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Ask a 3D Printing Expert: How do I estimate part cost?

April 7, 2023 News

Estimating part cost can seem relatively simple, but depending on the technology, it can get fairly complex.  The easiest way to calculate parts cost is by utilizing the tools in GrabCAD Print or even better GrabCAD Shop

With core technologies like FDM, SL and PolyJet, users can get material volume and time estimates extremely easily.  FDM material is managed by volume in cubic inches and PolyJet is managed by weight in Kilograms.  Once you understand the volume of model and support material used, we can apply a cost based on cost per in3 or cost per gram.  Stratasys new Neo/SL platform is not yet on GrabCAD, but cost per part can be calculated in the volume of resin used as well.  Some users add in a multiplier to cover machine amortization, power and service but typically just want to know approximate part cost based on material usage.

New technologies like Origin/P3 and H350/SAF can be a little more complex in determining part cost because there is more opportunity to take advantage of packing parts that reduces overall cost per build.  These technologies offer some additional benefits for taking full advantage of the build platform, but also have some additional post-processing costs to consider.  Again, Stratasys is working to integrate these newer technologies into GrabCAD software to help with job estimations. As always, contact our first class Applications Engineering team to determine part costing and the best fit for your projects, or for evaluation of a new additive technology for your company. 


Meet Matt Havekost

With over two decades of experience in the industry, Matt holds the position of VP of Sales at AdvancedTek. He has played a key role in installing and providing ongoing support for numerous 3D printers and production systems across the upper Midwest, and has helped implement additive technologies in various sectors such as medical devices, healthcare, general manufacturing, and power sports.

When he’s not working, Matt enjoys riding and maintaining his three motorcycles and hanging out with his family.


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Posted by Heather Adams