Estimating 3D printing costs is important, but can also be challenging. This is the time to ensure you’ve thought of everything.
Cost estimation for 3D printed parts: Is it predictable?
One of the hardest tasks an engineer faces these days is to estimate the cost of machine parts. In traditional manufacturing methods, such as CNC and injection molding, it might be difficult to predict the price of a part prior to production. Whereas with 3D printing, similar printing techniques might have a similar cost.
The role of estimating a full machine Bill of Materials (BOM) during the New Product Introduction (NPI) phase is critical for the company’s product owner – they must choose the right manufacturing method for each one of the parts of a hardware product. Especially when it comes to a huge CAPEX investment in molding/casting in early stages of the project. Dealing with low volume/high complex products only makes the need for cost estimation stronger, since high COGS might prevent launching the product even though it passes the R&D phase.
Cost estimation main parameters
When analyzing a part for 3D printability, it’s important to have a ballpark of the costs involved while making the part with 3D printing. This calculation includes elements such as the material cost, the printing time, the labor cost involved to prepare the print and clean it afterwards, the depreciation of the printer cost, the post processing time and more. All of those aspects have large variation when it comes to different materials, different countries and different printing technologies. Here are some of the main guidelines:
|1||Material cost||Support/model material cost per cm^3|
|2||Printing time||Part’s volume/printer build rate|
|3||The labor cost||Print preparation, Machine efficiency|
|4||Depreciation of the 3D printer cost||Annual depreciation, Machine operation cost|
|5||Post process||Part’s cleaning, polish, painting, hardening time|
If you’d like to learn more about this process, CASTOR can help.
CASTOR is a complete decision support system for utilizing industrial 3D printing. It allows manufacturers to save time and money by determining to use 3D printing or traditional manufacturing methods.Your first report is FREE. Contact us at www.3dcastor.com