How Much Does 3D Printing Increase Your Electric Bill? 3D Print Pricing Factors


Different 3D printer models consume different levels of power. For instance, printers with bigger build platforms will consume more electricity. Also, the 3D printer with the capability of printing at higher temperatures tends to consume more power as well. 

Electricity bills, being a recurrent cost, may be ignored. Therefore, keeping electricity bills low should be a priority. 

So, How much current does a 3D printer use? An average 3D printer with 205 degrees Celsius hot end and 60 degrees Celsius heated bed draws an average current of 70 watts. This would use 0.7kWh for a 10-hour 3D print, which is approximately 9 cents per watt per hour. 

The current the 3D printer consumes depends mainly on your printer size and the heated nozzle and the bed temperature. (Source)

3D Printing Is Here To Stay

Determining how much current your 3D printer consumes may not be easy, but you can use an electricity monitoring tool as an interface between the electric socket and your 3D printer to determine your power consumption accurately. 

If you are concerned about it from a business perspective then you should check out our post on How Much To Charge For 3D Printing? Factors & Potential Business Ideas Listed

This article equips you with all the answers to your 3D printer consumption concerns. Stay with us and learn more!

How much electricity does ender 3 use?

The average electricity consumption of an Ender 3 is 0.125kWh or 125 Watts when printing at 200 degrees Celsius, and the 3D printer bed is set to 60 degrees Celsius, and 277 Watts maximum consumption when it’s heating up. (Source)

When it calls for accounting for electricity use, there is no perfect defined measurement available because there are many variables and differences. You should measure this yourself to know how much electricity you are using, instead of us guessing for you.   

Despite different countries have different electricity costs, It is still very possible to know how much exactly it will cost you to run an Ender 3 printer with 200 degrees Celsius Nozzle temperature and 60 degrees Celsius bed temperature, which are standard temperatures when printing PLA.

What you have to do is to simply multiply the kWh cost your power company is charging by 0.125 and you will be able to calculate the cost of printing your 3D model per hour.   

Factors contributing to the level of current a 3D printer can use

  • Heating of the 3D Printer Bed

There is a similarity between your 3D printer heated bed temperature settings and that of the 3D printer hot end nozzle. This similarity enhances bed adhesion and stops object warping during your 3D production process.
you should take note of these two problems here; the first being the heated bed size and the second one is temperature. 

There will be more current consumption when your 3D printer temperature settings are high and the print bed is large. Check out How Much Does 3D Printing Increase Your Electric Bill? 3D Print Pricing Factors

  • Heating at Hot End 

The hot end remains one of the key current-draining components of your 3D printer. Precisely, the nozzle’s level of current consumption is inflated. 

Therefore, the amount of current consumption for your 3D printer will depend on the set temperature. Filaments like ABS and Nylon consume more current, as they are known as high-temperature filaments. Also, check our post here to find out What Happens If You Overheat Your 3D Print? Complete Temperatures Guide

  • Heat Loss

Z-axis and stepper motors are 3D printer components that may heat up to 200 degrees Celsius high and stay at this high-temperature level for the most part of your 3D printing process. You should expects heat losses and this can only be compensated through continuous heating.

  • Control Board

There are several electrical components that make up the control board in charge of the 3D printing process. The control board controls all other movable parts to enable your 3D printer to function just like the brain. In as much as the control board doesn’t consume much current, there might be a high overall power consumption over time. 

  • Stepper Motors 

There are two vital sets of stepper motors in 3D printing. One controlling the extruder gear, while the other one controlling the nozzle movement during print processing. Stepper motors are small and have relatively low power consumption. Despite this, they run during the entire 3D printing process leading to high current consumption in accumulation.  

How much does it cost to 3D print per hour in general? 

3D printing comes with a cost element. These costs include the initial cost of purchasing the printer and the cost of consumables such as rubber gloves, isopropyl alcohol, towels, and other cleaners.

However, you need to tackle power consumption to ensure your 3D printer consumes a reasonable ratio of a kilowatt-hour.

The powered components largely contribute to the amount of current per kWh your 3D printer will consume. Some of the 3D printers that consume more current to power up include stepper motors, fans, a heated build platform, and hot end nozzles.   

Factors determining electricity bill include the 3D printer, 3D printing technology used, speed, age, and material. 

We may need to factor in electricity cost, to conclusively answer the question of how much it costs to run a 3D print per hour.

