In the past few years, the cost of 3D printing has gone down significantly, changing it from a university-funded grad student project to a viable method for manufacturing prototypes and even final parts and products. Developments in 3D printing technology have also brought along a number of new options for color, material, and printing technique.
3D printing pricing is similar to that of other manufacturing techniques in a number of ways. Both the materials and the process have purchase and/or operating costs. With 3D printing, the amount of material you use is primarily what determines the price.
At Jawstec, we base our pricing based on a few factors:
- Type of material
- Object volume
- Bounding box
- Surface area
Let’s break down what these different factors mean and how they affect the price.
The type of material is very important. We can print a variety of materials, including nylon and resin. Every raw material has an associated cost. Depending on the material you want a product printed in, it will therefore cost more or less in much the same way as buying a gold ring costs more than a silver one.
Object volume is directly tied to the type of material that’s being printed. By volume, we mean the entire amount of material that’s needed to complete the object. The infill, or the material in the middle of the product, is key here. Hollow objects will cost less than solid objects of the same material.
The bounding box is the area that the object is going to take up to print. This is helpful for understanding the dimensions we need for the printer to complete the object.
Surface area is exactly what it says: the amount of surface area there is of the object. For a number of different objects, the surface area is the only relevant area and the object can be hollow, reducing its cost. We still need to know the surface area, however, because objects are finished after they are printed for a smoother, more durable surface.
We measure the object volume and the bounding box in centimeters cubed and surface area in centimeters squared, avoiding any conflict of dimensions (i.e. inches and centimeters being used to describe different dimensions of one object; this issue can be enough to lose space probes, though with 3D printing it just results in confusion).
We charge an initial fee per print, with an additional fee for subsequent prints. We also offer a bulk discount for large orders. Contact us for a quote so we can give you a more accurate estimate based on your planned 3D printed product.
At Jawstec, we are one of the only HP Recognized Providers for 3D Printing Service. We understand the ins and out of this new and developing technology. We work with customers from all over the world, with all levels of experience with 3D printing, to help them use 3D printing in their business. Whether it’s producing prototypes, parts, or full working models of your products, we are here to help.