3D Printer Pay for Itself (ROI) Comparison Cost Chart

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3D Printer Cost Chart

Okay so I thought this would be a fun example of how many prints you would need to sell in order to pay off your 3D Printer cost and start making money selling on 3dhubs. I was surprised with the results and the data used will vary depending on your location, cost of production and other factors.

THE CHART

3D Printer Price Chart
*Data from 2017*

So, what’s going on here?

Okay so here is what I did.

I made a list of some of the most common 3D Printers available (yes, I know I missed some…) I collected data of the following factors;

  • Total Build Volume in cm cubed
  • Average price for 3D Printer online (tax and shipping excluded)
  • Material, running cost and setup costs to print a Large 10CM Marvin 3D Model.

I then ran Marvin_10cm.stl through Simplify3D with the following assumptions;

  • Average 1.75mm PLA Cost $20USD
  • Layer Height 0.2mm
  • Infill Percentage: 10%
  • No Raft, No Supports
Marvin_10cm.stl
Marvin_10cm.stl

Simplify 3D then estimated an approx. cost of $1.57

Marvin Simplify3D

So I then proceeded to add some dollars for the 3D Printer Setup, Maintenance, Energy Usage and Time.

I estimated $6.93 total cost for a large Marvin 10cm

Next I went on to 3DHubs.com and picked 20 of the most affordable hubs prices they would charge to print this model.

Now this will vary per hub and location but where we are located it averaged approx. $40.92.

So $44.04-$6.93=$37.116 profit…

Not to shabby eh! So the above chart is an example of how many Marvin_10cm.stl models one would need to print and sell in order to pay off the price of the printer. This is just an example and I didn’t want to get all complicated with build plate size, dual extruder or whatever…

The List

So here is how the printers stacked up in terms of an ROI standpoint for consumers. This is in order from quickest payback to longest payback duration.

#1 ANET A6

Buy on Amazon $213.99

Build Volume: 220x220x230

Total Volume CM= 11132

Est Price of Printer $213.33

$/CM= $0.019

Number of Marvins to Sell: 6

#2 XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker

XYZprinting da Vinci
Buy on Amazon $201.67

Build Volume: 150x150x150

Total Volume CM= 3375

Est Price of Printer $201.67

$/CM= $0.060

Number of Marvins to Sell: 6

#3 Monoprice Select Mini

Monoprice 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $220.00

Build Volume: 150x150x150

Total Volume CM= 1728

Est Price of Printer $220.00

$/CM= $0.127

Number of Marvins to Sell: 6

#4 ANET A8

Best 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $219.99

Build Volume: 220x220x230

Total Volume CM= 11132

Est Price of Printer $219.99

$/CM= $0.020

Number of Marvins to Sell: 7

#5 ANET A10

Anet E10 Aluminum Frame
Buy on GearBest $299.99

Build Volume: 220x270x300

Total Volume CM= 17820

Est Price of Printer $299.99

$/CM= $0.017

Number of Marvins to Sell: 9

#6 Wanhao Duplicator i3

Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $299.99

Build Volume: 200x200x180

Total Volume CM= 7200

Est Price of Printer $299.99

$/CM= $0.042

Number of Marvins to Sell: 9

#7 Monoprice Maker Select V2

Monoprice 3D Printer
buy on Amazon $329.99

Build Volume: 203x203x117

Total Volume CM= 7294

Est Price of Printer $329.99

$/CM= $0.045

Number of Marvins to Sell: 9

#8 XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0

XYZprinting Jr. 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $299.99

Build Volume: 150x150x150

Total Volume CM= 3375

Est Price of Printer $299.99

$/CM= $0.089

Number of Marvins to Sell: 9

#9 New Matter MOD-t

New Matter 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $299.00

Build Volume: 150x100x125

Total Volume CM= 1875

Est Price of Printer $299.00

$/CM= $0.159

Number of Marvins to Sell: 9

#10 QIDI X-One

Qidi 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $399.00

Build Volume: 150x150x150

Total Volume CM= 3375

Est Price of Printer $399.00

$/CM= $0.118

Number of Marvins to Sell: 11

#11 XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO

da Vinci AiO 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $499.97

Build Volume: 198x198x190

Total Volume CM= 7449

Est Price of Printer $499.97

$/CM= $0.067

Number of Marvins to Sell: 14

#12 Dagoma NEVA

Delta 3D Printer
Buy from Dagoma

Build Volume: 125x125x203

Total Volume CM= 3172

Est Price of Printer $499.00

$/CM= $0.157

Number of Marvins to Sell: 14

#13 FlashForge Finder

FlashForge 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $499.00

Build Volume: 140x140x140

Total Volume CM= 2744

Est Price of Printer $499.00

$/CM= $0.182

Number of Marvins to Sell: 14

#14 Creality CR-10

Creality CR-10
Buy on Amazon $548.00

Build Volume: 300x300x400

Total Volume CM= 36000!