3D printer power consumption depends on the type of printer and the printing duration. For instance, a 30A 12V 3D printer consumes 360 watts of power per hour. The most standard 3D printer consumes 50 watts of power per hour. (Source)

Every 3D printing business sets its own hourly cost for printing. For instance, if your business is paid $2,000 for a printer that can produce 2,000 print hours life span, you may charge approximately $1 per hour. You can make this pricing factor easy by using a 3D printing pricing calculator to guide you calculate the minimum hourly price.

Each 3D printing business sets its own hourly cost. So, if the business paid $2,000 for a 3D printer with an expected life span of 2,000 print hours, they may charge around $1 per hour. Check out How Long Does it Take to 3D Print an Object at Home? Small, Big and Compex

How many hours will a 3D printer last?

Your 3D printer will not last forever, however, some last longer compared to others. With proper maintenance and use, 3D printers should last at least 5 years (approximately 43800 hours) of maximum printing capacity of up to 10+ years.

The lifespan of your 3D printer will depend on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. Careful use, replacements, and regular cleaning of your printer will maximize 3D printing hours and lifespan.

Will your 3d printer turn off automatically when not in use?

Two main factors determine the shutdown type you perform for your 3D printer: the type of 3D printer and your plan on shut down duration. J series printers can remain idle for about 30 days before prompting for the full shutdown because these printers use different print heads.

However, all other Polyjet printers can only remain idle for 10 days prompting a full shutdown. 

Less than 10 days – If your printer remains idle for less than 10 days duration, pick this option from the shutdown wizard. Here, the printer will drain the pint block fluid (approximately 20g), then open the printer purge door and finally park the head over your printer purge area. This entire process takes approximately 10 minutes duration. 

More than 10 days – In case your printer remains idle for more than 10 days duration, pick this option from the shutdown wizard. Here, your printer will remove all the resin existing in the system out of your printer nozzles then fill the system with a cleaning solution. This entire process takes approximately 40 minutes duration. You should be present during this entire process to remove the model and support material canister and carry out cleaning solution canister installation.  

There is a wizard to guide you in carrying out the 3D printer shutdown. On Polyjet printer, navigate through OPTIONS>WIZARD>SHUTDOWN. Choose the shutdown type (less than 10 days or more than 10 days), then follow the prompts. Always ensure you shut down windows before powering off your 3D printer.

Should you give your 3D printer a break?

Your 3D printer will require occasional breaks; however, it is manageable if you maintain its parts properly. If you have a reliable 3D printer that is capable of printing multiple times regularly without any hitches, then you should not worry about giving your 3D printer a break. You should take all your time to ensure your 3D printer has fresh belts and is well-lubricated.  

3D printers will run for hours without a break with some users claiming that they have used it continuously for up to approximately 35 hours. Other 3D printers can run continuously for more than 70 hours.   

Depending on the model and state, some 3D printers can run continuously longer than others. However, you do not want to give up on your printer completely. Therefore, you should take short breaks from continuous printing to prevent problems.    

How long does 1KG of 3D filament last?

How long 1Kg of 3D filament will last depends on a few factors, including the number of 3D models you make. Your 3D filament will be depleted faster if you have more 3D objects to print compared to one printing fewer items. 

If you are operating with approximately 5% infill, you need to develop around 300 calibration cubes. However, in case you have operated with 100% infill, then 1Kg roll of your 3D printer filament is enough to make 85 calibration cubes. (Source)

Does 3D printing require high setup costs?

As a 3D printing fanatic, you need to be alert on the cost of running your 3D printing sessions. Depending on your printing skills, you need to choose the right printer to produce the objects or models you require at a pocket-friendly budget. 

3D printing setup cost depends on the power usage, printing technology, size of the objects, and the printer’s brand and make : Check out our article on how much It cost to DIY 3D print.

Other printing costs may come from printer upgrades, especially when you run into challenges such as nozzle jams. Else, the 3D printer cost is generally a one-off cost. 

Wrap Up

Despite the pleasure and fun that come from the 3D printing process, you should not ignore the cost that comes with it.

Primarily, you should first consider the cost of purchasing a 3D printer then other costs such as electricity and printer consumables will come in subsequently. 

You can find well-researched content here at 3D Print Schooling that will help enlighten you on what makes your 3D power printer’s electricity consumption spike higher and how you can regulate this.

There is more important information that you will want to know from this article, therefore we urge you to keep reading wide to get proper timely content on electricity with a 3D printer. 

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