How Much Electric Power Does a 3D Printer Use? - Printin3D (2023)

3D printers are becoming increasingly popular, not only for manufacturing uses in large industries but also for home use to create different items or props, at a hobbyist level.

However, one of the things you need to consider before getting a 3D printer is the expense of it. And we’re not talking about the initial cost of actually buying the 3D printer. We mean the cost of actually running it.

You have to consider things such as the materials used, the programming...but also the basics such as how much electric power it will use.

If you’re going to be using it regularly, it’s good to know how much it will cause your bills to increase!

There are many specifics and factors that go into determining the actual usage of electric power in a 3D printer.

The size of the 3D printer, along with the temperature of the heated bed and the nozzle, are amongst the main determining factors to consider.

But let’s look at the power consumption in more detail, and explore some relevant questions!

Power consumption based on the 3D printer specifications:

The easiest way to determine the range of power consumption of your 3D printer is to check its power specifications.

Every 3D printer will have a maximum and minimum power rating, marking the range of power within which it functions. This can vary from model to model, as well as between sizes and types of 3D printers.

For example, if a 3D printer has a 30A 12V power source, the maximum watt it uses will be 360. And this is the maximum power rating, so it won’t be using that amount of power on average. Nevertheless, it’s a good way of knowing where the top end of the power consumption lies, so you can estimate costs.

It’s also important to remember that the power consumption of a 3D printer isn’t the same throughout the entire time it is running.

When the 3D printer is heating up the necessary parts, such as the heated bed and the nozzle, it will be using up a lot more power than when it is simply printing.

So while it might reach the max wattage when you first turn it on and it’s preparing, it will actually not use up a lot of power during the rest of the printing process, averaging out a much cheaper overall cost!

(Video) How Much Electricity Does a 3D Printer Use?

If you want to adhere to a certain range of power consumption, make sure to check the power source specifications when purchasing the 3D printer.

Electric power cost compared to other 3D printing costs:

In the list of different costs that a 3D printer causes when in use, the electric power isn’t that high up at all. In fact, the likelihood is, you won’t really bother with checking how much power it’s using, as you’ll be more worried about the cost of the materials being used up by it.

As we mentioned, the power consumption throughout usage isn’t always the same. When you turn on the 3D printer and it starts heating up the necessary parts, so that it can begin printing, it will be using quite a lot.

But when it actually gets to printing, which is the more time-consuming part, the power consumption is considerably reduced.

But if you’re still worried about the cost of the electric power, compared to the performance of the 3D printer as a whole, then you should aim to get a cost-efficient one.

A high efficiency will ensure that it gets a lot more done while using less power, and can considerably reduce the expense over prolonged periods of time.

What affects the amount of power used?

Even if you’re using a highly efficient 3D printer that will reduce the power consumption, it’s good to know exactly what specifics can affect the amount of electricity used.

That way you can also adapt the way in which you’re using the 3D printer, and be more conscious about what the power usage is going towards.

Here are a few of the variable factors that can tweak the power used:

The layer thickness:

The lower the thickness of each layer is, the more detailed the end result will be. But it will also take a lot longer, and therefore increase the total power consumption.

If you’re 3D printing a relatively simple item, it might be worth increasing the layer thickness, and saving on time and power.

The printing speed:

The longer a 3D printer takes to print, the more time it’s on and running, and the more power it will have consumed overall. It’s pretty obvious, right?

So if you’re trying to save on energy, you could try and set the printer so that it gets the job done a lot quicker, and isn’t on for as long.

However, you should do this in a way that doesn’t compromise the end result quality too much. It’s all about finding a balance!

(Video) Using 3d printer to prove power of resonance.

Heating efficiency for the heat bed and nozzle:

The biggest bulk of power consumption takes place when heating up the heat bed and the nozzle, which are the key parts of the printer when it comes to printing.

Ensuring that these components are heat efficient, will significantly reduce the amount of power needed to keep them at a suitably high temperature.

The set-up parameters of the 3D printer:

When setting up your 3D printer, it’s important to understand the different consequences of the different settings, so you can adjust them accordingly to get the exact result desired.

