MakerBotting is Cheap!

What is the real cost of MakerBotting? Nick Starno, MakerBot Engineer decided to find out. He did some SCIENCE and made this handy chart so you can plan things out. You’ll notice that the electricity cost is at $.15 in this equation. That is a little bit more than we pay for it here in NYC, but we thought we’d adjust up in case your electricity is more. You’ll notice that the timing of the centimeter cubes is all the same, even though there are different infill settings. That’s because “cool” was turned on, which makes small layers take 15 seconds so they get a chance to cool. Even with solid infill, it needed to be slowed down to make each layer take 15 seconds and so they are all the same time! In the settings, these each have 1 shell so each model has two perimeters. The time noted here did not include warmup time. Using the new Print-O-Matic functionality in ReplicatorG, this was printed with a .4mm nozzle and a .3mm layer height and 30mm/sec feedrate.

We are proud of our plastic. We get the best plastic possible with great tolerances and we make it as cheap as we can! If you’ve done your own experiments in regards to power usage and costs. Drop us a note in the comments!

Tagged with 6 comments

6 Comments so far

  • Syvwlch
    June 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been running my Thingomatic plugged into a Kill-A-Watt for a couple weeks now, and average electricity consumption is remarkably stable. Probably because keeping the hot-end and HBP at temperature is the main power drain?

    In any case, material cost is definitely the dominant factor, and so it’s a good thing you guys keep it cheap. Printing a lego mini-fig at twice the normal size for 25 cents is a feel-good moment! :-)

  • Starno
    June 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    The heated build platform is actually the main power drain. We calculated that it dissipates a little less than 70W of power, so the people who are printing with PLA and a non-heated platform are saving themselves about 70% on the electricity costs! Thanks for documenting all your Kill-A-Watt statistics Syvwlch

  • Syvwlch
    June 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Good to know, and you’re welcome! :-)

  • nophead
    June 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    >great tolerances

    Is your “3mm” still around 2.8mm or is it actually 3mm these days?

  • MakerBlock
    June 24, 2011 at 12:44 am

    So, I had done some of my own estimates back in 8/2010.

    @nophead: From my own measurements, I think the 3mm is around 2.88mm.

  • Estimating the cost of 3D Printing | SGEye Eyes the World
    January 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    […] Makerbot, Jun […]


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