The Strength Of Materials Used To Create 3d Parts
3D printed parts can only be as strong as the material that theyre made of. With that said, some materials are a lot stronger and more durable than others. Thats exactly why the strength of 3D printed parts varies so greatly.
Three of the more common materials used to create 3D parts include PLA, ABS, and PETG. So, lets discuss what each of these materials is, how they can be used, and how strong they really are.
Lowest Cost Usable 3d Printer Cost
- 3D printer price: $180 to $400
- Expected precision: 100 microns
- Expected print size: small
These are the lowest price 3D printers that are durable and reliable enough to recommend. If youre wondering how much a small 3D printer costs, youre probably looking for this category.
Though inexpensive, they are less suitable for beginners as they are often DIY 3D printers you need to assemble yourself, requiring tech know-how, especially if you want to upgrade it more down the line with better extruders, nozzles, and other parts. They are usually RepRap 3D printers.
These 3D printers often have a small build volume if they come assembled, or medium size if a 3D printer kit. They are not usually compatible with many materials as they cant reach high extruder or heated bed temperatures, though if you only plan on using 3D printer filaments such as PLA this isnt a problem.
You cannot expect remarkably high reliability with these 3D printers, which can on occasion cause a headache when parts break. In this price range very few 3D printers will have a dual extruder, and will often require you to calibrate them, which may be too complex for beginners to 3D printing.
Youre mostly restricted to FDM printers here, though some LCD printers fall into this price range.
How To Get The Exact 3d Printing Cost Of Your Project
As weve just seen in the past paragraphs, the price of 3D printing depends on various factors. But once you got your 3D model ready, its actually simple to know the price of your project.
Using an online 3D printing service such as Sculpteo will offer you the opportunity to get an instant free quote. You just have to upload your file and select the technology, material and finishing you need for your project, and the quote will instantly be generated. Give it a try and estimate the cost of your 3D print right now.
Fore more information about our pricing system, you can check our pricing page.
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D Printer Costs: Advanced Printing Technologies
The cost of a 3D printer would tend to rise as you get into more sophisticated printing technologies. The entry price of an SLS 3D printer is around $5000, and such a purchase might be important if you need to make complex objects and want to avoid the printing duration of an FDM 3D printer.
As such, consider the cost of your 3D printer to rise if you opt for other printing technologies , yet, not everyone can afford it. Based on the quantities youre forecasting to print, it might not make sense to get your own 3D printer. Printing Services such as Sculpteo then turn out to be a good solution to grant you access to advanced printing processes without bearing the costs of a 3D printer.
Cost Of Buying And Running A 3d Printer
If you’re starting a 3D printing business or looking to make money with 3D printing, you might want to consider the price of a 3D printer in calculating the cost to 3D print something. 3D printers can cost anywhere between $200 to $150,000 depending on the technology being used.
Let’s say you purchased a $1500 3D Printer that you plan to use 8 hrs / day for 2 years. We’re going to ignore repair cost, electricity, etc. for the sake of simplicity.
8 x 365 x 2 = 5840 total hours
$1500 / 5840 hrs = ~ $0.21/hr
So if your 3D model would take about 4 hours to 3D print, then you need to charge $0.84 on top of your price to account for your machine upkeep.
In a way, the time it takes to 3D print also adds to the cost of 3D printing.
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Why Use 3d Printing At All
If 3D printed parts werent at all strong, then they wouldnt be used as an alternative production method for many supplies and materials.
But, are they as strong as metals like steel and aluminum? Definitely not!
However, they are quite useful when it comes to designing new pieces, printing them at a lower cost, and getting a good amount of durable use out of them. Theyre also great for small parts and have a generally decent tensile strength given their size and thickness.
Whats even better is that these 3D printed parts can be manipulated to increase their strength and overall durability.
How Much Does It Cost To 3d Print A Real House
A 3D printed house can cost as low as $4,000 and only take around 24 hours to complete. SQ4D are at the forefront of the 3D printed home industry, being able to create a 1,900 SQ FT. home in just 48 hours and used less than $6,000 in materials. Costs are decreasing as times move forward.
Homes are being built for low-income families in Mexico, as well as throughout the US.
Large industrial grade printers extrude cement in layers to form walls. Fittings such as windows and doors are placed after the main structure is completed.
3D printing homes is still at its infancy, so we can expect to see more 3D printed homes in the market in the near future.
