What to charge for prints

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What to charge for prints

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Thu-17-Jan

I wasn't sure which area to post this in so mods feel free to move it if it's in the wrong place.

I'm sure everyone with a printer has either been asked by someone to print them a part or has come up with a design that they've considered selling. Aside from doing free favours for friends etc how are you people coming up with costs? I've been working on a spreadsheet (and later hopefully a simple webpage or even an app) to calculate the costs associated with printed a given part based on print time and cost of materials which I've attached if anyone is interested. Feedback welcomed.
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What to charge for prints

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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby mechanizedmedic » 2015-Jan-Thu-18-Jan

I like this!

Some suggestions... You should segregate different types of time out a little bit. Maybe have man-hour and printer-hour price and amounts all listed separately. Possibly a "file/model preparation time" entry as well. I would hate to be charging the same for my labour and the printer running.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby musk » 2015-Jan-Thu-18-Jan

Price based on three factors:


1. risk
2. machine time
3. your personal time and expertise

The cost of filament is negligible and the volume of an object has almost no relation to the work it will take you to create a print that the customer will be happy with and that you'll be proud of. Avoid pricing on those two factors. It can be tempting to charge using these metrics (because they are intuitive to a customer) but they will not serve you well. FDM printers cannot charge in the same way that services like shapeways do. With their super expensive machines, Shapeways has very good reliability and has low risk when printing, especially because they print in a bed of powder and overhangs are natively "supported". They also bundle your print with 100 other people's to print concurrently. These attributes allow them to charge based on a combination of bounding box volume (another way of computing machine time "opportunity cost") and material cost (which is how they used to charge exclusively as an early way to charge for machine time). They have virtually no risk with their most popular materials.

Charging based on risk and machine time will cover your bases and appropriately compensate you for printing at various quality levels, because a .1mm print takes 3x as long as a .3mm print in most cases. (there are a couple exceptions). Risk should include the chance that prints will fail, need to be reprinted in a different orientation to have better surface finish on a different side, or that you break a part when removing support material. Customer expectations can vary greatly, and you can spend alot of time educating them about the possibilities and limitations of the technology. Your time is valuable and you should charge for it.

If you spend 20 minutes inspecting a model and writing an email estimate and the print doesn't go forward, that's 20 minutes wasted that needs to be compensated by your paying customers. If you talk to three potential customers for every 1 that pays, you'll need to make sure your paying customers are compensating you for the time you're spending on the business.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby evanalmighty » 2015-Jan-Thu-20-Jan

I charge based on volume, that's it. The rest is just the cost of doing business. Factor in whatever you want, but your final number should be based on something concrete and predictable from the customer's point of view.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Thu-22-Jan

@mechanizedmedic, I'll look into splitting that up, I also like the idea of the file prep fee which I'd probably just have as a flat rate. If a person needs a part designed that would be out of the scope of this calculator.

@Musk, believe me I'm used to the whole having clients bail thing from my other areas of work lol. Actually that's part of what this calculator is for, if they have a model already I can slice it and give them an estimate quickly and hopefully weed out the non serious people. It seems everyone thinks printing is free lol and have no idea how long prints at a decent quality setting take. You make a good point about factoring the cost of having to redo a print due to a failure or unacceptable blemish. Also I've been pretty adamant about managing expectations from the start and explaining what is possible and what isn't :)

I'm not looking at going into full scale business or anything and I already know which types of objects will or will not print well given their shape. There is a buddy that works for a development company that wants me to print a model of a house for them, they are going to use it as a test piece and if it looks alright they are going to consider getting metal ones printed at Shapeways. This will mean a 0.1mm layer height for good detail and a long print time, as you say material cost is almost negligible but the real cost is my time. Sure I don't have to sit in front of the printer and watch the whole print but I don't leave the house or go to bed with a job running, I check in on them every so often or if I hear a strange sound :)

The other area is printing my own designs and selling them which is a whole different matter. I have a design for a photography accessory that I'm currently "beta testing" amongst some friends, the main item I'm thinking of selling for $25, it costs me under $2 in materials and takes just under two hours to print and is nearly 100% repeatable and consistent. The idea is that for each one I sell I can almost buy a new roll of filament, a way to sustain the hobby. I did the same thing with my sideline photography business, I took on enough paid jobs to afford to slowly accumulate gear, always reinvesting my profits and after a few years I have over 10K in pro gear that really paid for itself. I'm still not sure I'll go ahead with selling my one design anyway, still giving it thought, if I had 2 printers I'd totally do it though lol one that pays the bills and one solely for fun :)

My current printing formula, using the spreadsheet method, is $10.20/hr (minimum wage where I live) and a materials modifier of 5.

