Every time I show my 3D printer to a new person they always have the same questions, “How long does it take to print something?” and “How much electricity does a 3D printer use?”. I don’t know why so many people are curious about the electricity cost because I have always believed that the cost was so low that it was inconsequential but the more that I have investigated how much electricity a 3D printer can use the more I think I need to add it to the cost of printing in some situations.
I can’t give you an exact number for your printer but there are a few things that you can look at to figure out roughly how much electricity your 3D printer uses.
The average electricity cost of running a 3D printer is 1.563 cents per hour or 150 watts per hour. The main variables that will affect the electricity cost are your machine’s wattage use, your kWh electricity cost, as well as the amount of time that you use your machine.
3D Printer Electricity Cost Calculator.
Find your state’s average cost per kWh at energybot.com. (Select residential)
How Can I Find Out The Max Power Output Of My 3D Printer?
I have collected the max power output of 32 printers (see below), if your 3D printer is not listed you can always check the label on your power supply and see if it is specified there. If your 3D printer’s max power output is not listed there you may have to check the user manual, the product posting, or forums to find it.
Maximum Wattage Of Your 3D Printer.
On average (in a sample of the 32 most popular 3D printers) the maximum wattage for 3D printers is 300W. The size of the machine will dramatically affect how much electricity your 3D printer uses.
For example, the Monoprice MP Select Mini has a max power output of 120W while the AnyCubic Chiron has a max power output of 600W. This is not a perfect litmus of how much electricity a printer will use but the more capable the power supply is the more expensive it will be.
The maximum usage is exactly as it sounds, the max, this means that your printer will likely actually use less electricity depending on how hot you run your hot end and your heated bed. The more bells and whistles that your 3D printer has the more electricity it will cost to run all of those functions.
A 3D printer will actually only use roughly 50% of its available wattage meaning that your 3D printer will only use about half of its maximum wattage. If you want a more accurate reading of how much wattage your 3D printer uses you can purchase a watt meter for around $30 and get an exact reading.
|3D Printer||3D Printer Max Power Output||Max Electric Cost Per Hour||Average Electric Cost Per Hour|
|AnyCubic i3 Mega||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|AnyCubic Mega Zero||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|Creality Ender-3 V2||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|Creality Ender-5 Plus||550W||$0.057||$0.029|
|Flash Forge Inventor||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|Flash Forge Dreamer||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|Flash Forge Creator||350W||$0.036||$0.018|
|Flash Forge Guider II||500W||$0.052||$0.026|
|Monoprice Mini Delta||120W||$0.013||$0.006|
|Monoprice MP Select Mini||120W||$0.013||$0.006|
|Monoprice Maker Select||240W||$0.025||$0.013|
|Prusa i3 mk2/mk3/xl||240W||$0.025||$0.013|
Find Your Cost Per kWh.
Right now the US average cost per kWh is 10.42 cents. This means that for each Kilowatt that your 3D printer uses you will pay on average 10.40 cents. A 3D printer on average uses a maximum of 300W meaning if you run your 3D printer for 1 hour you will pay a maximum of 3.13 cents.
If you are not sure how much you pay for electricity contact your electric provider or if a great resource to figure out roughly your cost per kWh check out energybot.com for the average cost per kWh in your state. When looking at their chart make sure to select residential and check out your state for a more accurate calculation. Businesses tend to get a slightly lower rate per kWh so you will get a bad number if you forget to change this.
Figure Out How Long Your 3D Prints Take.
You can get a pretty accurate number for the amount of time it will take for your 3D print in Cura or if you are calculating the actual time that it takes you can record the time with a stopwatch as it is printing. You will probably not get a perfectly accurate number from Cura but it should be within 5-15 minutes of the actual print time.
Having a pretty accurate reading for your time is very important when calculating the total cost of 3D printing electricity because basically every electric company charges by kilowatt hour.
Does 3D Printing Use A Lot Of Electricity?
3D printing does not use a lot of electricity. if you run your 3D printer for 20-40 hours a week on average your cost for electricity of printing will be $1.25 – $2.50 per month. Most would find this number insignificant but if you are looking for ways to cut down on your power usage there are a few ways to reduce your power output.
Ways to reduce power output.
Turn off hot plate after your first 5 layers.
Reduce infill to speed up print time.
Buy a 3D printer that uses less wattage.
If you are using a 3D printer that has a low watt usage then it may not be a factor worth considering in your cost of printing. But then again, if you live in Hawaii and run an AnyCubic Chiron at max heat and speed 24/7 this can cost you around $134 a month, that is no joke.