3D printing is one of the most exciting hobbies to do, as you can make objects of your choice at any given time. The best thing about 3D printing is making bigger-sized objects like helmets. However, the cost of printing these helmets is a vital question to consider.
The cost of 3D printing a helmet can start from $40 or more, depending on the printing option. You can either print it yourself or seek the services of 3D printing companies. Moreover, other factors such as the variety of material and size of the helmet can also determine the printing cost.
The rest of the article will discuss the two 3D printing options in great detail. So, read on to decide on the best possible choice for you.
1. Seeking 3D Printing Services
3D printing a helmet can be a headache, especially if you’re a newbie in this type of printing. However, some companies offer printing services, and you can find them within your area. So, this is the preferred method if you urgently need the helmet but have no materials to make it yourself.
- Diversified Manufacturing Technologies LLC – it’s located in Newington and offers both pre-processing and post-processing 3D printing services.
- American Additive Manufacturing – it concentrates on producing 3D models with various patterns.
For more information about these companies, you can visit the website.
For most service providers, it’ll cost you $3 when you print for one hour. But, there’s an additional $1 charge if your model prints for an extra hour. However, the cost may also depend on other factors.
For instance, the armor component may use a different material from the rest of the components. Hence, you may pay an extra $2. The amount represents the quantity of filament the print will use.
Here are four factors that’ll determine the cost of printing a helmet when outsourcing 3D printing services:
Time Required for Printing
In any 3D printing service, the actual cost largely depends on time. The duration of printing your objects will also determine how much material and power the print will consume. Hence, if the model takes a longer time, the cost of printing it’ll also increase.
But, it might take a shorter duration when outsourcing a 3D printing service than when you’re printing the helmet yourself. This is because you don’t have to set up the printer and materials to start printing. Also, most service providers use high-quality printers that can print many models quickly.
The Variety of Materials
The best thing about outsourcing 3D printing your models is that they have a wide range of filaments available. Moreover, they utilize advanced technology, producing top-notch models. So, you won’t have to incur hefty costs when buying your preferred 3D printing materials.
Additionally, most enthusiasts always look for 3D printing service providers that have the standard FDM, SLS, and resin printers. Hence, they can print your models professionally using the appropriate materials. Therefore, if you don’t have access to these materials, seeking 3D printing services will be a better solution.
The Size of the Helmet
Seeking 3D printing services is preferable when you print big models, as they have commercial-grade printers. Moreover, they might charge you less than what you’d have incurred if you had done it yourself. Therefore, as long they have an extensive build plate, printing bigger models isn’t an issue to a 3D printing service company.
Now, apart from the cost, you’ll print complex models within the shortest time.
Variety of Colors and Finishes
Although a wide array of filament and finish colors are available, you may not always find the specific one you’d prefer for your model. Moreover, purchasing a full-color printer that prints appealing models can cost you a fortune. Hence, you might consider outsourcing, as most 3D printing service providers have access to advanced technologies and offer the best services to their clients.
They can also blend various colors to produce visually appealing models depending on your preferences. Therefore, you don’t have to buy differently colored, as you’ll find a wide array at the 3D printing service provider.
2. Printing It Yourself
The cost of 3D printing a helmet might be a bit higher than outsourcing the service. You’ll require a 3D printer, filament, and electricity. Moreover, a few factors will contribute to how much this printing process will cost you.
Let’s take a look at these factors:
The Cost of 3D Printer and Materials
Purchasing a good 3D printer will be the initial cost of 3D printing your helmet. Though some professional-grade printers are expensive, consumer-grade types are most cost-effective. For instance, you can get a standard FDM printer for $200.
However, the type of 3D printer can determine how much printing a helmet will cost you. Therefore, if your 3D printer uses a lot of energy, you’ll spend more money.
3D printing also requires some materials, including filaments and resin. Filaments cost around $20 per kilogram, but the price will depend on the type of filament you choose. For instance, PLA costs $25/kg while PETG goes for $21/kg.
Resins are more costly than filaments and cost $30 and above. But, they cure faster and are stronger and more durable. So, the type and amount of your preferred material will determine how much you’ll spend.
Other Materials and Maintenance Costs
Apart from filaments, you might require other materials to create the desired look of your helmet. But, these come with additional costs and are optional. Some of these materials include:
- 3D printing glue
- Spray paint
- Cleaning kit
Your 3D printer will also need regular maintenance to enhance its performance. So, you’ll incur some costs when replacing some components, including nozzles and extruders. Also, you have to buy oils and lubricants to prevent friction, wear, and tear.
3D printers use electricity during the printing process. The standard power usage of 3D printing a model is 70 watts per hour if the hotend is at 205°C (401°F) and the heated bed at 60°C (140°F). Hence, a print that takes more than ten hours will consume 0.7kWh.
It would cost you only 9 cents at a service provider if your print consumed 0.7kWh. But, if you’re printing at home, the cost will reflect on your monthly electricity bill. The amount of electricity will depend on the type of 3D printer and the hotend and heated bed temperatures.
Infill in 3D printing is the amount of material used on the inner part of the model. So, a higher infill density translates to more plastic usage, forming a more substantial object. It also leads to extra costs of buying the material.
A 20%-50% infill density is sufficient for most models. But, if you want a better-quality helmet, you’ll most likely use a denser infill. So, this will cost you more money.
The cost of printing a helmet depends on whether you’re outsourcing or doing it yourself. Printing the model at home will require a 3D printer and other materials. So, seeking 3D printing services can be a cheaper option.
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I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.