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What Are Resin Printers
Resin 3D printing incorporates photopolymerization, which means curing layer by layer of liquid photopolymers into a solid structure.
The resin reacts to specific wavelengths of light, usually UV light which hardens or cures it. Light sources vary depending on the technology. Current technologies make use of laser, projections and LCD panels.
Most hobbyist resin printers operate on the same principle where a bath of resin with a transparent bottom is secured over the light source that cures the resin from below.
Simultaneously, the build platform moves vertically upward with the structure or object being built upside down. Resin bonds very well in the build process and fine detail can be achieved. The end product has a seamless finish with no visible bonding lines that are common with filament printing.
The post-printing process required to fully cure the printed structure is essential as it poses a health risk due to most resins being toxic. When working with resin, safety measures must include wearing protective gloves and a face mask, preferably one with an organic filter to prevent respiratory irritation from resin fumes.
Resin has a strong odor, and adequate ventilation should be a priority.
An extra curing bay with light source may be necessary to harden structures fully. The cost of post-printing materials can add up and should be considered when investing in a resin printer.
Cost Of 3d Printing Materials
The choice of 3D printing material best suited for your application will dictate which 3D printing process you use. This is because different processes are compatible with different materials, as represented in the flowchart below.
Generally, 3D printed metals come at a much higher price point compared to plastics. 3D printed composites are usually more expensive than metals. In this section, well summarize the costs of common 3D printing materials. You can find more details on material properties and pricing information in our Materials Index.
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D Printer Repairs And Upgrades Costs
When calculating how much a 3D printer costs, you need to also account for any repairs that youll need to pay for, as well as any upgrades you may want to improve your 3D printing experience.
Some 3D printer parts need to be replaced more often than others, such as a 3D printers nozzle. Depending how much you print, you could get through many nozzles per year though these are fairly inexpensive. Standard brass nozzles will be eviscerated by abrasive filaments such as carbon fiber, so consider investing in a hardened steel or ruby-tipped nozzle for these.
You also need to think about any potential upgrades you may purchase, such as for your 3D printers extruder or hot end. These upgrades can cost between $50 to $150 for high quality E3D or similar brand extruders and hot ends, but will greatly improve your 3D printing options.
- We have a full guide to all 3D printer parts in our parts of a 3D printer guide.
Some makers say to add 10% on top of the cost of a 3D printer to account for repairs and upgrades. This isnt applicable for very low-end printers, as upgrading the extruder may cost 30% or more of the printers cost already. But for answering the question of how much is a 3D printer, its important to factor in upgrades.
How Much Plastic Does A 3d Printer Use
For each print, it can easily take around 1-3% of your 1KG spool of filament. One 3D printer user described that in 5,000 hours of printing in the past year, they had gone through 30KG of filament with near constant printing. Based on those numbers, that is 166 printing hours for every KG of filament.
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Calculation Of 3d Printing Costs: Example
Taking into account all the properties of 3D printing which contribute to the price, lets calculate how much you will spend on a default print. Take a standard benchy print with dimensions of 40 x 31 x 48mm. With the layer thickness of 200 um and 20% infill, the weight of the piece will be around 15.58 gram. Considering the price of the filament, 45 euros per spool of 750 gram , one benchy
D Printer Material Costs
Once youve bought a 3D printer, you need the materials to print with. If youre using an FDM 3D printer, you need filament such as PLA or ABS if youre using a resin 3D printer then youll need resin, and if youre using an SLS 3D printer, youll need the polymer powder.
Basic ABS or PLA filament will cost around $20 per kilogram. Other more alternative filaments such as flexible TPU will cost more, starting at around $40. Very high-quality filaments with extremely strong mechanical properties like PEEK can cost significantly more.
You may also want a filament dryer and filament containers to keep your filament in the best condition possible. This is because filaments are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture from the air, worsening print quality by making the filament more brittle, uneven and rough. Some filaments are more hygroscopic than others, with Nylon filaments considered some of the most hygroscopic.
The lowest cost resins for LCD printers like the Elegoo Mars and AnyCubic Photon range start at around $20 for 500ml, and around $35 for 1 liter. Third party higher quality resins used for 3D printers such as Formlabs Form 3 start at around $85, with Formlabs selling their own resins that start at $149.
For an SLS 3D printer, PA12 Nylon powder can cost around $60 per kilogram, though this can vary.
