The best way to calculate pricing for Direct Print is to upload your file to our website and get an immediate quote. If you are looking at Volume Print, the best way is to submit a request to our Volume Print department.
Our price algorithm takes into account the individual details of each model, for which it can vary from one piece to another. However, below are a few things that you can keep in mind when thinking about the price of your 3D print:
The surface area refers to the "skin" covering the piece. This includes every exposed and unexposed surface. For instance, if you have a solid cube, the measurement of all 6 sides of the cube would be the surface area. If you were to take that same cube and make it hollow, the surface area would almost double since the algorithm would now be measuring the 6 inner panels, in addition to the 6 outer sides.
Volume is determined by multiplying Height, Width, and Length. This can get complicated because not all pieces have constant measurements all around. So, if a piece starts at 10mm high, but ends at 5mm high, each segment of the piece will generate its own volume measurement and will be added at the end to determine the total volume of the part.
This refers to the time your part will spend on our printers, which will affect how long a printer is unavailable, will drive up power usage, and will increase the risk of failure -The longer a part is on the printer, the more opportunities there are for something going wrong. An increased risk of failure means a part may have to print several times.
This is something you may or may not be able to control, based on whether you use Direct Print or Volume Print. Direct Print has standard settings (for infill, shell thickness, and layer height) that preserve quality while optimizing price. When using Volume Print you may use different settings, but this may increase the price.
Anytime you have an overhang (at more than 45 degrees), support material will be needed. Using support material will increase the amount of filament used. Let's say you are printing an open box facing down. When printing the object this way, support material will completely fill the object, more than tripling the volume of your print.
Set-up and Post-Processing:
A printer has to be set up before it starts printing (clean plate, correct filament color, maintenance check). So, each time a new part is printed, there is a set-up fee for it. This can be noticed when uploading multiple files to one order.
Post-processing is everything that happens after a part has finished printing. Some of this includes harvesting, plate removal, and support material cleanup. This is where having a part with fewer overhangs can pay off, since the less time we need to use to clean up a part, the lower the cleanup fee may be.
This is where you can definitely hit some savings. If you send your part in advance and you are willing to wait 5 days (2 more days from the standard production time), you can save up to 10% of your whole order. This works the same the other way around; if you need your piece to be completed within 1 or 2 days, there will be a rush fee.
This is another area where it will depend on how fast you need your parts. We offer USPS and FedEx and you can choose a range of delivery speeds.
Now, if you happen to be in NYC and don't mind a small trip to our offices in Brooklyn, you can save these fees and get to meet us in person by choosing "Pickup" instead of "shipping."