How Much Does a 3D Print Job Cost?

Feb 20, 2019 | 3D printing | 12 comments

In the past few years, the cost of 3D printing has gone down significantly, changing it from a university-funded grad student project to a viable method for manufacturing prototypes and even final parts and products.  Developments in 3D printing technology have also brought along a number of new options for color, material, and printing technique.

3D printing pricing is similar to that of other manufacturing techniques in a number of ways. Both the materials and the process have purchase and/or operating costs. With our 3D printing Service, the amount of material you use is primarily what determines the price.

At Jawstec, we base our pricing based on a few factors:

  • Type of material
  • Object volume
  • Bounding box
  • Surface area

Let’s break down what these different factors mean and how they affect the price.

The type of material is very important. We can print a variety of materials, including nylon and resin. Every raw material has an associated cost. Depending on the material you want a product printed in, it will therefore cost more or less in much the same way as buying a gold ring costs more than a silver one.

Object volume is directly tied to the type of material that’s being printed. By volume, we mean the entire amount of material that’s needed to complete the object. The infill, or the material in the middle of the product, is key here. Hollow objects will cost less than solid objects of the same material.

The bounding box is the area that the object is going to take up to print. This is helpful for understanding the dimensions we need for the printer to complete the object.

Surface area is exactly what it says: the amount of surface area there is of the object. For a number of different objects, the surface area is the only relevant area and the object can be hollow, reducing its cost. We still need to know the surface area, however, because objects are finished after they are printed for a smoother, more durable surface.

We measure the object volume and the bounding box in centimeters cubed and surface area in centimeters squared, avoiding any conflict of dimensions (i.e. inches and centimeters being used to describe different dimensions of one object; this issue can be enough to lose space probes, though with 3D printing it just results in confusion).

We charge an initial fee per print, with an additional fee for subsequent prints. We also offer a bulk discount for large orders. Contact us for a quote so we can give you a more accurate estimate based on your planned 3D printed product.

At Jawstec, we are one of the only HP Recognized Providers for 3D Printing Service. We understand the ins and out of this new and developing technology. We work with customers from all over the world, with all levels of experience with 3D printing, to help them use 3D printing in their business. Whether it’s producing prototypes, parts, or full working models of your products, we are here to help.


  1. Oscar Klassen

    The minimum cost per piece is one dollar. Then shipping adds a cost as well so the cheapest order you can place is a $6 order.

    • John Alexander

      Hello Mr. Klassen
      You recently printed my order PO – 25BQDMWC-1. I have received the finished items. I have two questions regarding the parts sent:
      1 The color specified in my order was RED. The parts were produced in a gray textured finished. Why wasn’t I informed that RED was not available?
      The gray finish will need to be coated with a RED finish; that may compromise the parts interaction with each other as the clearances are quite small <0.005".
      2 Will you confirm the material type please.

      Thanks. The overall dimensional quality was very good. Tolerance was not specified on my files as they were Solidworks part files, not drawings. However, my allowances proved very adequate, and assembly function is fine.

      I would appreciate your response to these questions in order that I may be better able to obtain the parts as I imagined them to be.

      Very truly yours,

      John Alexander
      (831) 566-4102

      • Philip

        Thanks for the questions. I believe this order was from a partner site as the PO number doesn’t match our system and I don’t know what the options are that they give. If you order red you should get red but some other places don’t pass that info along very well. I will look into this and get some answers.

        Thanks for the Business

  2. Billy

    I just noticed that if we upload a model file there are no in cm , only shows mm or inch. therefore shows the wrong calculating like if a length is 100mm it shows 1mm ..most of our design is in cm/mm not inch.

  3. oscar

    We now offer cm as a dimension for quoting. The options are now mm/cm/inches. This allows any type of file to be uploaded in whatever measurements were used.

  4. Brooks Brooks

    1st Stage: We would like 2 count quantity. Of a 15mL custom prototype HDPE.
    Color: solid yellow bottle.
    Container contents size: 15 mL.
    Length of neck: 2″ inch
    With of bottle neck 0.75 inch.
    Child proof cap. We will source, child proof cap if required.

    2nd Stage: If approved from our customer, we will need 110 count quantity more bottles produced.

  5. Kris Castillo

    Hi. I designed the exterior of an automobile. I would like to know the cost to 3D print a model size? I designed it using adobe illustrator (graphic design program)

  6. Philip

    That completely depends on the size of the automobile. If you have an stl you can put it in on our instant quote and it will give you a price immediately. If you have a 3 dimensional file of some sort you can email it to us and we can try to convert it.

  7. Penny jolley

    Can you 3d print an item that floats.i know what I want and have a picture of it but have no idea how to go about taking it any further. And it’s about 4 to 5 foot round and flat is that to big for 3d printinh?

  8. Samuel Bryant

    I have a part I would like done but it is a propeller for a kayak your your process be cheaper then $68 for nylon comp I would really like on in stainless steel.


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