How much does 3D printing cost?

8 September 2022

The decision to use 3D printing is, in many cases, financially motivated. Whether your business needs small spare parts for production lines or large enclosures for electronic devices, it is often the most cost-effective technology.

So how do you determine if 3D printing will definitely pay off in your case, and how much will it actually cost to complete the project?

We’ll answer those and a few more questions in this article.

What determines the price of 3D printing projects?

Several factors affect the final price. The most important of them are:

Size of the printed element – the larger the parts, the more powder (material) they require, and therefore their cost will be higher. However, since hollow parts can be printed, large elements do not necessarily have to use a lot of material.

Bounding box – the smallest possible cube dimensions in which a given element can be closed. This factor is due to the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) printing method we use. For maximum efficiency, we want to fit as many of the same elements as possible during one printing process, depending on how many will fit within the printer. Therefore, simple, rectangular designs will be cheaper because they can be done in large numbers in the printer’s working space, which has dimensions of 380 x 280 x 380 mm.

Volume – which is simply the number of parts ordered. The larger the order, the lower the price per item.

Lead time – orders placed well in advance are also cheaper. We can offer the best prices to companies that schedule orders several months in advance.

In what situations is 3D printing an efficient alternative?

A short answer to this question is – when the other technologies for making such parts are unprofitable. We are talking here primarily about injection technology, which only makes financial sense in larger orders. For example, the production of the simplest injection mold may cost over €30 000 and take up to 8 weeks.

In addition to the cost and time of implementation, 3D printing also has several advantages that companies from various industries appreciate.

Possibility of small expenditures – there is no minimum order volume, which allows companies to create fully personalized prosthetics cost-effectively.

Fast delivery – parts are ready within 3-5 business days.

The ability to personalize the design on an ongoing basis – before each printing, various corrections can be made to the design, which is impossible in the case of an injection mold. This freedom makes a huge difference for companies that constantly improve their products, test new solutions, and rely on user feedback.

Sample prices of 3D-printed projects

Below we present several different implementations that will help you assess the potential cost of your project.

1. Element of the housing for parking sensors

The client needed several hundred pieces of a small element to be installed in the car. Due to the volume required and the urgent need, injection technology was not an option. Using our service, the customer received the finished parts within five days of ordering.

Price: PLN 15 per piece

2. Device housing for educational purposes

Educational publishing house Operon approached us with a project of a device supporting teachers during remote learning. Ultimately, several batches of 200-300 pieces were created, and each subsequent one was improved after receiving user feedback.

Price: PLN 30 per unit

3. Medical diagnostic device housing

The housings for most of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis are mass-produced. When we have several hundred thousand cameras or remotes to produce, injection technology is the most profitable and effective.

Of course, such high expenditure does not occur in the case of specialized equipment, so the time-consuming and costly creation of an injection mold is pointless. Our client came forward with such a need. Now, we produce about 50 pieces of diagnostic equipment housings for them per month.

Price: PLN 180 per piece

4. Electric car lamp housing

3D printing is a technology widely used by manufacturers of short-series cars. The material used in the printers is perfectly suited for this type of application, and it is possible to order exactly as many elements as you need.

One of the electric car manufacturers came to us for X lamp housings, and we delivered them efficiently.

Cena: 500 zł za sztukę

How can I get a price estimate for my 3D printing project?

If you have a CAD file of your project, you can use a simple estimation tool in our panel. For larger orders and those placed well in advance, we will prepare an individual quote for you.

JAs an experienced team that perfectly knows the capabilities of Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers, we offer full support in consulting and implementing 3D printing to our clients’ companies. Arrange a call with us, and we will help you improve processes and reduce costs in your company, thanks to 3D printing.