How to Get an Instant Price for Your 3D Prints
by Aura | December 8, 2017
Are you thinking about a really cool 3D design but you’re on a budget and don’t know in which material you should print it? Or maybe you want to know how much a print will cost to make sure that the sizes you would like are affordable? For example, will polyamide be more affordable than resin for your print?
To help you find the answer to all these questions, read on to discover how to get an instant price quote for your 3D print on our platform.
Get a price for your 3D print with a 3D file
A question we get very often at i.materialise is if it’s possible to know the price of a 3D print before having a file with the 3D design. The answer is simple: no, we can’t give the price of a print before having a file for it.
The reason behind this is that the prices for 3D prints depend on many factors, not just material and size. Knowing the precise characteristics of the design is necessary to calculate the exact price for your print.
So if you want to know the price of a 3D model you always need to upload the file with the 3D design. On the bright side, once you have the 3D file for your model, you can get an instant quote just uploading it to our platform. That’s the easiest and most effective way to know the price for your 3D prints.
Get a price for your 3D print without a 3D file
What happens if you don’t have a 3D design to upload? Don’t worry, there are other ways to get a price for your 3D prints. These options won’t give you an exact quote for your prints but they will enable you to get an indicative price. All the changes you make in the design can affect the final price, which will be the quote you get once you upload the final design to order.
Option 1: Use a similar design
Maybe you’ve already printed a comparable model or started a design already. Upload it to our platform and you will get an instant quote for it. This is a good way to decide on the final design for your model or to “play around” with the materials we offer.
Maybe you had something in mind but then realised that another material would be more affordable or that you would be prefer another finish. Upload a similar design or a work in progress which you can adapt your design to. Follow the design guidelines of our materials to understand the best practices for each one.
Option 2: Scan a design
If you want to print something that you already have or customize an object, 3D scanning can be a good option for you. You can use different 3D scanners or 3D scanning software. If you want to get a 3D scan from a small object you have, use the 3D scanning app Qlone and you will be able to print your 3D scans directly with i.materialise from the 3D scanning app.
Option 3: Download a design
Maybe you already know what you want to print but you haven’t designed it yet or you don’t know how to do it. The solution is easy: there are many 3D design databases where you can download files. Choose a design that is as similar as possible to what you want to print and use it to get an indicative price. Databases are also a good way to find inspiration or get started with 3D printing. We have collected the top 10 3D model databases where you can download models for 3D printing.
How do we calculate the prices for 3D prints?
As we have said, each design and material has different characteristics that influence prices. There are some factors than can help you understand how we calculate the prices for 3D prints.
- Start-Up Cost: Some materials have a fixed cost independent from the characteristics of your model
- Minimum Price: That’s the minimum price you have to pay for each piece you order. Unlike the start-up cost, this minimum cost will vanish when the total price is higher than the minimum price
- Bounding Box: The bounding box is an imaginary box around your model which determines how much space your design will take up in the printer. This can also have an effect on the cost of your print
- Model Volume: We use the volume of your model to calculate material costs
- Orientation: The way your model is positioned on the print platform will have an impact on the support generation and the price
- Density: The ratio of the box that surrounds your models can influence the final price of the print
- Quantity Discount: When you order two or more copies of the same model, the price will decrease automatically
- Required Machine Volume: The volume that your models require in the build chamber while printing can also affect the price of your prints
You can find more detailed information about prices on our pricing information page.
As you can see, it’s not possible to calculate prices for designs based only on the size or the material, because many factors are involved. If you are working on a budget, there are ways to make your 3D prints more affordable. Price shouldn’t be an obstacle to start with 3D printing!
Now that you know how to get an instant quote for your prints, upload your models to our 3D platform and get instant quotes for your prints. Understanding how technologies work and the design specifications for 3D printing materials will help you immensely in making your designs more efficient and ready to print.