It's hard to get an exact cost of 3D printing without a 3D model. Factors such as material, model complexity, and craftsmanship all affect the price of 3D printing. Generally speaking, FDM 3D printers are the most cost-effective option for those who need to print relatively simple prototypes in limited quantities. They offer fast turnaround times and large print sizes, making them ideal for those who need flexible 3D printing solutions. The various plastic and metal 3D printing processes have unique qualities that make them suitable for different applications.

For example, I checked the printing price of a simple Thingiverse spice rack on the CraftCloud website. In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are five more that determine how much 3D printing will cost you. These include the size, features, quality, durability, performance, and manufacturing location of the 3D printer. When possible, Printing It 3D uses affiliate links (at no additional cost to you) to earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Be sure to clarify what materials you will need to create the given parts, as the cost of consumables for 3D printing varies.

SLA parts have the highest precision, clearest details, and smoothest surface finish of all plastic 3D printing technologies; however, their main benefit lies in their versatility. Using a 3D printing service for simple, small-scale designs that can be managed in-house can be extremely expensive. Assembling a 3D printer is easy; it resumes printing after a power outage and runs quietly, making it an ideal choice for any beginner to 3D printing. Generally speaking, more material is required to produce something taller, which makes prints with a higher height more expensive. Comparing the total cost of different 3D printers goes beyond sticker prices; it won't tell you the full story of how much a 3D printer costs and how much your printed part will cost. The best 3D printers for enthusiasts include hardware and software features taken from the price level of professional 3D printers. The performance category promises the most value in today's 3D printing and is poised to significantly disrupt printer sales in the industrial segment.

Once you have your 3D printer, the main factors that influence the price of 3D printing are how often you use it and the sizes of the models you are creating.