Optimize 3d Metal Printing
You can save your company significant amounts of money and boost productivity by optimizing your 3D metal printing processes.
Layers.apps mission is to help you automate and improve your 3D printing processes. By using our software, you can automate many aspects of design, bringing you powerful and easy-to-use 3D metal printing tools. It frees up skilled workers from repeating work, allowing them to manufacture more parts more quickly.
D Systems Dmp Flex 100
The 3D Systems DMP Flex 100 is a powder bed fusion machine built for industrial use. This manufacturer is very popular for metal 3D printing and is based out of the US. For users needing to build small or complex metal parts, this is the perfect solution.
The DMP Flex 100 is fast and precise, so you can quickly build the same part repeatedly. When you purchase this system, you also get access to an all-inclusive software solution that gives you everything you need to be successful with metal additive manufacturing.
It has a print bed of 100 x 100 x 90 mm and costs about $250,000.
How Does Dmls/slm Work
Steps involved in 3D printing with DMLS and SLM are as follows:
First, the build chamber is filled with inert gas and then heated to the optimal temperature for printing. The build platform is covered with a thin layer of metal powder . The laser scans the cross section of the part and selectively bonds the metal particles.
After the entire area is scanned, the build platform moves down a layer and the process repeats until the entire build is complete.
After printing, the built-up needs to cool down before the loose powder can be extracted. The 3D printing step is just the beginning of the DMLS/SLM process. After the print is complete, additional post-processing steps must be performed before the parts can be used. Required post-processing steps include:
Stress relief: As a result of the very high processing temperatures during printing, internal stresses develop. Prior to any other operation, these need to be relieved through a thermal cycle.
Removal of the parts: SLM/DMLS basically welds parts to a build platform. Here, band saws or wire cutters are used.
Removal of the support: To mitigate the distortion and warping that may occur during printing, DMLS/SLM support is always required. This support is either manually removed or CNC machined.
Additional post-processing steps are often required to meet engineering specifications. This may include the following:
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How Much Does 3d Printing Organs Cost The Actual Numbers
Currently, thousands of people are waiting on the transplant list for organs like kidneys, heart, and liver. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough donor organs available to fill that demand. You also cannot donate an organ such as a heart while the patient is alive. What if instead of waiting, we could create a brand new customized organ? That is the idea behind bioprinting.
This technology is still in development but there are already printers out there capable of performing the impossible a few years ago. The consensus is that rather than printing cells layer by layer as in regular 3D printing, 3D printing of organs should be done by printing scaffolds on which cells can grow and develop into a full size organ.
As you can imagine with such an undertaking on the cutting edge combining 3d printing technology, medicine and biology, this is not something that comes at a low price. Lets discuss the costs of .
The cost of 3D printing organs is changing as technology evolves. Living tissue has been successfully printed with a $1000 3D printer while more specialized bioprinters cost upwards of $100,000. Other costs involved include bioinks which start at hundreds of dollars, associated research and the cost of highly skilled operators for 10 weeks or more per organ. It is not uncommon for the initial cost of bringing a bioprinting technology onto the market to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Best Industrial 3d Printer Metal
Those in the 3D printing industry should rejoice because a new machine is here to boost your business. A 3D printer that uses metal is now available to help you print metal parts quickly and conveniently with lesser waste and at a reduced price.
Heres our top pick industrial metal 3D printer for additive manufacturing.
#1 HP Metal Jet Review
HP is popular in the printing world, but they take their game at a higher level when they joined the market for metal 3D printing by producing a first-rate metal 3D printer in the form of HP Metal Jet.
What I love most about this all-metal 3D printer is its usability. This 3D printer is designed to propel your business with its most advanced metal 3D printers for mass production. It can produce high volumes of parts and large parts at a lower cost.
It can also accelerate product development cycles with multiple iterations in just days. It produces parts faster, in fewer steps with no debinding required and eliminates tooling.
Its huge, so you need to have enough space to store it.
This 3D metal printer delivers extreme performance, high quality and consistent reliability which is just worth it considering its hefty price.
Personally, I find this 3D printer expensive. This is priced at $399,000. So, basically this is not for home use but its great if you are in the industry and is planning to use this for business.
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How Much Does A Metal 3d Printer Cost
Metal 3D printers are used for a wide variety of manufacturing needs. They are becoming faster and easier to use. These machines are powerful too since they can now use more metals than ever.
3D printing with metal has many applications for engineers, whether you are in the automotive, health, aerospace, or other industry. You can use them to build detailed parts, prototypes, and pieces that can take your business to the next level.
