Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware How to Calculate 3D Printing Cost Online tools to help you determine how much a 3D print job costs by TJ McCue Writer Former Lifewire writer TJ McCue is a managing partner of Refine Digital and professional writer focused on marketing, technology, 3D printing, gadgets, and the cloud. our editorial process LinkedIn TJ McCue Updated on May 27, 2020 Accessories & Hardware Printers & Scanners Guide To Buying a New Printer The Quick Guide to Webcams Keyboards & Mice Monitors Cards HDD & SSD Raspberry Pi Tweet Share Email Most new technology carries a steep price tag when it hits the general consumer market, and 3D printing is no different. The material and equipment costs are still a bit prohibitive for most consumers. In response, a host of 3D printing service bureaus has sprung up to fill the void, performing the printing for those who don't want to invest in hardware, materials, and training. The trouble is that costs are notorious for varying wildly among these providers. To complicate matters, costs change even within the same service as the technology matures. We'll show you how to figure out costs using some online price comparison services below. How to Compare 3D Printing Costs Among Providers Several price-comparison services are available to help you estimate 3D printing costs, which comes in especially handy if your slicer program doesn't do that for you already. 3DCompare 3DCompare offers an instant quote and printability feedback. To get a quote on your 3D printing project: Upload your new 3D file, and specify whether the project is in millimeters, centimeters, or inches. The file must be below 50 MB and in .stl or .obj format. The service then searches a regularly updated database to construct estimates that include actual printing costs, turnaround times, materials, and shipping fees from industry leaders such as Shapeways, Sculpteo, and iMaterialise. The database is updated regularly to ensure accurate, current information. If you don't have a file available to upload, you can contact 3DCompare directly for a quote. 3DPrintHQ Jason King's thorough, informative post, The True Cost of Running a Desktop 3D Printer, explores various aspects of 3D printing costs such as materials, electricity, initial printer investment, depreciation, and failed prints. Finally, he offers a cost comparison calculator tool and can send you a spreadsheet so you can run your own numbers. 3D Part Price This 3-D pricing estimator is fast and simple. Here's how to use it to get a quote for your 3D printing project: Upload your file. It must be 25 MB or less. Enter parameters like layer height, print speed, and price per hour or gram. Choose your material and slicer. Select Submit. Calculations take less than a minute.