The cost for 3D printing filament varies on the type of material you’re printing and if the manufacturer requires you to purchase their brand of filament.
If your manufacturer requires you to purchase their brand of filament, your costs will be higher, sometimes much higher than manufacturers who employ a ‘open source’ or ‘open materials’ philosophy. In those instances, your material cost could range from $45 USD per kilogram (for basic materials like ABS and PLA) to over $250 USD per kilogram for specialty nylons and other engineering-grade plastics.
Printers like the F400 that use open materials / open source materials provide more options and sources, encouraging competition and innovation. Here’s a list of the main types of materials and what you should expect to pay if you’re purchasing them on the open market:
PLA & ABS (Generic Formulations)
Generic PLA and ABS are the least expensive materials to print and you can expect to pay $25-$30 USD per kilogram from quality suppliers.
PLA & ABS (Specialty & Infused Formulations)
Prices in this category vary as there are a wide variety of unique versions of PLA and ABS that are specially formulated to unique specifications or add materials like ceramics, metals, wood or other materials to create unique visual effects. Materials in this category range from $40 to $75 USD per kilogram.
ASA, a cousin to ABS, is great for using in outdoor applications and is quite inexpensive. You can expect to pay between $30 and $45 USD per kilogram
Fusion3 expects PETG to emerge in 2017 as the most popular 3D printing filament due to its ease of printing yet exhibiting many industrial benefits. You should expect to pay between $30 and $40 USD per kilogram for generic versions of PETG and $45 to $70 USD for specialty formulations.
Nylons are proprietary formulations of plastic, so you won’t find generic versions. Due to the speciality nature, Nylon can be somewhat expensive and you should expect to pay between $80 and $110 USD per kilogram.
Everyone loves seeing a 3D part printed using flexible materials and most flexible materials are based on a material called TPU. Generic TPUs can be found from quality suppliers around $35 USD per kilogram. Specialty formulations from manufacturers like NinjaTek are more expensive and run approximately $90 to $110 USD per kilogram.
Generic polycarbonate (PC) has incredible strength and temperature resistance, but is very difficult to print, even with an enclosed 3D printer like the F400. If you’re game to try printing PC, you can expect to pay about $100 USD per kilogram. There are also blends of other materials with polycarbonate that are easier to print and actually cost less (PC-ABS for example). These formulations cost approximately $75 to $95 USD per kilogram.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
If you’d like more information about the characteristics of the different materials, a list of materials certified to run on the Fusion3 F400, and links to their manufacturers, visit our Materials Page.
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