So, how much does a metal 3D printer cost?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The manufacturers of metal 3D printers dont broadcast their prices online, so you cant just google what the cost is. Part of the reason they do this is that they will tailor their quotes to fit the specific needs of their clients.
That means you wont be able to just order them online. You will likely need to reach out to the manufacturer, schedule some meetings, and sign a formal contract.
Even though the cost of this technology has decreased over time, it is still expensive compared to other 3D printing options. You can expect to spend anywhere from $80,000 to $1,000,000 on a metal 3D printer!
The cost will vary based on the type of metal printer you choose, as well as its size and expected performance. You will also need to add in the cost of the materials and additional tools required to complete the metal 3D printing process.
Why Are 3d Printing Services Expensive
3D printing services are expensive because we have to account for factors mentioned beforehand such as labor, post processing and overhead costs. We also have to account the industrial 3D printers that they use, which cost at least $100,000 and upwards. Plus, they have to add profit margin on top of that cost.
This begs the question, is it better to buy a 3D printer instead?
Should you buy a 3D printer or hire a 3D printing service?
3D printing services can sometimes cost more than an entry level 3D printer. So you might be wondering if it’s better to buy a 3D printer instead.
Here’s our thoughts on that:
If cost is a problem for you and you’re only 3D printing for fun, then buying a 3D printer might be the better investment in the long run.
If your time is more valuable for you, then hiring a 3D printing service would be the better option. You’ll have access to large scale 3D printers and capabilities that is impossible to achieve with DIY 3D printing.
Anycubic Photon Mono
The Photon Mono is the best LCD 3D printer that we’ve gotten our hands on. We own 8 of these machines and use it as part of our manufacturing process. It’s cheap but the print quality is almost the same as the ones that we get from our Formlabs 3. If you’re looking to buy your first 3D printer, we recommend going for a resin 3D printer like this one instead of buying an FDM printer.
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Cheap And Fast 3d Printing Services
Now that were all familiar with reducing total 3D printing costs, lets look at four cheap and fast services you can try if you need your prints completed quickly.
First off, theres i.Materialize, which is what I use for my 3D print needs. They come highly recommended by many people as they charge very low rates with no hidden fees. Also, shipping times are incredibly short, sometimes only a few days, making this a superb option compared to other companies that can take weeks!
Ponoko is another great option for cheap and fast 3D printing services, even though they charge a bit more than i.Materialize. That said, they offer the ability to choose the size of your object and what material you use so you can avoid paying extra for materials and save money by using small prints.
3. Proto Labs
Moving on, we have Proto Labs, which is a little more pricey than i.Materialize and Ponoko, but their services are top-notch nonetheless. They offer quick turnaround times and large print sizes, making them perfect for those who want flexible options for their 3D prints.
Finally, we have Shapeways, the most expensive option on this list but they also come recommended by many users.
D Printer Operation Costs
Another thing that Josef calculated was 3D printer operation costs. He started with electricity: according to the local electricity distributors rates, 1 kWh costs from 0.07 USD to 0.09 USD. Lets work with 0.09 USD. The printer input power depends on several factors, however, most of the time it needs around 100-150 W. Printing a tree frog on the MK3s takes 1h 16 min, 1h 10min on the MINI, and 1h 48 min on the SL1. With 150W power input , electricity for printing one tree frog will be less than 0,023 USD. Such a low price is practically negligible.
On the other hand, Josef would like to recoup the money he spent on buying his printers within 6 months of printing. This led him to add a fixed fee to printing hour costs. The fee is 0.21 USD/hour for the MK3S, 0.1 USD/hour for the MINI, and 0.36 USD/hour for the SL1.
3D printer operation costs = Printer price / required investment return time * print time
Electricity cost = negligible
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Opportunity Cost Of Your Time
In some cases, you may want to factor in your time as a cost as well. When you choose to spend your time 3D printing, you give up working on another fun project, enjoying other kinds of leisure time, or earning money working. In rare cases one may factor in the value of their time into 3D printing costs.
For example, if you earn $20 an hour, and you spent two hours working on a 3D printing project, the opportunity cost of your time is $40. Now, you shouldnt feel like youre on the clock if youre having fun exploring your creativity on the weekends, but for more commercially-minded makers calculating 3D printing costs to start a 3D printing business, this is something to keep in mind.
