs of all the required materials, it is going to cost you somewhere between $3-$1,000. It all depends on your choice of materials and their quality.
How much does it cost to make a 3D printed mask?
Including the cost of different materials and object sizes, a mask can cost somewhere between $2 to $3.
Is 3D printing expensive?
3D printing is all about your choice of materials and how much you are willing to invest. So adding the cost of all materials required, 3D printing can cost as minimum as $3 and it can go up to $1,000 as well.
Can you make money with a 3D printer?
Yes, you can make money with a 3D printer. Many people make 3D items like action figures and sell them online. This way they earn by 3D printers.