The same goes for setting it up to consume less. Knowing your 3D printer will allow you to get the best quality results, with the least amount of power consumption possible.

The overall printing efficiency:

It seems obvious, but the level of efficiency that your 3D printer is designed to showcase will directly affect the amount of power consumed!

How much electric power does a 3D printer use?

Okay, so we’ve gone through the different ways in which a 3D printer consumes power, and we’ve gone through the different factors that will affect the overall amount of electric power used while 3D printing.

But let’s try and answer the question a bit more directly.

How much electric power does a 3D printer use?

An average 3D printer, that is, a 3D printer with an average hot end of 205 degrees Celsius, and a heated bed of 60 degrees Celsius, will usually draw around 70 watts.

This means that for 10 hours of 3D printing, the printer would use 0.7kWh. You can then extract the exact cost depending on the price of your electricity.

However, as indicated by the many variable factors and considerations, the exact amount of power used will vary from printer to printer, and according to its specific use.

How to lower the electricity cost of a 3D printer:

If you’re looking for some tricks and tips on how to lower the overall electricity cost of running your 3D printer, there are quite a few hacks you can implement.

Here are some of the main ones that are proven to be the most significantly useful:

Using a smaller 3D printer:

This one seems a bit obvious, but it’s true regardless. Especially when people aren’t sure of the size of printer they want, they’ll end up getting the bigger one ‘just in case’. Which is fine.

But a bigger 3D printer does mean higher power consumption, so keep that in mind! The printer should only be as big as needed. Any bigger and it’s essentially just a waste of unnecessary cost.

(Video) Which Layer Height Do You Print In? 3D Printing Resolutions Explained

Use 3D printing materials that don’t require as high a heat:

Different 3D printing materials require different levels of heat in order to be used.

3D printing filaments that require higher temperatures are usually stronger and more durable, which is often then equated to a higher quality.

However, it is a lot more cost-efficient in the long run to use filaments requiring a lower temperature, such as PLA filament.

PLA filament is also a lot cheaper to purchase and use, a lot easier to print and provides great detail in the end result.

Use a larger nozzle:

Using a larger nozzle with your 3D printer will significantly speed up the overall printing process, as more areas will be covered at once.

And the less amount of time the printer is running for, the less power consumption.

Use the 3D printer in the warmest room:

This one might seem like a bit of an odd hack, but it can actually help reduce the power consumption quite a bit!

Essentially, if the room is warmer, the heated bed and the nozzle won’t lose their heat as fast, and will therefore retain the necessary temperature without having to be heated up again.

Therefore, reducing the power needed!

Use a 3D printer with an enclosure:

Using an enclosure with your 3D printer helps maintain the temperature needed for the print bed.

That way, the printer doesn’t have to constantly reheat it, which would use up quite a lot of power. Definitely, something to look out for when first purchasing the 3D printer!

Speed up the printing process:

If you adjust the printer settings so that the entire process is a little faster, the printer will be running for less time.

And the less time the printer is on, the less time it is consuming power, and the overall less power it will end up consuming. However, be careful when adjusting the settings, as a faster printing speed will usually reduce the quality of printing.

There are other bits and pieces you can alter and adjust in order to keep your 3D printer as energy-efficient as possible.

(Video) Truth About 3D Printing - Print in 3D DIY Guide - 3D Prototyping

Ultimately, it’s down to you knowing the capabilities of your printer, and knowing what to adjust so that it consumes less while providing you with the necessary quality.

Can a 3D printer give you an electric shock?

When it comes to electrical devices, there is always that small risk of getting an electrical shock, which doesn’t always end in a funny story, and can lead to actual serious damage and injuries.

So how safe is a 3D printer? Will it electrically shock you?

3D printers don’t use up a lot of electricity, so they aren’t considered dangerous. If used appropriately and kept in good condition, you should never have to worry about any electric shocks.

However, there are some unfortunate instances in which a 3D printer could give you an electric shock, usually to do with them malfunctioning.