Other than maybe doing one model house print for my buddy I don't think I'm going to take on much custom work and if I had to design a part that would be the same as my graphic design rate of $60/hr.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby thawkins » 2015-Jan-Thu-22-Jan

jphphotography wrote:@mechanizedmedic, I'll look into splitting that up, I also like the idea of the file prep fee which I'd probably just have as a flat rate. If a person needs a part designed that would be out of the scope of this calculator.

@Musk, believe me I'm used to the whole having clients bail thing from my other areas of work lol. Actually that's part of what this calculator is for, if they have a model already I can slice it and give them an estimate quickly and hopefully weed out the non serious people. It seems everyone thinks printing is free lol and have no idea how long prints at a decent quality setting take. You make a good point about factoring the cost of having to redo a print due to a failure or unacceptable blemish. Also I've been pretty adamant about managing expectations from the start and explaining what is possible and what isn't :)

I'm not looking at going into full scale business or anything and I already know which types of objects will or will not print well given their shape. There is a buddy that works for a development company that wants me to print a model of a house for them, they are going to use it as a test piece and if it looks alright they are going to consider getting metal ones printed at Shapeways. This will mean a 0.1mm layer height for good detail and a long print time, as you say material cost is almost negligible but the real cost is my time. Sure I don't have to sit in front of the printer and watch the whole print but I don't leave the house or go to bed with a job running, I check in on them every so often or if I hear a strange sound :)

The other area is printing my own designs and selling them which is a whole different matter. I have a design for a photography accessory that I'm currently "beta testing" amongst some friends, the main item I'm thinking of selling for $25, it costs me under $2 in materials and takes just under two hours to print and is nearly 100% repeatable and consistent. The idea is that for each one I sell I can almost buy a new roll of filament, a way to sustain the hobby. I did the same thing with my sideline photography business, I took on enough paid jobs to afford to slowly accumulate gear, always reinvesting my profits and after a few years I have over 10K in pro gear that really paid for itself. I'm still not sure I'll go ahead with selling my one design anyway, still giving it thought, if I had 2 printers I'd totally do it though lol one that pays the bills and one solely for fun :)

My current printing formula, using the spreadsheet method, is $10.20/hr (minimum wage where I live) and a materials modifier of 5.

Other than maybe doing one model house print for my buddy I don't think I'm going to take on much custom work and if I had to design a part that would be the same as my graphic design rate of $60/hr.


Im currently charging based on novelty and competition.

Im printing sets of cookie cutters, i currently only have 3 sets i offer, and my printer can turn out a set reliably in 1 hour. We charge $15 a set, thats not based at all on the costs, but what the market will bear. At that rate i can create $750 worth of product out of one reel of filament in 30 hours. (2 sets per plate). The printer is $1000, the filament is $20, power is probaly $10-15. I make my money back really fast, in a week i can make $2500 and its mainly just monitoring the printer. Im doing other things at the same time. The printer paid for itself in 2 months, and im considering buying a second one to increase throughput.

The market i'm addressing here i'm probaly only reaching 1% of the potential business, i was convinced that there would be a huge demand for custom cutters, but so far i have printed about 100 sets of 3 basic cookie cutters. And demand does not seem to be tailing off. And the custom business has not materialised. Most of my time investment has beem in writting software to convert an image to a cookie cutter or a stamper. But as such im printi g repeate plates from sdcard so my computer is not even tied up, i have only had one plate fail out of the 100 or so i have done and that was where i put the glass plate down into the printer such that it caught the edge of a protusion and the bed was slightly lifted. I printed a couple of corner clips, not to hold the bed (its loose, 2mm clearance), but to just make sure i have laid the glass plate back in square. I have silicon on the bed to hold the glass.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby musk » 2015-Jan-Thu-22-Jan

evanalmighty wrote:I charge based on volume, that's it. The rest is just the cost of doing business. Factor in whatever you want, but your final number should be based on something concrete and predictable from the customer's point of view.


For an extreme example, you'd charge the same for a 1000cm3 cube printed at .3mm that you'd charge for a 1000cm3 (same volume) topographic model of San Francisco with buildings, geometry that requires support material and removal printed at .1mm? The difference in print time, support removal / breakage risk, and matching the expectation of the customer is massive.

