3D Printing Cost per Gram

3D Printing Cost per Gram

Every 3D Printing service providers charge 3D Printing cost per gram. You need to pay material cost as well as labor cost. Now You can is easily estimate its price but You know some technical terms to find how much will you pay finally. Read this article to know these details.

3D Printing Cost Overview

Estimate 3D Printing Cost

Personal 3D Printing Cost Estimation

Professional 3D Printing Cost Estimation

3D Printing Cost Calculating Formula

3D printer filaments

3D Printer Cost Calculator

Real-World Examples of 3D Printing Cost Analysis

Every 3D Printing service providers charge 3D Printing cost per gram. Now You can is easily estimate its price.



3D Printing Cost Overview

The cost of 3D printing per gram can vary widely depending on several factors. However, here’s a straightforward breakdown to help you estimate the service cost. Firstly, the price is influenced by the type of material used. Additionally, the printing method and any extra service charges also play a significant role. Therefore, understanding these variables is essential if you plan to use 3D printing services for gifts or other purposes, as it allows you to anticipate the overall expense accurately.

Estimate 3D Printing Cost

Personal 3D printing costs are generally lower, averaging about $0.10 per gram. This cost reflects the use of consumer-grade printers and materials, which are typically more affordable but may offer less precision and durability. In contrast, professional 3D printing services can range from $0.50 to $2.00 per gram. These higher costs arise due to the use of industrial-grade printers, superior materials, and advanced printing techniques that provide higher quality and more intricate details. Additionally, professional services often include expert handling and post-processing, further contributing to the overall expense. Therefore, the choice depends on your specific needs and budget. Now you can learn detailed info of this printing cost.

1. Personal 3D Printing Cost Estimation

Personal 3D Printing Cost Estimation

Let’s imagine you’re printing a simple phone case on a hobbyist 3D printer using PLA filament.

Initial Investment

  • 3D Printer Cost:
    • Hobbyist printers: $200 – $500
    • Enthusiast printers: $1,500 – $5,000
    • Professional printers: $5,000 – $20,000+
    • Industrial printers: $20,000 – $100,000+

Printing Costs

  • Material Cost:
    • Filament (FDM): $0.05 – $0.15/gram (PLA/ABS) – Higher for specialty filaments
    • Resin (SLA/DLP): $0.70 – $3.00/gram – Can be much higher for specific resins
    • Metal Powder: $10+ per gram
  • Print Size: Larger prints use more material, raising the cost per gram.
  • Electricity: Printing time affects electricity usage, impacting cost slightly.
  • Post-Processing: Maybe light sanding for a smoother finish (minimal cost).

Total Estimated Cost for Self 3D Printing

Total Estimated Cost for personal 3d printing is $305 (one-time printer cost + $5 material cost). But Additionally it will variable based on above mentioned costs.

Pros: Lower overall cost for frequent printing, ownership allows for customization and experimentation.

Cons: Requires initial investment in a printer, limited material options compared to professional services, print quality might not be as high.

2. Professional 3D Printing Cost

Professional 3D Printing Cost

Imagine you need a high-strength, heat-resistant prototype for a new engine component. A professional 3D printing service might be the way to go. Additionally, 3D Printing Services prices vary depending on the factors mentioned above, but generally cost more per gram than self-printing. They offer convenience and expertise for complex projects. Same time. It’s difficult to give an exact price without considering your specific project. However, some 3D printing services offer online cost calculators that take your 3D model into account.

Professional 3d Printing Cost will be varied based on Following Factor

  • Printing method: Different methods use materials differently. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is generally less expensive than SLA (Stereolithography) or DLP (Digital Light Processing) for similar materials.
  • Material: This is the biggest cost influencer.
    • High-temperature Nylon: $2.00/gram (more expensive material)
    • Estimated weight of component: 100 grams
    • Material cost: 100 grams * $2.00/gram = $200
  • Printing time: Longer prints can affect cost as they use more energy and machine time.
  • Print Complexity: More intricate designs require more material and support structures, increasing cost.
  • Printing Service Fee: The service might charge based on print volume or complexity. Let’s assume a $50 fee for this project.
  • Post-Processing: The component might require additional finishing for functionality, like polishing or vapor smoothing (additional cost, variable depending on service).

