The cost of 3D printing is affected by several factors. But it’s good news knowing that these factors are within designers’ control, and the best way to control these is during the design phase. This article will discuss each element and how it can be directed to reduce the overall cost.
You might think that the manufacturer is trying to be mysterious when they tell you that the cost of printing a 3D printout depends. They simply mean that generating an accurate price will depend on some factors. Let us talk about these factors; they include;
Post-processing: 3D printing is not instant; it takes some time to process, depending on your use. For instance, you will require some post-processing to remove the support material when using supporting structures. And we all know that support structures increase the part cost.
So, what’s the solution? First, you might consider reducing the number of support surfaces to reduce the time and labor required in post-production. How can you do this? Avoiding overhangs above critical angles will require support structures to ensure the part forms correctly. Also, some people have opted for splitting parts into smaller components that won’t need a support structure, this might prove to be convenient, but still, you will have to account for assembly time and cost.
Print time: 3D print time defers many factors apart from the printer’s speed. So, the manufacturer can reduce the amount of time the part spends on the printer to reduce the cost of production. How? One way is removing trapped volumes or vacuum-forming areas from the part design. In most cases, these can disrupt the printing process and produce a poor outcome. Adjusting this will help you speedily 3D print Mother’s Day gifts in no time to surprise her.
Part geometry: Parts with thick cross-sections or a substantial volume slow down the printing process. Not only does it require more materials. And this results in a need for more post-processing which will later strike up the cost and lead to a poor outcome. I know you have noticed that large blocks of material disrupt a chance for the material to refill under the part between each slice, leading to failures like cracks, sink marks, etc. What’s the solution? You might as well look for lattice or go for Snapmaker’s 3D printers, which help avoid this kind of problem altogether.
Selection of material: Materials can cost a lot which will impact the overall cost. So, here is the solution. First, do tests in cheaper materials, then switch to a performance-grade material for final work, or you can as well do prototyping. Also, using thermoplastic filaments proves to be less expensive and a perfect option for creating many parts at lower costs. These thermoplastic filaments are like ABS, PLA, PLU, PETG, and so on, so it will be less costly to produce Mother’s Day 3D printed gifts if you want.
Part nested and volumes: To save the cost of an entire print cycle and reduce the overall cost per part, for instance, if you have, let’s say, eight pieces in total print volume, you can fit four nested parts on the build tray instead of three, meaning you can produce your 3D parts into two prints instead of three prints. In addition, making larger quantities of parts frequently decreases the cost per part due to the basic economics of scale.