Even two identical cubes printed at different layer heights will determine whether a print is 5 or 15 hours. Is that not a relevant factor on which to charge?

A business needs to find a middle ground where both parties are happy and can ideally sustain a business relationship into the future. This will require some customer education which can be quite intuitive. For example, building a complex house (with arches and complex geometry) is more expensive than building a cinder block warehouse - even if the two buildings are the same volume.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby evanalmighty » 2015-Jan-Fri-02-Jan

My fee structure is based on .2 mm and 40% infill. Total volume = part + support material. I never print anything at .3mm and I don't print at .1 mm unless the customer explicitly ask for it. Even on occasions where I had to make several attempts to get a good part, I've never felt like I got the short end of the stick. People complain and won't take on jobs unless they know they can make money. To me that's thinking small and not seeing the big picture. Sometimes it costs a dollar just to make 10 cents. But it's the increase in customer base and repeat business that's going to make you the real money down the road.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby plexus » 2015-Jan-Fri-09-Jan

I print commercially but very low volume using those site where you can list yourself as offering a service. i need to see the STLs first and know what the person's needs and expectations are. outside of material cost which is minimal i typically quote based on "what is it worth to me to print this, and does that price seem reasonable" and adjust from there until I think I have a low enough number that still makes it worthwhile. so far so good. for a small one off print say under 6x6x6cm my typical rate would be in the $20-40 range depending on how much of a pain in the ass its going to be.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Willy » 2015-Jan-Fri-10-Jan

In my business plan I figured at how much the cost would be based on the amount of power used by the machine (about 13 cents USD per hour).
The cost of filament used, the average pointed to about 20 cents in the operating hour. This was based on millimeters used after slicing an object and reading the numbers used.
There is also the wear on the machine with the plan that some day I will either need to replace or get a bigger printer.

Then comes the demographic (?) of what the locals are willing to pay. Our winters here in Maine, everyone is dirt poor. Come summer time people are not as poor yet soon will be when the tourists leave. So with all this in mind I came up with about 57 cents operating costs (yes I left out a few details) per hour. I dont mind being the cheap man on the block. So I am going to be offering prinitng at $5 per hour and you provide the STL file. I do plan to offer scanning some day at $20 per hour. The printing is cheap, the customization is where stuff can get pricey. Whether it is scanning or cad work. Yet I leave that open to the customers. I do have a customer whom has other customers that buy log homes from him. He is willing to hire me at $250 for a 5 inch long model that the customer can hold in their hands of what they want, only because I am not backlogged. The normal company he has will tell them the model can be done in a month (due to their work load). Slicing the model says on average the home is about a 48 hour print with all the details and support.

If you have a better business plan, I am glad. Not everyones plan is the same.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Fri-12-Jan

Ok so I've taken some of the feedback into consideration, I chose not to separate the times but feel free to customize the spreadsheet to your needs. I've added a new invoice sheet and places to put taxes, shipping etc, all the data is entered in the "DATA" sheet which populates the "INVOICE" sheet. Down the road I might get fancy and include a materials sheet so you simply enter the material ID # and it pulls from there. I was going to have an overall markup percentage but decided not to include it, I'd rather just roll that into my labour rate and/or material markup, same with electricity costs which are almost nothing. I've left fields populated with "dummy" data.

As for the business side of things, thanks for sharing your process Thawkins, very similar to my business model with the exception that I'm only planning on making 5 sets of my thing to start with and then I'll be using Etsy to sell them. This way I can specify the quantity available and never run into the situation of having more orders than I have stock. Lean manufacturing baby :) I'll accept orders from local friends too and fulfill those myself instead of using Etsy. All of this is assuming I go ahead with this and actually start selling it, I do already have packaging designed which is simple and easy to produce.

I guess one option, should you ever run into a situation where one of your design is a hot commodity, would be to sell it on shapeways. I already use a site called redbubble.com where I have photographic prints and t-shirt designs, oddly my prints don't sell but I manage to sell quite a few T-shirts. They handle everything and just send me my cut, sure my margin is low comparative to the selling price (about $5 for a $29 shirt) but since I don't have to do anything after the initial design it's great :)

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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jan-Fri-13-Jan

Gee, my business plan was like my computer service fees - free for close friends and family with a usually slow response, and exorbitantly priced for anybody else. I based it on my charges for fixing home computers (and if that doesn't work I ask where I can put the arc welder and sledge hammer...). Perhaps I should reconsider...