Total Estimated Cost: $250+ (material cost + service fee + potential post-processing)

Pros: Access to advanced materials and high-quality printing, expertise ensures functionality and dimensional accuracy, eliminates maintenance and ownership hassles.

Cons: Higher per-print cost compared to personal printing, less control over the process.

3D Printing Cost Calculating Formula

3D Printing Cost Calculating Formula

Generally, cargo ship containers offer a more affordable option for building materials compared to concrete. Here’s a breakdown of the cost factors:

To calculate the material cost for a 3D printing project, I use the following formula:

material cost = ρ π × (d/2)² × L × price


  • 𝜌 – ρ represents the density of the material,
  • 𝑑 – d is the diameter of the filament,
  • 𝐿 – L is the length of the filament used for printing, and
  • {price} is the cost of the material per unit weight (per kilogram or pound).

Once I have determined the material cost, I calculate the labor cost:

labor cost = time × hourly rate


  • {time} is the duration needed to complete the job, and
  • {hourly rate} is the cost per hour of 3D printing.

Finally, I add the markup to account for profit:

final price = (material cost + labor cost) × (100% + markup)

By performing these calculations, I arrive at the total price of a 3D printing job. You can experiment with the final price by adjusting the hourly rate or adding extra time to simulate potential issues, such as a jammed extruder that requires fixing. This way, you can better anticipate the costs associated with your 3D printing projects.

3D printer filaments serve as the essential material for FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printers. Packaged in spools, these filaments consist of slender thermoplastic threads that are drawn out and guided through a heated nozzle. As they pass through the nozzle, the filament undergoes melting, and the liquefied material is meticulously deposited layer by layer. Consequently, this process gradually constructs a three-dimensional object, showcasing the intricate capabilities of FDM technology.

  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
  • PLA (Polylactic Acid)
  • PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)
  • Nylon
  • TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)
  • Wood filament
  • Metal filament
  • Glow-in-the-dark filament

Different types of 3D printer filaments

3D printer filaments

There are many different types of 3D printer filaments available, each with its own unique properties. The most common types of filaments include:

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

It is a strong and durable filament which is commonly used for prototyping and functional parts. It has a good balance of strength, flexibility, and heat resistance. However, ABS can be prone to warping during printing, so it requires a heated bed for optimal results. Its Density1.05 g/cm³.

PLA (Polylactic Acid)

A popular choice for beginners due to its ease of use, PLA is a biodegradable filament made from renewable resources such as corn starch. It is known for its smooth finish, lack of warping, and wide variety of colors. However, PLA is not as strong or heat-resistant as ABS. Its Density1.27 g/cm³.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)

PETG, a versatile filament, strikes a fine balance between strength, flexibility, and durability. Moreover, it is ideal for parts requiring both strength and functionality. Notably, PETG boasts greater resistance to warping compared to ABS and can be utilized without a heated bed. Its Density1.25 g/cm³.


Nylon, renowned for its strength and durability, is a common choice for industrial applications. Notably, it boasts high strength, excellent heat resistance, and remarkable wear resistance. However, nylon can pose challenges during printing, requiring higher temperatures and presenting greater difficulty compared to other filaments. Its Density1.15 g/cm³.

TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)

A flexible filament that is commonly used for creating rubber-like parts. TPU is a good option for applications that require flexibility, such as gaskets, seals, and grips. However, TPU can be more difficult to print than other filaments and may require special printing settings. Its Density1.30 g/cm³.