One of the main things that could cause this would be to use an unsuitable power supply with the printer. For example, using too high a voltage by plugging the 3D printer into the wrong socket or by using the wrong plug adapter.

So in order to avoid any issues, make sure you’re always checking the power supply, and using the correct one. And always make sure you’re maintaining the 3D printer in top condition, and storing it in a safe space.

How to measure the electricity usage of a 3D printer:

We’ve pretty much established that the exact amount of power that your 3D printer consumes depends on the many variables and factors that need to be considered and that it changes with each setting and specification, as well as with the actual use of the printer. But how can you measure the exact usage of your printer?

One way would be to calculate the power usage by taking into account all of the different variables, and by knowing the exact usage and cost. But this will take a lot of figuring out, and some maths. (And not everyone is good with maths!)

A much more reliable way of measuring the electricity usage is by using a power meter with an in-built power usage monitor. There are plenty of these monitors available in the market, and some more advanced ones can take even more variables into account and end up giving you an exact cost related to the exact usage.

These monitors essentially have a current sensor that is incredibly precise, and they can monitor the electrical usage in real-time, as they can calculate exactly how much power is being used. They’re a lot more accurate than trying to maths all of the variables together, and they’re super easy to use!

In Conclusion:

3D printers are becoming more and more accessible, with more people being able to purchase them for at-home use, which opens up many manufacturing and creative possibilities. However, like with all electrical devices, there are costs to consider.

One of these costs is the amount of electric power that they use up when in use.

There are many variables and factors that go into determining the exact amount of electric power that a 3D printer uses, and there are many ways to adjust the printer so that it consumes more or less power overall.

(Video) Getting ready to print in 3d

Nevertheless, an average 3D printer will usually draw around 70 watts. That is if it has an average hot end of 205 degrees Celsius, and a heated bed of 60 degrees.

But if you want to calculate the exact amount of electric power that your specific 3D printer is using up, you can either maths up all of the variables, or use a power meter with an in-built power usage monitor, that will be able to tell you the exact amount of power being used in real-time.


How much electricity does it take to run a 3D printer? ›

Ordinary 3D printers do not use much electricity, only about 50-150 Watts while printing. This is about the same as one or two incandescent light bulbs. There are many different 3D printers and print settings available, however, so for a more accurate number you need to make some calculations or measurements.

How much electricity does Ender 3 use per hour? ›

With 2 heat ups (about 280 W each). So approximately 120 W average. Or 0.12 kWh per hour.

Does the Ender 3 use a lot of electricity? ›

Idle: 6.5 Watts. Average Consumption Printing PLA (50°C/200°C): 50 Watts. Peak Consumption While Printing PLA: 253 Watts.

Does a printer use a lot of electricity? ›

Printers are generally not considered to be too outlandish when it comes to energy consumption. An average inkjet printer should use around 30 to 50 watts during use and three to five watts when on standby. To help save on electricity costs, keep the printer powered down when not in use and unplug it.

Are 3D printers expensive on electricity? ›

The average 3D printer will use the same amount of electricity as a fridge, this should be taken into consideration when you're going to be using it a lot or will be using it for massive projects.

How much does a 3D printer add to electric bill? ›

The average 3D printer consumes 70 watts of power with a 205°C hotend and a 60°C heated bed. This would require 0.7kWh, or roughly 9 cents, for a 10-hour print.

How much does 50 watts cost per hour? ›

On average, a laptop consumes about 50 watts of electricity, the equivalent of 0.05 kWh. This means that if a laptop is on for eight hours a day, it will cost 24p a day to operate the laptop or 3p an hour.

Can I leave my Ender 3 on overnight? ›

How Long Can a 3D Printer Run. Is it safe to leave Ender 3 running overnight or not? As long as you get a high-quality 3D printer, you shouldn't have any problems running it 24 hours a day. According to some Ender 3 users, their printers work fine when left running overnight.

How much does it cost to use a 3D printer? ›

3D printing can cost anywhere from $3 up to thousands of dollars. It's hard to get the exact cost of a 3D print without a 3D model. Factors such as material, model complexity, and labor affect the price of 3D printing. 3D printing services can sometimes cost more than an entry level 3D printer.