OT, but how hard is it to sell on Etsy? My kids have been after me for a couple years to sell CNC made clocks (not wooden gear clocks, just CNC cut faces and battery movements) and some other hobby type projects there, but I figured it was too much trouble. Perhaps it's time to reconsider?

Thanks for the spreadsheet! Looks like it works fine with Libre Office Calc.

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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Fri-14-Jan

@Mooselake To be honest I haven't finished setting up my storefront yet, still beta testing my design :) It seems pretty straightforward though, list an item with some photos and a description, set the price (not sure how shipping is handled yet), Etsy charges something like 20 or 40 cents to list it for a certain time period (a month or two iirc) and takes 3.5% of the sale price. It's up to you to make sure you ship the item after, I'd imagine similar to ebay but I've never sold anything on there either.

I used to do a lot more for free, especially when I was starting out in photography, however there comes a point where you just start getting taken advantage of :) I'll still do stuff for free for friends here and there or give them cost price but it depends on what they're asking for.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jan-Fri-14-Jan

jphphotography wrote:I used to do a lot more for free, especially when I was starting out in photography, however there comes a point where you just start getting taken advantage of :) I'll still do stuff for free for friends here and there or give them cost price but it depends on what they're asking for.

Yeah, the people you owe favors to never seem to ask; the ones that never have time to reciprocate seem to ask a lot. Living on a small farm in the serious snow belt means you owe a lot of favors...

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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby jphphotography » 2015-Jan-Fri-16-Jan

My old method with photography was this: if it's something I've never done before or am needing more experience with then I'm fine with doing it for free or a lower rate, or as a loss leader to get my foot in the door with a client that has lots of potential for future business, however if it's something I've done a million times then sorry but you'll have to pay me what I'm worth :)

@Mooselake, while we don't get "lake effect snow" where I am there is still a lot of snow and very cold temps (just came out of a cold snap with -40ºF lows) so there are lots of favours in the form of boosts etc. Still haven't used my Jeep to tow anyone though.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Munson » 2015-Mar-Sun-09-Mar

Slightly off topic but how often should I expect to get jobs?I just joined 3D hubs and it seems like people don't get much work based on how many reviews I have seen per hub.What other sites can I list on?
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby evanalmighty » 2015-Mar-Sun-10-Mar

3DHubs is based in Europe. You won't get much activity there. MakeXYZ gets more traffic in the states.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Munson » 2015-Mar-Sun-19-Mar

Thanks Evan!! They do have listings in USA,the funny thing is the listed me in the UK.Ill sign up ASAP.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby ThereWillBprints2 » 2015-May-Wed-23-May

I have thought about this for some time as well and I too have many concerns. First and foremost I believe you need to consider time. In one hour of your time you would make that item but what job did you lose? In project management they use the 3P Statements for this scenario. It helps understand the purpose for which you do something, the process and the payoff. From other users I believe you have a greater understanding of the first two so let's get to the third!

In this case to be safe you would want to budget prints the same way you buset your home and here is why. Currently with 3D printing something always gives eventually. Your price point what ever it may be, needs to cover the cost of your printer, possibe parts, another printer or even to outsource that part (sign companies are notorious). This is no different from your pay from work being used to support how you live. A little to every need you have keeps your life moving forward. That is your Payoff.

My suggestion start with donations at local YMCA organizations that hold charity events and donate a po ice that you wish to sell. You get a tax writ off for the auctioned off amount and spread your craftsmanship for free. This also establishes a price point. You now gave proof that this widget went for that price but you are now producing them for a lower cost as your not trying to help charity past the event, if you wish. I sell 2mm thick batarangs that are a mere 100mm for ten bucks any day all day. Cost to print $0.09, and the best part is with supports to can print vertically for as many as five. Time varies from 20-30 minutes but it is high detail and people love it.

