While Fabforma’s 3D printing team takes care to optimize the design for 3D printing so as to reduce the 3D printing costs for its customers, you may learn more about the different ways through which the costs can be controlled. While some factors can be controlled by us to reduce your 3D printing costs, there are factors like optimization of the CAD design which need to be taken care of by you.
3D Printing costs are primarily made up of material costs and service costs
(labor and machine costs, energy costs).
You may reduce your material costs by ways such as,
a) Scaling down your 3D model
, since this helps bring down the material costs to a big extent. Scaling down the size of your 3D model by half, for example, will bring down the material requirement to anywhere between 1/5th to 1/8th of its original requirement;
b) Choosing the optimum 3D printing material
, which is cost-effective and also fits into your project requirements at the same time;
c) Optimizing the design of the CAD model
to reduce its overall volume and hence the part weight, while maintaining its structural integrity (using lattice frameworks, honeycomb structures for example)
d) Reducing the infill percentage
(the solid volume created inside your object during printing) parameter for FDM printing process or hollowing out your model during the design phase for printing processes such as SLA, DLP, SLS. Don't forget that by reducing the weight of your 3D prints, your shipping costs also get reduced indirectly.
You may learn more about the ‘infill percentage’ parameter out here
While the service costs may be reduced by,
e) Avoiding high resolution printing
in order to reduce the printing time. Since the printing time is directly correlated to the print resolution (layer resolution) we use, you may avoid high resolution printing, especially when aesthetics of the part is not one of the primary requirements.
You may learn more about the ‘layer resolution’ parameter out here
f) Avoiding any post-processing treatments
on your 3D prints. Unless it is absolutely necessary, we advise our customers to avoid any time-consuming manual finishing treatments like sanding, polishing, painting, etc. on their 3D prints so as to save a lot of time and money.