How to Calculate the Cost of 3D Printing


Several factors can affect the cost of 3D printing, including the material used, the complexity of the design, and the size of the object to be printed. Additionally, the 3D printing technique used and the printing speed can also impact the final cost.

To calculate the cost of 3D printing, you need to consider the following three factors:

1. Material Cost: The material cost for 3D printing will depend on the type of material used and the amount required for printing. For instance, if you are using a resin material, the cost could be higher than using a filament material.

2. Labor Cost: Labor cost includes the cost of designing the object to be printed and setting up the 3D printer. It would help if you also considered the time it takes to print the object.

3. Overhead Cost: Overhead cost includes the cost of running the 3D printer, such as electricity and maintenance cost. This cost could vary depending on the type of printer used and the duration of the print.

Sample Cost Calculation

Let's consider an example to understand how to calculate the cost of 3D printing. Suppose you want to print a phone case using a filament material. Here is how you can calculate the cost:

Material Cost: The cost of 1kilo filament material is $20. As you will only require 50 grams to print the phone case, the material cost would be $1.

Labor Cost: The phone case designing took ten minutes, which is $5 of labor cost. Additionally, setting up the printer and printing the phone case took 3 hours, which equals $45 of labor cost.

Overhead cost: The electricity consumed during printing is 3kWh, which amounts to $0.30. Maintenance cost is $10.

Total Cost: Material Cost + Labor Cost + Overhead Cost = $1 + $5 + $45 + $0.30 + $10 = $61.30


In conclusion, calculating the cost of 3D printing requires careful consideration of the material, labor, and overhead costs. By understanding these factors, you can design your 3D printing budget and make informed decisions about your printing projects. Do not hesitate to consult with 3D printing professionals to help you calculate the cost of your project, as different printers and materials have varying costs.

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