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Cost Of Purchasing And Operating A 3d Printer
A 3D printer can cost from 150$/ for a cheap FDM or MSLA printer to almost 1 million$/ for a top metal 3d printer and in addition to this it requires maintenance costs, electricity, etc. which, however, we neglect here to simplify. First of all consider that in the current market you cannot think of making sense of a 3D printer by using it less than 8 hours a day for 250 working days it is better and much cheaper to have the parts done by an external 3D printing service.So let’s say you purchased a $/1500 3D printer that you plan to use 8 hrs/day for 2 years.8 x 250 x 2 = 2000 hours of printing$/ 1500 / 2000 hrs = $/ 0.75/hrAll this means almost nothing, why?Because it is not so important how much a machine costs per hour but how much it PRODUCES per hour in terms of cm3 of usable part:Considering that the machine in the example as a FDM printer we can say that it can reasonably produce 10cm3 / h .$/ 0.75/hr / 10cm3/hr = 0.075$/ per cm3Since a 3Dbenchy has a volume of about 16 cm3 it would cost around:0.075$/ per cm3 x 16 cm3 = 1,2 $/
Keep in mind that in this case we have not calculated the time necessary to prepare the file, the material and the maintenance costs, nor have we taken into consideration the fact that if you will use this machine few hours per week and not 8 hours a day, producing a single 3Dbenchy could quickly get to a real cost of 30 $/.
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Considerations Beyond Direct Costs
Investment, materials, and labor costs are relatively easy to calculate. But what about indirect costs and factors that are hard to quantify, but still influence your business? Lets look at some of the key considerations when comparing desktop 3D printing to outsourcing or other production methods.
Time savings: What if you could bring products to market months faster? Or cut the lead time for your products by days or weeks? 3D printing simplifies traditional prototyping and production workflows, helping you to save time and outpace the competition.
Better results: 3D printing allows you to create more iterations, fail faster, and achieve better end products. Finding and fixing design flaws early also helps to avoid costly design revisions and tooling changes in production.
Communication: Having high-quality prototypes and parts allows you to better communicate with customers, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Avoid confusion and costly mistakes.
IP protection: Do you work with sensitive information? Creating parts in-house means you wont have to give away intellectual property to third parties, reducing the risks of leaks or IP theft.
D Printing Materials Costs: Thermoplastics
The least expensive materials you can get are those for FDM technologies. Thermoplastic filaments are the most widespread materials in 3D printing. This category encompasses different materials but they dont cost more than a few tens of dollars per kilo. Then come the Nylon powders used in SLS printers. Nylon PA12, Nylon PA11/12, Nylon 3200 Glass-filled, these polymers are available in different types but their price remains overall the same. If you are considering to use our 3D printing service, these plastic materials and especially the Multi Jet Fusion PA12 are the cheapest.
Thermoplastics can be a good fit for some prototyping applications, yet the quality wont be as good as what professional scale machines can offer. Therefore, if you want to print out a model of a final product or the product itself, the options and technologies a 3D Printing Service can offer could be a better choice than using these materials with low-detail machines.
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Open Source Filaments Vs Manufacturer Materials
Open source 3D printing materials means you can use third-party filaments with your printer. Some 3D printer manufacturers design their products to only work with their brand of 3D print materials. This not only restricts your choices, but it also costs more a lot more, in some cases.
Access to open source filaments gives you extra choice and more sources. Its important because it encourages innovation among competitors. This forces them to always strive to improve their products.
$40 X 110 / 1000 = $440
Filament cost represents the cost of a 1KG spool of filament, multiplied by the weight of the print in grams , divided by 1000 equals print cost.
A 1KG spool might be as little as $20 for budget PLA filament, if bought locally or if you already have a shipping subscription service like Amazon Prime. Brand-name filaments, non-PLA materials, and/or having to explicitly cover shipping can drive this up.
Use this to calculate how much your prints cost or how much material you can save by recycling. Some 3D slicing software also measures cost per print.
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How To Calculate The Cost Of 3d Printed Parts
I wont go into too much detail in this section as the cost of certain parts has been shown above. I will, however, provide some more information on certain factors that can influence the price of the parts.
- Hourly Cost- Knowing how much you are printing per hour and how much its costing is important in order to save money
- Electricity Cost- Each printer is different so some may require more power to run than others. You can find out how much this is costing you by looking at how much electricity your printer consumes and knowing the average cost or energy for where you live
- Operator Cost- This part is generally the most expensive. You have to set the machine, slicing, post processing, etc.
Its best to find out how much you are spending per hour. This will give you a better idea of how much you are spending. More importantly, create a reasonable time table for your project.
Say you find out that its costing you around $100 per hour to print. If you can make a reasonable time table and believe that you can complete your project in 10 hours, then you will know that the project will cost $1000. This is just an example so dont take the numbers too seriously.
Whats important is having a good estimate of the time it will take to complete the project. Humans tend to greatly underestimate how long it actually takes to complete something. Try not to underestimate.