Estimating Print Cost

My apologies if this has already been asked…

I can get a mm of filament per print estimate from pronter, but the ABS rolls are sold in weight… How many mm are on a 1kg, 3mm diameter roll?

I made such calculations a short time after getting my 3D printer.

I had been thinking about making a spreadsheet using my calculations. No time like the present so I just did it, and took way more time that I should have… I’m afraid this shows I’m really rusty with basic math. :blush:

One thing though, density for ABS is really hard to find online. Apparently there are thousands of different grades of ABS and we don’t know which one goes into filament. The value I used was taken from the material database of Solid Edge, a commercial mid-range CAD program I use at work. Considering the relatively small quantities of plastic we deal with this should be pretty realistic.

Estimated 3D Printed Plastic Filament Cost.ods

This file was created with LibreOffice Calc and is shared freely. I believe MS Office starting with 2007 can open .ods files. If not, let me know and I’ll convert it to .xls.

You just need to add your filament reel cost in B17, and the length of filament given by Pronterface in B21. An amount will be shown in B24.

My estimate for a 1kg reel is 149 meters or 488 linear feet.

Based on Lulzbot’s current pricing and shipping to Canada, I evaluate my cost per meter of filament to $0.356.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

Thanks for taking the time to do this! Unfortunately my Excel 2011 Mac version will not open the ODS file… could you possibly convert to XLS or a Google Doc?

Seriously? MS Office 2010 on Windows can open ODS files, why can’t the Mac version? It figures.

Here’s the XLS file. Estimated 3D Printed Plastic Filament Cost.xls (Edit 2015-01-24: fixed dead link)

BTW it was made in a French version of LibreOffice with math equations, hope the Math operators translate to English automatically.

Office for Mac is a weird beast sometimes… I don’t think the two dev teams talk.

Thanks again!

There’s also this for Macs:

Wow, cool looking front page! It didn’t use to look that good.

Even back when I was on Windows at home I stopped using MS Office like 10 years ago, I remember using 1.0 or something.

Following up on this does anyone have any experience with printing parts on the side for some extra cash?

How do you go about pricing?

What do you use to determine you cost and sale price?

Any advice would be appreciated.

I am considering printing some small parts for a company I do Solidworks modeling for. 95% of it will be small repeat parts. I want it to be a fair price to them while still being a worthwhile endeavor for me.

Also if there are any recommend books or articles that would be appreciated.


PS: Gemini64, could you repost that link to the file? It seems to have expired.

Yeah, I was heavily using UbuntuOne (similar to Dropbox but for Ubuntu users) to upload images and files for use on online forums… Since the service shut down in June 2014, I have hundreds of dead links all over the place.

I uploaded my file to my Google Drive, and updated the link.

Thanks Gemini64

You can either set an hourly print rate or use an hourly print rate + material weight. Your material weight determines filliament use, and your filliament cost is whatever you were paying for filliament. Plus you want to charge for wear and tear on your machine and for it to pay for itself. I rarely make things on the side for people, but when I do I usually charge $35 an hour for the duration of the successful print (I don’t charge for failed prints) and then either let them provide their own filliament or charge them $19 a pound for material costs on top of that. I’m certain there are people that charge less than that, but the way i look at it, any time I am printing stuff for other people is time i can’t use my printer for my own projects.