Another took that may help is a strategy analysis which is similar to a tactical marketing plan. Both with improve your business as you will know what to ask your customers :D
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby ThereWillBprints2 » 2015-May-Thu-00-May

I forgot also instead of youyour spreadsheet, use a break even analysis. That way you can see what you will make when you make any type of widget within your designs. Designing something needs to be a separate analysis and should be done after the design is agreed upon. It okay not to charge for printing if they pay in the design process. A design within your library can have a flat rate charge as well which will also make your spreadsheet have a more linear line when graphing your results. It will be a common factor which most prints won't have, but between mass and design you should be in the clear.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby plexus » 2015-May-Thu-17-May

I was just on makexyz's beta test of a new service they have. basically upload you STL, put in your address and pay. then this goes to a page for people signed up as printers. you can go to the page and click on any open jobs. so I did and downloaded the job STLs and opened them in Kisslicer to see what they were like, what would be involved in printing them. this service pre-determines the cost to the end client including shipping. I have done a number of print jobs on the site before using the regular system where the customer sends you the STLs and asks for a price - if they like it they confirm and you send them an invoice. but with the beta system, as I said the price is pre-determined. with the jobs I've had a number of them required me to work with the customer first to ensure they get what they expect. in some cases they had to re-do their STLs because they weren't printable (over hangs usually where support wouldn't work) or the STL was not formatted properly (units). we also have to talk about materials as most people want ABS because they don't know what PLA is but supply a print that will warp terribly.

anyway, so I didn't feel I could just accept the order without looking at the STLs first. I opened them up, took a close look at them, noticed some support requirements, sliced and determined that once shipping was removed from the price I'd end up with about $26 for 3.5 hours of printing. I was going to accept it anyway just because (although usually I won't take a job this cheap). when I went back to accept, it was gone. the beta apparently is first come first served in terms of accepting a job.

So I emailed Nathan the guy who owns makexyz and said I can't really do this. I need to first determine the scope of the work before I can accept it and that if doing so will cost me 30 mins of my time only find someone else took the job, I can't justify even taking a look at the jobs first. he suggested I be removed from the beta. I agreed.

Generally I find that the cost of filament, electricity and wear on the machine are small compared to the time I need to spend with the customer and the job, slicing, printing, sometimes a print goes bad and I have to re-do, cleaning support, packing, shipping labels, etc. it pretty much is not justifiable for the time I have to put in.

I guess there are enough people out there right now with printers that are fine to print stuff for people "just for fun" without considering the time they spend on it. I want to at least get $30/h for my time but I try and aim for $40. I feel this is fair all things considered. so for now I doubt I'll be doing much more "commercial" printing as there are many people who will do it for effectively nothing.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby Mooselake » 2015-May-Thu-20-May

Wasn't that pretty much the state of web page designers around, say 2000? There was one on every street corner, everybody with a bit of artistic talent (and many without) thought they were phenomenally great and would be rich in no time? Sorta like today where lots of people buy a 3D printer on Kickstarter and think they'll make a bundle?

I got out of the ISP business just after Y2K and lost track of them. I only know a couple of people from that era that are still in business; they were the truly good (and persistent) ones...

It'll sort itself out, hopefully. Guess that's just the boom and bust cycle.

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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby plexus » 2015-May-Thu-21-May

Mooselake wrote:Wasn't that pretty much the state of web page designers around, say 2000? There was one on every street corner, everybody with a bit of artistic talent (and many without) thought they were phenomenally great and would be rich in no time? Sorta like today where lots of people buy a 3D printer on Kickstarter and think they'll make a bundle?
I got out of the ISP business just after Y2K and lost track of them. I only know a couple of people from that era that are still in business; they were the truly good (and persistent) ones...
It'll sort itself out, hopefully. Guess that's just the boom and bust cycle.
Kirk


Pretty much. I never expected to make any money with mine. so whatever jobs I get are cool. but I am picky because I will only do ones that make sense to do in that I get paid for my time and materials. otherwise it's not worth it. I can just print stuff for myself to get my printing jollies.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-May-Thu-21-May

plexus wrote:I want to at least get $30/h for my time but I try and aim for $40. I feel this is fair all things considered.


I have done a few prints for a neighbor friend (who is using them for developing a commercial project, not for decorations or hobby purposes). I didn't charge him for "my time" but I charged him based on the machine time that Slic3r / Repetier said the print would take. In other words, an hourly rate for the machine time. His STL files did not need much cleaning up, so my preparation time was minimal. The rate that I gave him for machine time was $25 an hour. One of his prints took 8 hours, so that's some fairly serious money. But he seemed satisfied that it was fair. Do you think that's too low?

