Valuable Insights into 3D Printer Costs: A Comprehensive Guide

Reviewed By Suman Gowda Application Engineer, Additive Manufacturing

Being an Additive manufacturing expert, Suman Gowda brings years of experience to the forefront of 3D printing technology which have helped Phillips client’s follow sustainable manufacturing practices.
As a passionate advocate for innovation, Suman’s expertise extends to various additive technologies such as FDM 3d printing, in Composite printing, and metal 3d printing.

3D Industrial printing solutions have infused transformation in manufacturing technologies. Important parameters such as product design, prototyping, and production have undergone revolutionary changes. These solutions have greatly transformed manufacturing processes with innovation, precision, and efficiency across various industrial segments.
So how much does a 3D printer cost? 3D printers come in a wide range of pricing, a low-cost of industrial 3D printer prices start from ₹ 4 lakh onwards and extends between ₹ 15-20 lakh for a mid-range 3D printer to even ₹ 1 Cr for high-end ones. The pricing varies on several factors, our guide helps you understand the various factors that contributes to the overall cost of a 3D printer.

Understanding the Cost of 3D Printers

The 3D printing machine price is a crucial aspect to be considered before its purchase. Several factors, such as build volume, resolution, brand reputation, and technology, influence the cost of 3D printers and the overall manufacturing cost. Apart from investment, you should consider the savings, in terms of time, cost, and effort.

3D Printer Cost – Technology-wise

FDM 3D Printers
FDM 3D Printers are the most preferred worldwide. Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
involves melting the raw material and layering it in a predetermined format. Most FDM
printers use thermoplastic polymers, which are then melted to form the final 3D object.
Thermoplastic polymers widely used are Polylactic Acid – PLA, Acrylonitrile Butadiene
Styrene – ABS, Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified – PETG, and so on.
Cost of FDM machines using engineering Polymer – INR 5 – 40 lakh and printer with
high performance and material capabilities goes to 1Cr and above Cost of FDM machines using Metal – INR 1.5Cr and above

DMLS 3D Printing
Laser Metal Deposition (DLMS) is an additive manufacturing process that uses a high-
powered laser to melt metal powders and selectively deposit them for the delivery of high-
performance metal components with minimal material waste. The advantages of the DLMS
process are precision in fabrication and detailing in product printing. DMLS 3D Printers are preferred in applications that require geometric accuracy and diverse metal alloy
compatibility. Metal 3d printer prices are usually higher and hence require careful
Cost of 3d Printers using Laser Metal Deposition (DLMS) – starts from INR 2CR and
complete setup cost will go upto 5 CR and above
Stereolithography (SLA) technology
Stereolithography (SLA) technology refers to the use of a UV laser to solidify the liquid resin
layer-wise to deliver a highly precise and detailed 3D printed object. Stereolithography (SLA)
technology is used to print objects with intricate designs and prototypes because it delivers
a superior surface finish across a wide range of resin-based materials.
Cost of 3d Printers using Stereolithography (SLA) technology: starts from 5 lakhs
and goes upto 1 cr and above

Why is it essential to calculate the 3D printing price?

It is essential to determine the 3D printing machine price and the total manufacturing cost for budgeting and planning the manufacturing process. Remember to include ongoing operation and maintenance costs along with the initial purchase price.
Factor Elements to Consider
Material Cost
Cost of 3D printing material (e.g., filament, resin, powder)
Print Time, Duration of the print
Power consumption of the 3D printer
Printer Depreciation
Initial cost of the printer
Expected lifespan of the printer
Labor Cost
Time spent on 3D model preparation, setup, and post- processing
Maintenance and Upkeep
Cost of regular maintenance
Replacement parts and consumables
Overhead Costs
Rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
Software and Design Costs
Cost of 3D modeling software or design services
Waste Factor
Failed prints
Quantity and Scaling
Economies of scale for batch printing

Not sure which 3d printer will fit your requirements?

Let Phillips Machine tool experts guide you as per your requirements!

How to calculate 3D printing price cost?
Before delving into the specifics of 3D printer costs, it is essential to understand how these costs are calculated. The overall cost of a 3D printer involves various factors, including the initial purchase price, material costs, maintenance, and operational expenses. The parameters required to calculate the total printing costs are initial purchase price, cost of materials, maintenance and operational costs, and service charges.
The formula for calculating the Total Cost of 3D printing process is
Total Cost = Material Cost + Labor Cost + Printer Depreciation + Maintenance Cost + Overhead Cost + Software and Design Cost
Factors that affect cost/Parameters that influence the cost

Understanding some key factors that affect the cost of the 3D printing process is important
and helps in making an informed purchase. Some key factors are

Technology: There are various 3D printing technologies, each of which varies in cost.

The type of 3D printing preferred influences the total cost. The most popular technologies
being like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), and Selective Laser
Sintering (SLS), have different features and hence vary in costs.
FDM printers are cost-effective and budget-friendly, whereas SLA printers are slightly higher
priced and deliver a high degree of precision. SLS printers are the most expensive but useful

for advanced industrial applications because they are versatile and compatible with a large
range of resources.

Build Volume: A printer with a large build area implies increased costs because more
materials are required and additional effort is required to deliver a well-defined sturdy
object.  Hence, the size of the 3D printer’s build volume directly influences the cost.

Resolution: The extent of detail possible in 3D printing is known as the resolution. Higher resolution implies higher cost. Printers with higher resolution are capable of delivering well-defined and intricately designed objects.  A 3D printing machine that delivers high-resolution objects is expensive.

Speed : The printing speed of the 3D printer also influences the cost factor.  3D printers are
powered by advanced technologies and specialized parts to deliver at high speeds; hence, they are priced higher than regular 3D printers. They can considerably increase the printing cost.

Brand Reputation: A brand reflects quality and reliability. 3D printers from reputed brands
are much more expensive. The buyer can rest assured of impeccable performance from the
branded 3D printer, including timely deliveries, precision and accuracy in quality, and top-
class customer service and support. The purchase of branded machines is expensive but assures a smooth and seamless manufacturing process.

Remember: It is crucial to compare 3D printer prices from various manufacturers to zero
down on the most suitable printer that best suits their requirements.

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