In addition to the common types listed above, there are also many specialty filaments available, such as:

  • Wood filament: This filament is made from real wood particles and can be used to create objects with a wood-like appearance and feel.
  • Metal filament:This filament is filled with metal particles, such as bronze or stainless steel. Metal filaments can be used to create objects with a metallic look and weight.
  • Glow-in-the-dark filament:This filament contains phosphorescent pigments that allow it to glow in the dark after being charged with light.
  • When considering which 3D printer filament to use, it’s crucial to evaluate several key factors. Firstly, think about the intended application of the printed object. Ask yourself if its purpose requires strength, flexibility, or heat resistance. Additionally, check the compatibility of the filament with your specific 3D printer model. Not all printers support all types of filaments, so consulting your printer’s manual is advisable. Finally, take into account your level of experience with 3D printing. If you’re new to the process, starting with a filament known for its ease of use, such as PLA, can help you get comfortable before experimenting with more challenging materials.
3D Printer Cost Calculator

3D Printer Cost Calculator

3D Printing Cost Analysis

Here are some real-world examples of 3D printing cost analysis, showcasing how the various factors we discussed previously influence the final cost:

Example 1: Low-Cost, Personal Project

  • Project: Creating a custom phone case with a simple design on a hobbyist 3D printer.
  • Material: PLA filament (common and affordable)
  • Estimated filament weight: 50 grams
  • PLA filament cost: $0.10/gram
  • Machine cost (one-time): $200 (affordable hobbyist printer)
  • Printing time: 4 hours (low electricity impact)
  • Post-processing: Light sanding for a smoother finish (minimal cost)

Estimated total cost: ~$20 (filament + one-time printer cost) – This is a cost-effective option for personal projects where functionality trumps high-end materials.

Example 2: Functional Prototype with Mid-Range Cost

  • Project: Developing a prototype for a new machine gear requiring moderate strength and heat resistance.
  • Material: PETG filament (balances strength and affordability)
  • Estimated filament weight: 100 grams
  • PETG filament cost: $0.50/gram
  • 3D printing service fee: $30 (based on complexity)
  • Post-processing: Light cleaning and support removal

Estimated total cost: ~$80 (filament + service fee + minimal post-processing) – This scenario highlights the cost benefits of using a service for functional prototypes, leveraging their expertise for a reasonable price.

Example 3: High-Precision Industrial Part with Significant Cost

  • Project: Manufacturing a small, high-precision engine component needing superior strength and heat resistance.
  • Material: High-performance Nylon filament (specialized material)
  • Estimated filament weight: 75 grams
  • Nylon filament cost: $3.00/gram
  • Advanced 3D printing service fee: $150 (due to precision and material)
  • Post-processing: Machining and polishing for functionality and dimensional accuracy

Estimated total cost: ~$375 (filament + service fee + complex post-processing) – This example showcases the cost considerations for industrial-grade parts requiring advanced techniques and materials.

In conclusion, businesses must adopt a holistic approach to optimizing 3D printing costs, encompassing factors such as material selection, hardware investment, labor efficiency, and environmental considerations. By strategically managing these elements, companies can enhance profitability while simultaneously reducing waste and energy consumption. Additionally, analyzing market trends and embracing innovative solutions will further drive cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. With a focus on efficiency and sustainability, organizations can unlock the full potential of 3D printing technology, positioning themselves for success in the rapidly evolving landscape of additive manufacturing.


How to calculate 3d printing costs?

Calculating 3D printing costs involves multiple factors. Begin with material expenses, determined by filament or resin type and weight. Account for machine wear, estimating replacement costs per gram over projects. Additionally, Estimate electricity expenses based on printing time and rate per kWh. Service fees and optional post-processing add to total costs. Utilize online calculators for accuracy and consider print complexity and size.

Which is cheapest 3d printing material?

PLA (Polylactic Acid) stands out as the cheapest 3D printing material for FDM printers due to its wide availability, biodegradable source, and ease of printing. Costs range from $0.05 to $0.15 per gram, making it an economical choice. However, project needs should dictate material selection to balance cost and functionality effectively.