3D printing time and prices

3D is a dynamically developing manufacturing technology, which enabled many companies to make significant savings. Lowering of the costs of short production series, tools or, particularly, prototypes is possible at any company. In each operation areas may be found where measurable savings may be achieved.

How to do it? The question will be answered by 3DGence specialists who support companies in optimising their costs on a daily basis.

How expensive is 3D printing?

Calculation of a 3D printing service takes the maximum of 24 hours at 3DGence and is a basis for carrying out a more accurate cost-effectiveness analysis. 3D printing prices are based on a series of factors, such as volume and size of an object, quantity and type of the material used, or time and working technique when making a 3D printout.

As 3DGence we have been specialising in 3D printing for six years and may boldly say that such methods may compete with the conventional manufacturing methods. However, from our experience we know that many of our current customers have never thought that 3D printing may be that cheap. Only after having compared many solutions at hand, we were able to show the specialists in various sectors the real influence of implementing the additive technology at their companies. It is important that the costs they are incurring are much lower than in the case of milling or machining.
Adam Przepolski, 3D Printing Services Manager at 3DGence

4 factors which influence the cost of a 3D printed part

The most important thing to arrive at the cost of 3D printing is to determine material and finishing requirements which make up the cost of a specific part. There are many factors which influence the cost of a printed part.

1. 3D printing costs of prepation

Before 3D printing starts in the selected technology, the person responsible for starting up a device must make a process simulation and analyse the possible settings of a model for 3D printing. The selection of adequate temperature settings for the respective material, the speeds or additional parameters of the process is of key importance to produce a most durable part. The initial costs of 3D printing include also the preparation of a device to work, implementing of the printing materials or the measures creating the proper 3D printing environment.

2. The volume of a 3D model

The most important factor in calculating the costs of a 3D printout is the size of the object and the place needed in the device for printing the same. Larger objects are more expensive due to the space they take and, in consequence, the time needed to arrive at a complete printout.

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3D printed part made wit the use FFF/FDM technology

3D printed part made with metal

3D printed part made with SLS technology

3. Costs of 3D printing time

The printing time is determined as the working hours of a 3D printer in the respective technology. The costs include all the indirect the indirect costs related with the utilisation of the production capacity of a 3D printing farm.

  1. Machine depreciation costs – when calculating the cost of using the respective machine, it is required to apply depreciation, which covers the costs of standard service parts and any expenditures related to the proper operation of a 3D printer.
  2. Electric energy costs
  3. Cost of an operator and post-processing techniques
  4. Costs related to the process of finishing the ready professional 3D printout – this group of costs affecting the 3D printing price comprises any processes made to customer requirements after the printer finishes its work. At our 3D printing lab it is possible to comprehensively process a ready 3D printout, which includes grinding, impregnation with an epoxy resin, combining with metal components, painting or gluing. We offer the possibility of additional finishing to a special customer order.

4. Estimated 3D printing times in the respective technology

The 3D printing process commences immediately after the order has been approved. The lead time specified by our lab includes also the time of delivery by courier mail (24 hours).
3D printing time depends mainly on the selected material

  1. ABS (standard plastic) has the average lead time of 3 to 5 business days. The lead time may be longer for 1 or 2 business days if the printed elements need to be glued or painted. It is one of the most popular materials applied in the FDM technology.
  2. Durable materials (PC, Nylon, carbon fibre reinforced materials) have the average 3D printing time of 6 to 7 business days.
  3. Advanced materials (ULTEM, PEEK or PEKK-A) have the average 3D printing time of 8 to 9 business days.
  4. The ultra-precision Polyjet technology (with Vero material) takes 6 to 8 business days to make a 3D printout.
  5. The SLA technology means 3 to 7 business days.
  6. The SLS powder technology and PA 2200 material require 4 to 7 business days to make a 3D printout.
  7. 3D printing out of metal means the average lead time of 12 business days.
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3DGence, as an expert in 3D printing technology may propose a vast material portfolio to its customers, stating from standard plastics, such as ABS or PLA, and ending with aluminium and titanium alloys.

Our team of engineers takes an individual approach to 3D printing inquiries, analysis the needs and proposes the solutions which may bring measurable savings in the respective sector. Contact us: [email protected]

Case study

3D printing reduces costs

3D printing has many advantages, however, cost reduction is of key importance to many companies, which includes very low cost of manufacturing short series of products or individual elements. 

Emtel, a manufacturer of medical devices, managed to reduce the costs of prototypes even by 90% with 3D printing. In 2018 the company decided to design a new model of a cardiac monitor. 3D printing proved to be the most adequate technology to make a prototype of the casing, with regard to the price of manufacturing

.Delivery of the model by third parties was the cost of approximately PLN 2,000. And at the stage of forming as much as 3 versions of the same model must be prepared.

The prototype of

Prototyp obudowy kardiomonitora zostały wykonany za pomocą drukarki 3DGence.

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