How long can a ender 3 stay on? ›

46 Hours full tilt with no problems at all. You should be fine. Just make sure you keep a lookout for the filament and use a new spool if possible.

How much electricity does 150 watts use? ›

As such: 150W x 4 hours = 600 Wh per day. To convert that into kilowatt-hours, we use this formula: watts x time (hours) ÷ 1,000 = kWh. So, 600 Wh ÷ 1,000 = 0.6 kWh.

What are the downsides of the Ender 3 printer? ›

  • Print bed leveling is tricky.
  • Magnetic bed not to everyone's liking.
  • We've encountered problems with brittle filament.
  • Sometimes, additional adhesion materials are needed.
  • Some flaws of the Ender 3 weren't ironed out.

Are 3D printers energy efficient? ›

3D printing is a more efficient process than machining or casting. Less energy is required to create the products, especially when production includes merging parts. Part consolidation itself offers long-term fuel savings and fewer emissions when it comes to producing products. reduced need for shipping.

How much electricity does printer use per hour? ›

An average ink-jet which is designed for home use will typically use 30 to 50 watts when it is printing, in standby mode most printers will draw around 3 to 5 watts of power. Commercial printers which are used in an office will draw 30 to 50 watts on standby and 300 to 500 watts when printing.

What is the most economical way to print? ›

Here are the best ways to cut the cost of printing:
  1. Go to printer ink refill shops. ...
  2. Sell old printer cartridges online. ...
  3. Buy cheap printer paper in bulk. ...
  4. Buy a printer with your housemates to share the costs. ...
  5. Make your document smaller. ...
  6. Print in draft mode.
Mar 28, 2022

How much does 3D printing cost per hour? ›

Print Time

If the business paid $2,000 for a 3D printer with an expected life span of 2,000 print hours, they may charge around $1 per hour.

Is it cheap to 3D print a house? ›

Benefits of 3D-printed homes

Speed: Often, it doesn't even take 24 hours to build a small 3D-printed home, although this build-out is typically done in waves rather than all at once. Cost: 3D-printed homes are surprisingly cheap to create, running around $10,000 on average today.

Is 3D printing a cheap hobby? ›

So is it really possible to get into 3D printing on a budget? All in all, even if you are getting the absolute cheapest of everything, 3D printing is still an expensive hobby. Beyond the initial 3D printer cost, materials will need to be continuously bought which becomes expensive over time.

How much cheaper is 3D printing than manufacturing? ›

It saves on energy by 40 to 60 percent as it eliminates shipping and other logistics activities. Also, it enables users to produce objects with lesser material. 3d printing service cost has cut up to 70% savings due to prototyping costs.

How much electricity does a printer use cost? ›

Keep in mind, however, that the unit won't always be running at its maximum wattage. It only does so when it needs to heat the necessary components to start the printing process. The average electricity rate in the country is 12 cents per kWh. This shows that running the printer for 24 hours will cost you 34 cents.

How much does 75 watts cost? ›

What Uses Watts in Your Home
Appliance/EquipmentAvg. UsageCost/Month
75-Watt Bulb (75 W) Equivalent compact fluorescent4 hours/day 4 hours/day$.90 $.25
100-Watt Bulb (100 W) Equivalent compact fluorescent4 hours/day 4 hours/day$1.20 $.33
Electric Fence Chargerdaily$.20
39 more rows

How much does 100 watts cost an hour? ›

Taking the example above, that a 100W light bulb uses 0.1kW an hour, this means that ten 100W light bulbs on at the same time would require 1kW, which would cost 34p every hour.

How much does it cost to run a 100-watt bulb for 8 hours? ›

If you use your 100-watt bulb for eight hours each day, every day, you can figure out the cost of usage as illustrated below: Electricity Cost Calculator: $0.15536 x 0.1 kWh x 8 hours = $. 124288, or 12.42 cents per day.

What uses a lot of electricity? ›

Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. The power needed to heat the water that they use pushes up consumption, making them energy-hungry household appliances.

