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Are 3d printers expensive?

Are 3d printers expensive?

While 3D printing frenzy is catching up like wildfire among casual hobbyists and serious artists, scientists, and other professionals. Equally the important question is not whether you can afford a 3D printer but, whether you can afford the long-term cost of owning and using a 3D printer?

While there is no definitive answer to these questions (Are 3D printers expensive?) Since each has his own budget and paying capacity, we present you our experience with 3D printing along with the corresponding price points. This analysis would be useful equally for a serious business venture as well as a personal creative venture.


Les imprimantes 3D sont-elles chères ?


We started our 3D printing adventure by buying a Marketbot Replicator 2 for about $2,500. While this is not the cheapest 3D printer on the market, it has the advantage of being able to support serious 3D printing projects that require accuracy, dexterity, and fine finishing.


Well, are 3d printers expensive or not??

While this initial investment would make a dent in your pocket the actual expense that would involve a steady investment is the operational and printing cost depending upon how crazy you want to go with your new 3D printer !! We are of course referring to the cost of materials as your hobby would soon turn into a full-blown addiction (believe us it is going to happen!!). While purchasing the filament for 3D printing, we aimed at getting the price point right for something that is economical and still prints great 3D models.

After a fair bit of experimenting, we found that it would cost approximately $5.50 for the right filament material to produce a 3D model that weighs about an ounce. This is a helpful price to do an easy math with the number of objects you want to create sorted by their respective weights and multiple them with this price point to have a fair idea of your operational cost. Another important aspect is the amount of power usage that is devoted to owning and operating a 3D printer, thankfully this cost is really low and in fact we were pleasantly surprised by the low electricity usage numbers of Marketbot Replicator 2. You would only end up spending 7 to 8 cents per project assuming that each of your projects is worth about 5 – 6 hours of runtime for the 3D printer.



Are 3d printers expensive?

Are 3d printers expensive?

We also considered a couple of expenses from a wear and tear and an occasional repair point of view –

  • Maintenance and the occasional repair cost should amount to no more than 30 cents per item that you create using the 3D printer. This number should be taken into consideration because 3D printers are a complex piece of machinery and would need occasional repair as well as upgraded modules that is also accounted for in the estimate of 30 cents per item.
  • Depreciation cost should also be considered and although this factor typically follows a delayed spill approach it would typically amount to $3.5 per item produced by your 3D printer. We assumed that your printing would last at least 5 years and hence would consider this a conservative estimate.
  • The price of failure in terms of you are not designing the model well enough so that the product does match your expectations. No matter how good you think you are the chances of failure are never zero, hence, we would strongly recommend keeping this price into consideration as well. We are only proposing a failure cost of about 92 cents per item to ensure that you do not run over budget due to failed projects.
  • You would also need to put some finishing touches to each of your projects and this would put you at a price point of and figured that it would be about 2% in addition to the overall cost incurred so far.



Are 3d printers expensive? Overall, we think that an all-included estimate of about $10 for each 3D item printed would be a good point to start with and you would get better at estimating and calculating your overall cost as you gain more experience in this field. All in all, 3D printing can be one of the very best technological events in your lifetime, and it would do you a lot of goods to be conscious towards your expenses in the same regard as well.