How Much Does It Cost to Build a 3D Printer?

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The cost of building a 3D printer will differ from one 3D printer to the other because they feature different designs and working performance. There are various designs of 3D printers available in the market, and they come at different prices. The price of a 3D printer highly depends on its quality, size, features, performance, and durability.

In this article, we shall discuss what prices you should be expecting when purchasing a 3D printer and what features are available in every design.

The Cost of Different Types Of 3D Printers

1. Entry-level 3D printers

These are printers that great for newbies, and their price range is between $200 and $400. The entry-level 3D printers are perfect for learning and experimenting on printing various 3D models. With these printers, you will be able to print items that are within 3 to 4 inches in a dimension that is width, height, and length. Furthermore, they are limited to printing one material.

Before purchasing entry-level 3D printers, you should note that they are noisy, slow, and not durable, as well as it features poor printing quality. However, using it to print small objects and understanding how a 3D printer operates, it does a great job.

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2. Hobbyist 3D printers

Hobbyist 3D printers feature a price range of $300 to $1500. They have better performance when compared to the entry-level 3D printers. However, hobbyist 3D printers are associated with some fatal flaws that challenge their prices and value in the market. When it comes to printing, they print larger 3D products than the entry-level 3d printers.

Hobbyists are capable of printing 5 to 6 inches of dimension products. Furthermore, they are faster and are capable of printing more documents than entry-level 3D printers. However, you will often realize that hobbyist 3D printer speed and printing quality are lacking.

Most of the 3D printers in this category are not designed to run for a significant amount of time. Moreover, you will be performing several repairs and maintenance regularly for it to continue running. If you love 3D printing as a hobby, then this 3D printer category will be perfect for you. You should note that hobbyist 3D printers are not suitable for any educational setting or commercial purposes where you will require it to print regularly.

3. Enthusiast 3D printers

These 3D printers are perfect when it comes to delivering solid prints, and they range from $1500 to $3500. If you are looking for a printer that will provide solid prints for a specific project, then this 3D printer category will best suit your needs. Enthusiast 3D printers are capable of printing big items measuring 8 to 12 inches in every dimension. Furthermore, printers in these categories feature incredible speed, and they offer decent and high-quality prints.

In this category, you are assured on an array of printing materials; however, some printers in this category will require you to operate using standard materials offered by the manufacturer hence limiting your options. Unfortunately, plenty of enthusiast 3D printers are not durable, and they require significant repairs and maintenance.

They are perfect for use in grade schools as well as infrequent usage in high schools. Some businesses might find this category to be useful; however, they will be frustrated often due to frequent repair and maintenance.

4. Professional 3D printers

If you are looking for a 3D printer with a significant amount of value in printing 3D products, this will be the best category for you. Professional 3D printers’ prices range between $3500 and $6000. Furthermore, professional 3D printers are capable of building larger items measuring 12 inches in every dimension.

Printers in this category are capable of printing an array of items; however, for it to print the objects to perfection, the manufacturer has to offer print profiles to every material for the 3D printer slicer software.

These are the features you should consider when looking for a performance printer; the ability to print fast and maintain a great print resolution.

You shouldn’t be relying on the published specification; however, you should physically look at a printed sample as well as evaluate the settings in which the print was carried out. You should consider assessing the durability of the 3D printer, as well. Always purchase a 3D printer that is easy to maintain and have great performance.

Professional 3D printers are perfect for education from middle schools to universities as well as robotics clubs. Furthermore, you might consider using a 3D printer from this category in running your business, and it works perfectly for both small and large enterprises.

5. Industrial 3D printers

Industrial 3D printers range from $20,000 to $100,000. These 3D printers differ from professional 3D printers in a few ways. Industrial 3D printers are capable of printing high-quality 3D models at great speed; however, you will have to pay for premium for you to achieve this ability. These 3D printers are designed for industrial purposes with a great interface, fabricated metal exterior, and durable construction.

For base printers, industrial manufacturers tend to have a higher price rate. Furthermore, they have annual maintenance charges. Industrial 3D printers are durable and highly reliable; however, their prices make them perfect for big enterprises that are capable of affording such hefty price tags. The costs of industrial 3D printers make them expensive for various universities to purchase.

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What you should consider when purchasing a 3D printer?

​There are various 3D models available in the market, and choosing the one that best suit you need can be tricky. Here are some few things you should put in mind when purchasing a 3d printer:

  • Durability
  • Speed
  • Price
  • Maintenance
  • The material used in printing
  • Safety
  • Slicing software
  • 3D printer design
  • Performance


The amount of money you are willing to spend on purchasing a 3D printer will profoundly affect its quality, speed, performance, and durability. If you are looking for a high-quality 3D printer with excellent performance, the industrial 3D category will be perfect for you. However, if you are looking for a 3D printer that you will be using for learning on how 3D printers operate, then entry-level 3D printer category will be perfect for you.

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