How far should a 3D printer be from the bed? ›

A tried-and-true technique is to have around a . 1mm gap between the nozzle and the bed to get the ever-so-perfect first layer. This is typically achieved by using a piece of regular 8x11 printer paper or a . 1mm feeler gage in between a heated nozzle and the bed.

Is it OK to sleep near 3D printer? ›

The biggest risks are electrical safety; but, fire safety can be an issue as well. I would say that the risk is likely higher to you personally when the printer is NOT in your bedroom as if it catches fire when you are sleeping, you will likely catch the fire faster if it is in your bedroom.

Is it safe to 3D print indoors? ›

New studies have confirmed that particles emitted from 3D printers can negatively impact indoor air quality and have the potential to harm respiratory health.

How much does 3D printing at home cost? ›

How much does a 3D printer cost?
3D printer categoryAverage price
Low-cost 3D printers$100 - $400
Hobbyist 3D printers$400 - $1,000
Enthusiast 3D printers$1,000 - $3,000
Professional 3D printers$3,000 - $10,000
1 more row
Jan 13, 2022

Are 3D printers illegal? ›

3D printing offers a wealth of innovation and opportunity but at the same time as with so many technological advancements, the law is unprepared for its effects in its current format. So, 3D printing itself is not illegal but some of its consequences might be especially in terms of intellectual property law.

How much does a 3D printer cost home? ›

Most Entry Level and Hobbyist 3D printers are priced from $300 – $500, while some can be as expensive as $1500. The higher-end 3D printers, such as Enthusiast 3D printers and Professional 3D printers are priced anywhere from $1,500 – $20,000, depending on the printer's capabilities.

Is it OK to run a 3D printer for 24 hours? ›

Hi, 3D printers can work for days. - Print peels of the build plate during print, use brim or raft for long prints for best adhesion.

Can Ender 3 start a fire? ›

If you're not careful, 3D printing could be a fire hazard. Read on to learn how to prevent thermal runaway of the Ender 3 (V2/Pro)! Thermal runaway is one of the scariest possible problems in 3D printing. It can cause damage to your printer and possibly even start a fire in your home.

Is the Ender 3 a fire hazard? ›

The Ender-3 and Pro models are known to spontaneously combust on account of counterfeit XT60 connectors, which act as quick disconnects between the PSU and the heated bed. The fire hazard is attributed to poor electrical contact and questionable fire resistance of the plastic connector housing.

How much does 400 watts cost per hour? ›

To calculate exactly how much a halogen heater will cost you per hour: For example, a 400W halogen heater will cost 14p to run each hour under current 34p per kWh rates (400/1000 = 0.4, then 0.4 x 0.34 = 0.136).

How much is 100 watts of electricity? ›

Since it takes 100 watts of power to work — to convert the power in watts to kilowatt-hours — you will multiply 100 watts by one hour. Then, you'll divide by 1,000 to find the energy usage in kWh. If electricity costs 13 cents per kWh, then a 100-watt light bulb will cost 1.3 cents for every hour that it's on.

How much is 500W per hour? ›

To calculate exactly how much a fan heater will cost you per hour: For example, a 500W fan heater will cost 17p to run each hour under current 34p per kWh rates (500/1000 = 0.5, then 0.5 x 0.34 = 0.17).

What is the biggest problem of 3D printing? ›

Critical 3D Printing Problems and Solutions

Today, however, challenges seem to vary: the cost of pre- and post-processing, the limited selection of materials and technology limitations are the biggest 3D printing challenges of 2021.

Why do 3D printers fail so much? ›

What's Causing the 3D Printing Problem? Blockage, loose idler tensioner, wrong hot end temperature, these are just a few of the common causes, but all are usually easy to correct.

What power supply do I need for 3D printer? ›

The standard minimum for 3D printers is usually 240 watts (12 volts @ 20 amps). That would be enough for a printer with a single hot end and a heated bed around 180 x 180 mm. With a 200 x 200 mm bed or a second hot end, you'd be better off with 300 watts (12V @ 25A).