It seems to me a little difficult to charge for "my time" when I just stay in the same house as the printer while it's working; I'm not fully dedicated to monitoring the print from start to finish. I don't have any idea what a fair rate would be for "my time" that I would be at home anyway, so I don't charge. But then again, I'm not really trying to make a living from my printer; the payment is partly just to discourage people from asking me for all kinds of doodads at the price of the plastic alone.

I guess if I was asked to design from a concept to create the CAD model and then do the print, I'd have to charge for my engineering time. And then I'd agree with Plexus, aiming for $40 an hour (assuming that I know what I'm doing and I'm efficient and good at it).
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby plexus » 2015-May-Thu-21-May

RetireeJay wrote:
plexus wrote:I want to at least get $30/h for my time but I try and aim for $40. I feel this is fair all things considered.


I should clarify that I don't charge for my time while its printing. that is printer time which I charge for as well based on estimated wear costs. its an estimate because something has to be accounted for that regard. sometimes you just have to go with an estimate. for "my time" i mean actual time that I spend focused on their job. I consider the initial assessment free as in "free initial consultation". once we are set on the job. i estimate how much time I am going to spend in that regard on it. again, estimation. estimation of effort is a part of my regular job and so I have learned how to do it with some accuracy. i also add in contingency both in terms of time and materials. i get repeat customers so my price might not be too out of wack. although I do see a lot of people offering significantly lower prices. but I give my customers attention and provide a very good quality print. I will also try out different things for them to get a good print. in reality I do spend more time than I estimate. however I consider that "free time" part of my own learning and interest. such is the life of a consultant.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby yellow » 2015-Jun-Wed-07-Jun

great thread, thanks for starting it. i'm very new to 3d printing, but once you start printing some very cool things, it seems like everyone has something they want you to print. this will help me to recover some costs when printing for "a friend of a friend." And thank you for providing the spreadsheet.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby veng » 2015-Aug-Fri-12-Aug

All of these are good thoughts but don't cover too well what to do if one is designing things for sale. I'm thinking of things that probably have a very small and specific market that couldn't realistically be sold at a craft sale or silent auction to establish a price point. Custom things where there is little or no competition.

Sure one should charge a different price for design time versus print and materials time but the problem is deciding how many printed copies one might sell to amortize the design cost over. I guess one approach might be to but "version 1" up for sale and if it doesn't sell at that price then but the "new and improved version 2" up at a lower price.

How has anyone here addressed that problem?
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby ktfergus » 2015-Aug-Thu-22-Aug

How has anyone here addressed that problem?


Hey Veng, I've been selling several adaptive products (which is a very specific market) I've printed, but with any product you just have to charge what the market will bear. I researched similar products (anything in the medical field is going to be outrageously overpriced) to get a benchmark, and since I have almost zero overhead I pretty much charge half the price of the competition. I think that's the key, find out what your competition is and then match or beat their prices.

At this point, I'm treating my products as more of a hobby, so as long as they cover the cost of printing I'm happy.

I also want to thank everyone who has contributed thus far to this thread. I just finished my first "print-for-hire" job and the info you guys provided was invaluable. I modified jph's spreadsheet which was a good foundation and I was also able to justify/set my print fee based on everyone's input. I've attached the spreadsheet I ended up using in case anyone else can use it; I added room for CAD/design since my client needed me to create .stl files, as well as, a slot for "Post Processing" because several of the complex items needed to be fastened together after they were printed. I also included a second page for notes in which I can describe each step of the process and break down the total work done.

I also gathered some information on 3D printing I can give to prospective clients who might be unfamiliar with the technology. (I wrote up a brief summary of the process and materials involved and made a couple of graphs showing the trade-offs between speed and strength and layer height). I've attached those docs in case anyone would like to use them, as well. Plus if you spot any glaring errors please let me know.

3D Printing Cost Breakdown.docx

3D Printing Overview.docx

3D printing invoice.xlsx


-Kelly
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby veng » 2015-Sep-Mon-21-Sep

Kelly, thanks for the spread sheets. They will help in calculating costs but I guess I'm just going to have to determine what the market will bear. (or leave money on the table)
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby bbrown64 » 2015-Sep-Tue-06-Sep

If you are using Cura. The amount of filament required to make a print is shown on the screen. Take that amount and multiply it times .35 per gram of filament. That should get you a pretty good idea of the cost to print a part.
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Re: What to charge for prints

Postby WaffleMan » 2016-Feb-Sun-11-Feb

I just made an online calculator for this purpose. Here's the link, https://jscalc.io/calc/a6X5wXwCtJxsFORU
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