3D Printer Material Cost

3D printers are amazing machines that can create three-dimensional objects from digital models. But like any other technology, 3D printers have their own set of costs associated with them.

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One of the highest costs of owning a 3D printer is the filament price or the 3D printer material that it uses to create objects. The price of 3D printer filament can vary widely, depending on the type of material and the brand.

Here is a look at the average cost of some of the most popular types of 3D printer filament.

Different Types of 3D Printer Materials and Their Associated Costs

3D printer material costs can vary widely, depending on the type of material and the brand. But how much does 3D printer filament cost? The 3D printing material cost for PLA, ABS, PETG, and other materials is listed below.

1. PLA

3d printer pla filaments

PLA, or polylactic acid, is one of the most popular 3D printer filament materials. It is made from renewable resources like corn starch and tapioca root. PLA filaments are available in various colors and can be translucent or opaque.

PLA filament is typically less expensive than other 3D printer materials, averaging around $20per kilogram.

2. ABS

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a petroleum-based plastic that is widely used in manufacturing toys, appliances, and car parts.

ABS filament is strong and durable and can be sanded and painted after printing.

There is always a competition between PLA and ABS 3D printing filament. As for the price, the average cost of ABS filament is $15-$20 per kilogram.

3. PETG

petg plastic filaments for 3d printer

If you are looking for a 3D printer filament that is strong, durable, and easy to print with, PETG might be the material for you. PETG, or polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified, is a plastic derived from petroleum.

PETG is a combination of ABS and PLA, offering the best features of both materials. The average price of PETG filament is $16-$19 per kilogram.

4. Nylon

Nylon is a strong and durable synthetic polymer that is often used to manufacture car parts, ropes, and clothing.

Nylon filament is available in various colors, including clear, brown, black, and blue.

It is more flexible and easier to print with than PLA and ABS, but it is also more expensive. The average price of nylon filament is around $50-$73 per kilogram.

5. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate has some amazing properties.

professional 3d designer holding a polycarbonate filament

It is strong, durable, and can withstand high temperatures.

Polycarbonate filaments are often used to create car parts, medical devices, and eyeglass lenses.

However, polycarbonate is one of the most expensive 3D printer filament materials, with an average price of $30-$93per kilogram. But you can only use this filament on printers that are 1.75mm.

How the Cost of 3D Printer Materials Affects the Price of a 3D Printed Object

How much does 3D printer plastic cost? You might be wondering how that affects the price of a 3D printed object? The answer is that it depends on the size and complexity of the object.

A small, simple object like a keychain can be printed for less than $1 in PLA filament. But a large, complex object like a vase can cost more than $100 to print in polycarbonate. This gives an estimate of how much is 3D printer plastic.

The bottom line of how much does 3D plastic printer cost is that you need to consider when you are pricing a 3D printed object.

Other factors, like the size and complexity of the object, also play a role in the final price.

How To Find the Best Deals on 3D Printer Materials

man with materials needed for a 3d printer

If you want to save money on the cost of 3D printing materials, there are a few things that you can do.

  • Buy in bulk. Online retailers offer discounts when you purchase large quantities of filament.
  • Shop around. Compare prices from different retailers before you make a purchase.
  • Look for coupons and promo codes. Many retailers offer discounts when you use a coupon or promo code.
  • Wait for sales. Most retailers have sales on 3D printer filament throughout the year. If you can wait for a sale, you might be able to get a great deal on your purchase.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a 3D Printer Material

Now that you know how much does 3D printer filament cost, you need to decide which 3D printing material cost is right for your project. There are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a 3D printer material cost:

1. Object To Print

The type of object you want to print will affect the type of filament you need. If you want to print a functional object, like a vase or a lamp, you need a strong and durable filament like polycarbonate.

Also, if you want to teach at school and give your students the best. If you want to print an artistic object, like a sculpture or a figurine, you can use a less expensive filament like PLA.

2. Printing Method

When choosing a filament, you also need to consider the type of 3D printer you are using. You can only use some filaments with certain types of printers.

For example, you can only use polycarbonate filament with printers that have a heated build plate. The polycarbonate shrinks and warps when it cools, so you can’t use it with printers that don’t have a heated build plate.

3. Budget

3d printer with vase design print

The cost of filament is just one of the factors that you need to consider when you are pricing a 3D print. Other factors, like the size and complexity of the object, also play a role in the final price.

If you are on a tight budget, you might want to choose a less expensive filament like PLA.

But if you are willing to spend more money, you can choose a higher quality filament like polycarbonate.

4. Quality

The type of filament that you use will also affect the quality of your 3D print. If you want a high-quality print, you should use a higher quality filament like polycarbonate.

But if you are willing to sacrifice some quality for a lower price, you can use a less expensive filament like PLA.

5. Color

When you are choosing a filament, you also need to consider the color of the filament. Some filaments are available in a wide range of colors, while others are only available in a few colors.

If you want to print an object in multiple colors, you will need to use a PLA filament available in multiple colors. But if you only need to print an object in one color, you can use any filament.

6. Strength and Durability

The strength and durability of the filament are also essential factors to consider. If you need a strong and durable filament, you should choose polycarbonate or nylon.

man holding filament for 3d printer

But if you don’t need a strong and durable filament, you can choose a less expensive filament like PLA.

7. Environmentally Friendly

Some filaments are more environmentally friendly than others. PLA is an eco-friendly filament made from renewable resources. It also produces less waste than other types of filaments.

Related Questions

Is 3D printing expensive?

The cost of 3D printing depends on a few factors, like the type of filament you use and the size and complexity of the object you want to print. In general, 3D printing is more expensive than other types of manufacturing.

How much does it cost to buy a 3D printer?

The cost of a 3D printer depends on the type of printer you choose. Some printers are available for less than $200, while others can cost more than $2000.

Is there a cheaper alternative to 3D printing?

Some alternatives to 3D printing can be cheaper, like traditional manufacturing methods like injection molding. But in general, 3D printing is more expensive than other types of manufacturing.

What is the most expensive part of 3D printing?

The most expensive part of 3D printing is the filament. The filament can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per kilogram, and you need to use a lot of it to print an object.

Conclusion

3D printing filament cost can vary depending on the type of filament, the retailer, and the quantity you purchase. But there are a few things that you can do to get the best 3D printing material price.

You can buy in bulk, shop around, look for coupons and promo codes, or wait for sales. You should also consider the type of object you want to print, the printing method, the cost, the color, the strength and durability, and the print quality when choosing a filament.

And if you are concerned about the environment, you can choose an eco-friendly filament like PLA. With so many options available, you are sure to find a 3D printer material price that is perfect for your project and your budget.

Last Updated on July 24, 2022 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

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