How much does it cost to 3D print?

Welcome to Sculpteo’s cost analysis tool

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Should you buy a 3D printer or use a 3D printing service? With our 3D Printing Price calculator, you’ll know the best option for your project.

To calculate the price, we use the current 3D printer and 3D printing material market prices, but also the cost of electricity and time, to take into account every factor.

Size, texture, complexity, quality, number of 3D prints: answer some basic questions to understand which 3D printing technology suits your project best.

Compare the prices between you buying a professional grade 3D printer and us 3D printing your item for you.

Select your 3D file and upload it to start the price comparison

In this study, we calculate our prices only for raw white plastic, our cheapest and most polyvalent material. Make sure to choose the right unit (mm by default)!

Depending on what rendering you wish to achieve, you can make a choice between a monochromatic/bichromatic texture and a full-color 3D print. It’s up to you.

Monochromatic/Bichromatic

Most 3D printers use one or two raw materials of a particular color, which means, that without post-processing, your 3D prints will be either monochromatic or bichromatic.

Full Color

It’s also possible to 3D print directly in full color. To function, color 3D printers require texture information to know where to “apply” the color. This is particularly useful for figurines or aspect prototypes.

All 3D printers are not created equal and depending on the technology they use, they are able to provide different levels of complexity. Even if complexity is a relative concept, you should take into account factors like intricate shapes, moving parts or overhangs.

Low complexity

High complexity

If you need a “draft” prototype to test a mechanism quickly or validate a shape, a low-quality 3D print could be enough. However, if you are more advanced in your product development phase and would like to test how future components will fit together, you’ll probably need high-quality 3D prints.

Low

Medium

High

To determine which printer you should use, as well as the amortization rate of the 3D printer, it’s useful to have a rough idea of how many 3D prints you’ll make each month. It doesn’t need to be a precise figure: it’s an estimation of how often you’ll use a 3D printer.

144 Prints over a 3 years lifespan

  • Online price
  • Shipping cost
  • Printer cost
  • Material + Maintenance
  • Labor + Electricity

If you want to understand our methodology better, read this article.