If you’re looking to commission durable, detailed product parts and models, 3D printing is the perfect solution. With so many technologies and materials available, you can create a truly custom 3D printed prototype for a reasonable price.
But how much does 3D printing cost? The answer depends on many factors, from the complexity of your design to the materials used. Different 3D printing companies may also charge different rates, so it’s important to do your research.
At Laser Prototypes Europe (LPE), we pride ourselves on our competitive pricing and the superior quality of our custom 3D prints. In this guide, we’ll discuss what to expect when it comes to 3D printing costs.
How Much Do 3D Prints Cost?
The cost of 3D printing can vary greatly depending on a huge number of factors. Every rapid prototyping project is different, with varying parameters and specifications.
The main factors that influence the cost of producing a 3D printed prototype are the technology used, the cost of materials, the complexity and size of the design. Of course, the quantity of items ordered will also make a difference, as will the addition of any post-processing services (e.g. painting).
Different 3D printing technologies have different levels of complexity, speed, accuracy, and capabilities, which can affect the cost of printing. For example, technologies such as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and stereolithography (SLA) may have different pricing structures due to the difference in the machinery, materials, and expertise required to produce the objects.
If you are unsure which 3D printing technology to choose, contact LPE for professional advice. Our experts can provide tailored recommendations based on your needs, budget, and the specifics of your design.
The cost of materials is another factor that can affect the cost of 3D printing. The cost of materials depends on the type and quality of the substance used. Some materials, such as metals or high-performance polymers, can be more expensive than others like basic photopolymer resin.
The amount of material used also plays a role in 3D printing rates. Larger designs will require substantially more material, which will increase the cost of production.
Another aspect which can influence 3D printing costs is the complexity of the design. Intricate and complex designs will require more time to produce, and may also require assembly by hand. This will increase labour costs, resulting in a higher price quoted.
More complex designs may also require the use of a more accurate and higher resolution 3D printing method, which will also increase the cost of the project.
As you may expect, the more items you order, the more you’ll pay for a custom 3D printing job. This is because more materials and labour will be used for their production.
However, most providers will offer a ‘volume discount’ – meaning the more items you order, the lower the cost per item will be. This is because the cost of setting up the printing process and preparing the files will be spread over a larger number of items. This is especially relevant for low volume production.
Post-processing services, such as painting or polishing, can also add to the cost of 3D printing. These services require additional time, expertise, and labour which will increase the overall cost of production.
At LPE, we offer a full in-house post-processing service including assembly, testing, finishing, and painting. This allows you to streamline your supply chain, save time and reduce costs. Contact us to or discuss your needs.
The time it takes to complete a 3D print project will depend on various factors, including the complexity of the design, the size of the object, the chosen technology, and the provider’s capacity. The higher the turnaround time, the higher the likely cost. As with most other services, the quicker you require the product, the more you’ll be expected to pay.
The number and complexity of parts being printed will impact the turnaround time. Larger quantities may require more time to print and prepare for delivery. Additionally, the 3D printing method chosen will impact the lead time, with some processes being quicker than others.
It’s important to keep in mind that 3D printing is a multi-step process that involves preparing the digital file, setting up the printer, printing the object, and post-processing to achieve the desired finish or texture. Each of these steps takes time and can impact the overall cost.
Why Choose LPE for Custom 3D Printing (UK)?
If you are looking for a fast, reliable and cost-effective 3D printing service for parts, prototypes or custom models, contact Laser Prototypes Europe. We specialise in a variety of rapid manufacturing technologies, from stereolithography to metal sintering, and offer swift lead times of 3-7 days.
Choose from a wide range of materials, finishes and post-processing services, from painting to assembly. If you have any special requests, our helpful team will be happy to discuss your particular requirements.
Click here to request a free, bespoke quote for your 3D printing project. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, email email@example.com or call us on 028 9070 6940.