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  1. #1

    Question How to calculate printing costs

    Hey folks,
    I have the most stupid basic question ... how do I actually calculate the price if I print something for somebody else?


    First of all, I am just a stupid graphic designer, so please forgive me if you have to explain this step by step Here comes my example: This dude approached me and he wants a 15cm tall object printed. The object itself is already ready for printing, but the modeling back then took roughly 1,5 days. I am using the Ultimaker 2+ and a filament that costs 40€/750g. Cura tells me if I use the "normal print" settings, it takes 8h 34min to print, uses 6,19m of filament, weighing 49g. But I could also use the "fast print" settings (which are totally fine in my eyes for the project), which would result in 4h 38min, 5,46m and 43g.


    I know that in theory you need to calculate something like a "printing price per hour", using the electricity costs, filament costs and such. But you also need to take the costs for the maintenance of the printer itself into consideration. And I haven't got the slightest idea how to do that. I mean the machine can run smoothly for months and then, bam, the nozzle gets clogged, you need to buy a heatgun to get the molten plastic out of the print head, the whole stuff takes you 3 hours, you accidentially melt one of the printer's fans, you need to buy a new fan and the whole thing ends up costing you nearly 100€ ... happened to me last month. It was a pleasure. But how on earth do you calculate for these kind of things in advance?!

    As I said, please forgive me for having to explain this whole thing step by step. But I thought talking to actual human beings, telling me from their experiences, might be far more insightful than looking up that kind of knowledge on Google. I actually did already a while ago but it didn't help me

    I am looking forward to your feedback, thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Washington State, USA
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    In Cura 15.04.6 which is OLD!!

    Under Preferences You can enter the Filament
    Density
    Cont (price/kg)
    Cost (price/m)

    On the Screen after the Model is sliced the Price is displayed.

    In Cura 3
    Click Settings
    Click Material
    Click Manage Material

    Click Material to change Add Information to Calculate Price

    Slic3r
    Click Filament Tab Add information to Calculate Price

    Ultimaker uses 221 watts get your electric bill enter Price per K/w and use https://www.aqua-calc.com/calculate/electricity-cost
    Electric price will be about 1 cents where I live maybe 4-8 cents where you live. for the 1.5 day print.

    Add that to the sum (Price for the "Single-phase Meter base" (per month charge / 30 * 1.5) then Multiply that sum by the current Tax rate and Total.)
    The My total is about 55 cents -
    Keep it simple
    Have a base charge minimum $?.00 setup fee for a single item.
    Have a base charge minimum ($?.00 * number of items) setup fee for a multiple items.

    PLA (10 cents per gram)
    ABS (10 cents per gram)
    TPE and TPU flexible filament (35 cents per gram) Silicon and polyurethane casting and mold making
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 06-24-2018 at 03:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    6,044
    it might be an old version of cura - but I much prefer it to the current version. Better layout and way easeir to use.

    This is a tricky question. Particularly if you also do the modelling then you need to charge for that as well.
    People often say: 'how much ? for a little bit of plastic.'
    You then have to explain that it's also for your time and expertise and for the fact that it is a custom made object that usually can't be bought in a shop.

    Whatever number you initially thought of charging - double it.

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