3D Printing Service Charges

Hello everyone,

I run a number of printers at a makerspace for contract jobs and member project, but so far we have never formally developed a set pricing scheme for all our jobs. Does anyone have experience in how to price a 3D printing job? What factors do you include in your price and how did you calculate them? Also, if anyone has what their current pricing scheme is ($ per mL) I love to know what it is.

3D hubs is probably a good place to start, should give you a sense of pricing and you can run some cost/benefit calcs. Compared to other industry suppliers, I would say 3D hubs is cheap, but keep in mind they can have long lead times to get the price down.

For more than a couple part runs we use protolabs, it’s way cheaper than having us do it ourselves for volume. That being said, we don’t use resin on those orders, it’s a bit pricey. Then again, they do have 3 day turnaround, so you are paying for that.

When working out a price, remember a) you use more resin than the model says b) prints will go wrong occasionally and those costs need to be covered c) your printer is experiencing wear while printing & general depreciation d) worst-case costs for consumables.

And, of course, if you’re going the 3DHubs route a) they want 25% and b) most of your customers will be completely ignorant of the printing process and think that because they’ve drawn something it will magically print. You are then in a large part an unpaid consultancy… 3DHubs also expect SLA hubs to do all the finishing work as standard; if your print costs factor that in from the get-go I wouldn’t expect too many jobs.

3DHubs is, IMO, primarily aimed at hobbyists supplying hobbyists and not a business concern (for the hubs in question - 3DHubs do well out of it). YMMV.

Following that statement with which I agree, I would have some parts quoted by 3Dsystems (quickparts) as a more professional base of reference.

Ive referenced 3d hubs and typically add up material cost (tank and resin) I come up with a percent per mL and multiply this by the amount of resin used then I charge the customer four times that amount. Its not a super profit but so far hasn’t scared many people away.

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