The Costs of 3D Printing – What You Need to Know

3D printing has recently been on the rise. Whether creating consumer products (eyewear, design, or furniture), industrial models (manufacturing tools or prototypes), prosthetics, architectural scales, or entertainment props, it can be your best bet to get structurally complex materials that are of high quality.

For the uninitiated, this additive manufacturing process entails constructing a three-dimensional object using a CAD model or a digital model. It involves layering materials, such as plastics, composites, or bio-materials, to produce objects of varied sizes, shapes, colours, and rigidity.

But have you ever wondered how much a 3D printer would cost? We’ll answer this in the following section. Whether you plan to buy your own printer or get the necessary materials, keep on reading to find out the costs of obtaining and maintaining your own unit.

The Market Price of a 3D printer

It’s worth knowing that the market price of a 3D printer varies from one technology to another. The same is true for the materials being used to produce the components you churn out. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • FDM technology: FDM is the most widely used technology. The most basic printers can meet your needs for about $200, although they aren’t fast and can’t print thin, accurate parts. On the other hand, advanced models can cost you about $4000, as these are ideal for large-scale production, have the utmost accuracy, and are overall efficient in producing output.
  • Advanced technology: There are sophisticated technologies available in the market. For instance, SLS 3D printers can cost you around $5000. They are ideal for complex objects, massive productions, and fast printing requirements. 
  • 3D printing materials: It’s worth knowing that the costs of printing materials vary. Keep in mind that the more advanced your printer is, the more costly the materials will be. Hence, it’s best to invest in the printer’s technology based on the price of the materials you can supply it with.

Key Factors Affecting Pricing

If you’re looking to invest in a 3D printer for your business, here are four key factors to consider:

  • Size: You want a printer that can accommodate large materials needed for your business.
  • Speed: You prefer a model that can print your materials as quickly as possible.
  • Precision: You want a printer that can produce the materials accurately and without error.
  • Printing technology: You have the option to choose between an FDM technology or more advanced technology discussed above.

As the type of your 3D printer can impact your material costs, consider the aforementioned variables. These will determine the availability of printing materials needed for your business. 

Other Considerations

Other vital elements to consider for your 3D printing efforts include the following: 

  • Finishes: You have to match the printing process with the finishing work. The chances are that you will need extra finishing touches to truly bring your project vision into life. Hence, you have to think ahead of the finishes you may need.
  • Designs: When it comes to producing your model, there are various options available in the market. You may have a freelancer design it for you, buy your own CAD software to create it yourself, or get it on a free 3D model Database. It’s all up to you!


At this point, you now have a broad idea of how much 3D printing will cost you for your business. Whether you invest in a new printer or purchase materials for your printing, you know what to expect based on the valuable information discussed above. We hope this blog has shed some light on what you need to know about the cost of 3D printing.

We are committed to providing high-quality, FDM 3D printing services. If you need rapid prototyping services in the UK, then send your CAD data and .stl file or step files and we’ll provide you with your 3D printing quote within an hour. What are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today!

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