Designer Toys

Tips on Reducing Cost of 3D Printing

November 12, 2019 (Last updated)

4 min read


3D printing can be seen as the most cost-effective solution if you’re looking to produce prototypes or even small productions. There is a direct correlation between the cost and the amount of material that is used in the fabrication process. You might be looking for ways to reduce costs for 3d printing in NYC and this article will provide some tips on how to go about the process.

The Price Considerations in 3D Printing

There are three main factors that determine the cost of 3D printing and they’re:

  • Model volume:

    • The larger the part, the more material needed for the printing. This means you’ll have to spend more if you’re looking for a large print.

  • Material cost:

    • Not all printing materials are made equal. Even though the cost of 3D material varies, you can expect to spend around $25 per kilogram for FDM filaments and up to $300 per kilogram for SLA resin.

  • Extra Post Processing:

    • The work on the output doesn’t stop once the print is complete. This could include sanding, painting, metal plating etc.

There is a minimal barrier to entry for 3D printing. That is why it has attracted a lot of hobbyists who are keen on coming up with creative prints. If you’re budget-conscious, FDM 3D printing process comes highly recommended. However, post processing to get a high quality print is very high. It takes a lot of time to get an FDM printing parts to look good. And if you’re an artist looking to 3d print a sculpture or an architectural firm with a very complex design, FDM printing would not be a good solution.

Scaling Down of 3D Models

If the size of the model is not a big consideration, you can always scale down to reduce the cost of production. Even a small reduction could have significant cost-saving benefits for your 3D-printing endeavors.

Hollowing of 3D Models

There are circumstances where producing a solid object is not needed in the design. By hollowing the model, you get to reduce the amount of material that is used for the print. There are some 3D printers that will not produce hollow prints unless it is specified in the design. At PrintAWorld, we specialize in SLA printing where we 3d print most of our projects hollow. This allows to reduce the cost of our 3d prints but at the same time get a superior quality compared to FDM printing.

Getting Rid of the Need For Support Structures

You can further reduce the cost of printing by eliminating the need for support structures. Support will sometimes be required for FDM/SLA prints in order to create parts with overhangs. This will, in turn, increase the cost because more material is needed for the cost. There are two different approaches for eliminating the need for supporting structures:

Overhang Angles

The first approach will be the design of overhang angles that are greater than 45 degrees. There are a ton of resources you can check out on supporting structures.

Splitting the 3D Model

You don’t have to print the whole model all at once. You can print them in pieces and assembling them shouldn’t be that much of a challenge.


Material-wise, FDM is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an economical solution for your 3D printing. But the amount of post-processing required to make these prints beautiful adds up the cost. You can also design parts that don’t need a lot of supporting structures to reduce the material that is used for the printing. Scaling down and hollowing the model will also come in handy if you’re looking to use less material. For more information, you can check out

PrintAWorld 394 McGuinness Blvd Brooklyn, NY 11222

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