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3D Printer Total Cost Of Ownership - Life Span - Cost Per Print - Depreciation

Discussion in '3D Printers & 3D Printing' started by Nifty, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Mar 1, 2018
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    I used to do this with my inkjet printers when trying to figure out the TCO of printing photographs and comparing the price at home (refiling ink) vs. taking to a local store to print.

    Now I'm wondering the same about my 3D printer and the stuff I print.

    Filament is an obvious expense, then there's the electricity usage which is relatively negligible, especially since I'm not using a heated bed with PLA... but I assume the cost of the printer, and any maintenance / replacement parts, is going to be a big factor. Obviously my time setting up the print, calibrating, managing, etc. is valuable... but since this is still in the realm of "fun hobby", I'm not going to count that ;)

    So, my CR-10 was $382.09 shipped. I wonder how many hours I can get out of it without any major repairs. Maybe I should count it by the number of 1kg spools it can print before it dies? Maybe the number of successful items I print?

    That's a pretty funny way to look at it! My first print was valued at $352.59 ($0.50 of filament), but then my 2nd print of the same thing would have been halved... $191.55. I figure by this process, I'm probably at about $4 per print (cost of printer + filament + electricity) / approximately 100 items printed. Obviously that per-item price will keep going down the longer my printer lasts <fingers crossed>.

    What do you guys think?

    Any ideas on how to figure more of these numbers? Even best-guess?
     
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  2. Mar 1, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Unlike @Nifty, the way I cost my 3D printing is simple, print till you run out of filament or brake the Feckin thing as I just did, I’m into my 6th roll of filament and its all been well worth it, and the beauty of 3D printing, its saves me a fortune on my inkjet printing...;)

    I treat my 3D printing hobby just like a bottle of good whisky, I just enjoy the moments and Feck the cost, all hobbies cost money, and so does lying in bed on you back, and I know which one I prefer, besides time is the most expensive thing of all...:hu

    Question: -... What is cost ?... It’s something you probably can’t afford, so do it before the wife finds out...:lol:
     
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  3. Mar 2, 2018
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    :(

    Fine, don't play my game! ;)

    "Cost of my first 3D print: $360...
    Experiencing the joy of 3D printing, priceless"

    :D
     
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  4. Mar 2, 2018
    Redbrickman

    Redbrickman Printer Master

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    Cost of owning a 3D printer may be more than you think, unless you actively make an effort to engage with the rest of the family occasionally :lol:
     
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  5. Mar 2, 2018
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    LOL! That's definitely a very wide view / interpretation of "TOTAL" cost of ownership! :lol:
     
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  6. Mar 2, 2018
    FryingSaucer

    FryingSaucer Print Addict

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    I'm not sure about amortising the total cost of the printer over its lifetime. The printer is more like a car. You probably replace components as they wear out, not run the car into the ground. Most bits are really cheap to replace - for example I've replaced the extruder assembly in my Anet A8 for £5.65.

    And if you want to be really accurate about total cost of ownership, where do you stop? For example, what's the chance of your 3D printer burning your house down if you run it overnight? 1/100,000? 1/1,000,000? Multiply that by the cost of your house and include it in the cost. OK, that's getting silly.

    Anyway, it's difficult to assess cost per print. I've no idea how much I've printed. Perhaps running cost per day is an easier measure to use.

    My printer kit cost £124 inc shipping and insurance last August, about $163 at that time. I've used one $20 spool of filament (yes, I'm not printing as much as everyone else here). The replacement hot end a couple of replacement fans, say $13. All the parts I've printed to improve the printer are included in the cost of the filament. I was printing during the day and a large part of the electricity used came from my solar power generated. So I'd be happy to say $200 in total over 6 months. Close to $1 per day, so far.

    But I reckon the printer will easily last for 2+ years, probably much longer with minimal maintenance costs. So let's say less than 25 cents a day.

    On this measure, the cost of assessing cost of ownership is likely to be more than the actual cost of ownership. So it's not worth trying to assess it:D
     
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  7. Mar 2, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    When it comes to the actual cost of ownership of a 3D printer, well I don’t have clue, and I wouldn’t want to know anyway, ownership for me is just fantastic, and if I had to put a monitory price on it, then that would eat into all the pleasure it brings.

    I have never put a cost of anything that pleases me, simply because I’m worth it, :D and couldn’t care a hoot... :weee :D
     
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  8. Mar 3, 2018
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Great discussion!

    As a finance / numbers / stats guy at my core, I can't help but think about these things. I guess like some people get excited about doing crosswords, Chess,or Sudoku... I get excited about this kind of stuff! :D
     
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  9. Mar 3, 2018
    FryingSaucer

    FryingSaucer Print Addict

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    At 25 cents a day, I get excited about indulging in a hobby at zero cost:celebrate
     
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  10. Mar 3, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    As someone who came from a very wealthy background, I saw the power of money and what it can do, so I rejected that lifestyle and scratched for every penny I earned myself. (I’m still broke) :old

    My philosophy is simple, it costs to hoard money and pleasantly enjoyable when you don’t... :D
     
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