How long will a UPS run a 3D printer? ›

The 1500va and 900w battery backup is enough to get you through about 15 minutes of a power outage. Like most of the UPS on this list, the APC BackUPS has AVR and the added bonus of hot-swappable batteries.

Why is 3D printing not eco friendly? ›

The technology uses larger amounts of energy than milling and drilling machines. And to produce an object of the same weight, the 3D printing process may require 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than standard machines, thereby causing more emissions.

How much does it cost to run 1500 watts for an hour? ›

Per Hour And Per 24 Hours Cost Of Running A 500W – 5,000W Electric Heater (Table)
Electric Heater Wattage:Running Cost (Per Hour)Running Cost (For 24 Hours)
750 Watts$0.10$2.40
1000 Watts$0.13$3.12
1250 Watts$0.17$4.08
1500 Watts$0.20$4.80
5 more rows

How much does it cost to run 1500 watts for 8 hours? ›

If you run a 1500W electric heater on full power for 8 hours per day, this would cost $1.68 per day, based on the average cost of electricity in the United States.

How much electricity does a computer consumes in 1 hour? ›

Electricity consumption of Desktop Computer

The CPU and Desktop monitor consumes around 170 Watt per hour of Electricity when actively used. On standby mode / sleep mode, the power consumption goes down to 80 Watt per hour.

How can I save on print costs? ›

  1. Print draft quality. ...
  2. Print in color only when absolutely necessary. ...
  3. Print only the text you need. ...
  4. Use multi-page printing. ...
  5. Scan more and copy less. ...
  6. Encourage duplex printing. ...
  7. Control your itchy print finger. ...
  8. Go green – and we're not talking about ink.

Is it cheaper to print or copy at home? ›

If many copies are to be published, then copiers are usually a cheaper option. However, if only a few pages need to be printed, then printing becomes much cheaper. Another major difference between the printer and the copier is quality.

Is 3D printing at home profitable? ›

Yes, 3D printing can be profitable because it is a quickly growing industry, with most businesses discovering opportunities for success. The technology is becoming popular, so there is a growing demand for 3D printing services.

Is it OK to sleep next to a 3D printer? ›

The biggest risks are electrical safety; but, fire safety can be an issue as well. I would say that the risk is likely higher to you personally when the printer is NOT in your bedroom as if it catches fire when you are sleeping, you will likely catch the fire faster if it is in your bedroom.

Is it OK to sleep while 3D printing? ›

Unfortunately, the short answer is: no, you shouldn't leave your printer unattended in the middle of a project because of safety issues. That may sound unreasonable, but the printer can be a fire hazard and you don't want to risk returning to a burnt down home or office.

How much does a 3D printer cost per hour? ›

3D printing businesses charge a certain amount per hour the printer is operational. Each 3D printing business sets its own hourly cost. If the business paid $2,000 for a 3D printer with an expected life span of 2,000 print hours, they may charge around $1 per hour.

Is 3D printing cheaper than manufacturing? ›

3D printing does not incur additional costs with each new unit produced. This means it can produce one part and hundreds of parts at almost the same cost per part. This is impossible with traditional manufacturing, which often requires an expensive tooling stage that is only justified if products are mass-produced.

Can I legally sell 3D prints? ›

As we mentioned above, you can sell 3D prints from any unique digital 3D model that doesn't infringe on another party's IP if the original artist gives you express permission.

What are the downsides of 3D printing a house? ›

There's a limited number of materials that can be used in 3D printing. These materials are light but they lack strength when used as building materials. It's now more difficult to build high-rise buildings using 3D printers because the walls will not withstand the pressure on them once they get to a certain height.

How much power does a printer use per hour? ›

An average ink-jet which is designed for home use will typically use 30 to 50 watts when it is printing, in standby mode most printers will draw around 3 to 5 watts of power. Commercial printers which are used in an office will draw 30 to 50 watts on standby and 300 to 500 watts when printing.

How many watts of power does a printer use? ›

The power consumption of an average inkjet printer is 30 to 50 watts in printing mode and around 3 to 5 watts while on standby mode.


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