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How Long Does A 1kg Roll Of Filament Last
This question is quite similar to asking someone how long is a piece of string? If you have a long list of items that you have been wanting to print and they are of a bigger size, infill percentage and you want large layers, you can go through a 1KG roll pretty quickly.
The timing for how long a roll of filament will last really depends on how often you are printing and what you are printing. Some will tell you a roll of filament lasts them a few days, others will tell you one 1KG roll lasts them a few months.
Some big projects such as costumes and props can easily use over 10KG of filament, so 1KG of filament wont last you barely any time at all.
If you have one big print, you could technically use up a whole 1KG roll of filament in just one day, with a big nozzle such as a 1mm nozzle.
It depends on your flow rates and the models you are printing. Your slicer software will show you exactly how many grams of filament it will take to complete.
The piece below is almost 500g and lasts around 45 hours of printing.
When the same piece has the nozzle size changed from 0.4mm to 1mm, we see a drastic change in the amount of printing hours to just under 17 hours. This is around a 60% decrease in the used even increases from 497g to 627g.
You could easily add settings which use tons more filament in less time, so its really about your flow rates out of the nozzle.
A 3D printer with a large build volume leaves more room for ambitious, larger projects and prints.
Entry Level 3d Printers :
Printers in this category are primarily toys but are a great way to experiment and learn about 3D printing. You will likely have to spend a considerable time assembling, calibrating and testing before you are able to print. They will only be able to print objects around 3-4 in each dimension and likely limited to printing in one material. These printers are slow, noisy, have poor print quality and not very durable. A lack of enclosed print space will limit you to only printing low-temperature materials such as PLA. However, for printing small objects and getting a feel for how a 3D printer works, they do the job.
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Increase Number Of Walls
Think of the walls of a 3D printed part as the support beams in a house. If a house only has four exterior walls and no support beams or interior walls, just about anything can cause the house to collapse or give under any amount of weight.
In the same way, the strength of a 3D printed piece will only exist where there are walls to support weight and impact. Thats exactly why increasing the number of walls inside a 3D printed piece can increase the strength of the structure.
This is an especially useful strategy when it comes to larger 3D printed parts with a greater surface area.
The Heaviest 3d Printing Material
The heaviest materials on our chart are semi-flexible FPE and nylon , so they can affect you in applications where you are looking for lightness.
Apart from these, there are other heavier materials that we have not yet considered: metal-filled materials. There are materials filled with bronze, brass, copper, iron which considerably increase the density of the material. These filaments usually have an aesthetic purpose and that is why we have left them out of our list of materials.
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Sustainable 3d Printing: Paper An Alternative To Plastic
Mcor Technologies is a 3D printer manufacturer that has successfully made 3D printing material from paper. Their Laminar 3D printing technology successively cuts sheets of paper and glues them onto each other to 3D print an object.
Paper is not as environmentally friendly as PLA, but it is a serious alternative to more toxic materials. It also costs much less: a ton of paper costs around 1,300 while a ton of PLA costs between 5,000 and 10,000.
Hobbyist 3d Printers :
Printers in this category are often surprisingly capable, but often have 1-2 fatal flaws that undermine their value. Many 3D printers in this category require you to spend a considerable time assembling, calibrating and testing before you are able to print.These prints can often print a bit larger than entry-level printers, perhaps 5-6 in each dimension. They are a bit faster and might be able to print a few different materials. Youll often find that their speeds and print quality are lacking. Most of the printers in this class are not made to run for significant lengths of time and youll have to do a lot of repairs / maintenance to keep them running. Most 3D printers in this category will not be enclosed, also limiting you to only printing low-temperature materials such as PLA. These printers are good for someone who likes 3D printing as a hobby, perhaps for use by grade schools. However, these printers are not at all suitable for commercial use or in educational settings where you need them to print at specified times reliably.
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How Much Does It Cost To 3d Print An Organ
A bioprinter can reportedly create a 3D printed organ for as little as $10,000 which is likely to decrease in price as technology improves. Researchers are trying to 3D print many organs such as a pancreas, bioprinted skin, corneas, a heart, kidneys, and even bioprinted ovaries.
To 3D print an Anatomical Heart in PLA, it would cost around $3.65 and use 146g in filament.
Is Pla Pet Safe
PLA is probably the most commonly used material used to make food-safe items for pets. This type of material is made out of natural, organic compounds that are usually extracted from corn or potatoes. Therefore, any chew toys, bowls, balls, and aquarium accessories made out of PLA are safe and wont harm your pets.
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