Est Price of Printer $548.00

$/CM= $0.015

Number of Marvins to Sell: 15

#15 Printrbot Simple Metal

Printrbot Simple
Buy on Amazon $576.84

Build Volume: 150x150x150

Total Volume CM= 3375

Est Price of Printer $576.84

$/CM= $0.171

Number of Marvins to Sell: 16

#16 QIDI TECH 1

QIDI TECH I 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $649.00

Build Volume: 225x150x150

Total Volume CM= 5063

Est Price of Printer $649.00

$/CM= $0.128

Number of Marvins to Sell: 18

#17 Prusa Research i3 MK2S Kit

Prusa MKS i3 3D Printer
Buy from Prusa 3D $699.00

Build Volume: 250x210x200

Total Volume CM= 10500

Est Price of Printer $699.00

$/CM= $0.067

Number of Marvins to Sell: 19

#18 Monoprice Ultimate

Monoprice 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $699.99

Build Volume: 200x200x175

Total Volume CM= 7000

Est Price of Printer $699.99

$/CM= $0.100

Number of Marvins to Sell: 19

#19 Wanhao Duplicator 4S

Wanhao D4S 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $675.00

Build Volume: 225x145x150

Total Volume CM= 4894

Est Price of Printer $675.00

$/CM= $0.138

Number of Marvins to Sell: 19

#20 Dremel DigiLab 3D20

Dremel 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $798.35

Build Volume: 228x150x140

Total Volume CM= 4788

Est Price of Printer $798.35

$/CM= $0.167

Number of Marvins to Sell: 22

#21 FlashForge Creator Pro

FlashForge Creator Pro
Buy on Amazon $899.00

Build Volume: 225x145x150

Total Volume CM= 4894

Est Price of Printer $899.00

$/CM= $0.184

Number of Marvins to Sell: 25

#22 CEL Robox

CEL Robox 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $999.00

Build Volume: 210x150x100

Total Volume CM= 3150

Est Price of Printer $999.00

$/CM= $0.317

Number of Marvins to Sell: 27

#23 Dremel DigiLab 3D40

Dremel 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1068.90

Build Volume: 254x152x170

Total Volume CM= 6563

Est Price of Printer $999.00

$/CM= $0.163

Number of Marvins to Sell: 29

#24 CraftUnique CraftBot PLUS

CraftBot 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1099.00

Build Volume: 250x200x200

Total Volume CM= 10000

Est Price of Printer $1099.00

$/CM= $0.110

Number of Marvins to Sell: 30

#25 Ultimaker 2 Go

Ultimaker 2 Go
Buy on Amazon $1199.00

Build Volume: 119x119x115

Total Volume CM= 1629

Est Price of Printer $1199.00

$/CM= $0.736

Number of Marvins to Sell: 33

#25 LulzBot Mini

LulzBot 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1250.00

Build Volume: 152x152x158

Total Volume CM= 3650

Est Price of Printer $1250.00

$/CM= $0.342

Number of Marvins to Sell: 34

#26 MakerBot Replicator Mini+

MakerBot Replicator
Buy on Amazon $1299.00

Build Volume: 101x127x127

Total Volume CM= 1629

Est Price of Printer $1299.00

$/CM= $0.797

Number of Marvins to Sell: 35

#27 ROBO 3D Robo R2

Robo R2 High Performance Smart 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1499.99

Build Volume: 203x203x254

Total Volume CM= 10467

Est Price of Printer $1499.99

$/CM= $0.143

Number of Marvins to Sell: 41

#28 Makergear M2

MakerGear 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1825.00

Build Volume: 254x203x203

Total Volume CM= 10467

Est Price of Printer $1825.00

$/CM= $0.174

Number of Marvins to Sell: 50

#29 Zortrax M200 Pro

Zortrax 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $1750.00

Build Volume: 200x200x180

Total Volume CM= 7200

Est Price of Printer $1750.00

$/CM= $0.257

Number of Marvins to Sell: 50

#30 Raise 3D N1

Raise 3D N1
Buy from Raise 3D $1999.00

Build Volume: 205x205x205

Total Volume CM= 8615

Est Price of Printer $1999.00

$/CM= $0.232

Number of Marvins to Sell: 54

#31 MakerBot Replicator 2X

MakerBot 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $2499.00

Build Volume: 246x152x155

Total Volume CM= 5796

Est Price of Printer $2499.00

$/CM= $0.431

Number of Marvins to Sell: 68

#32 Gcreate gMax 1.5

Buy from Raise 3D $2495.00

Build Volume: 406x406x305

Total Volume CM= 50275!

Est Price of Printer $2495.00

$/CM= $0.050

Number of Marvins to Sell: 68

#33 LulzBot TAZ 6

LulzBot 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $2500.00

Build Volume: 280x280x250

Total Volume CM= 16900

Est Price of Printer $2500.00

$/CM= $0.128

Number of Marvins to Sell: 68

#34 Ultimaker 2+

Ultimaker 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $2499.00

Build Volume: 223x223x205

Total Volume CM= 10194

Est Price of Printer $2499.00

$/CM= $0.245

Number of Marvins to Sell: 68

#35 MakerBot Replicator+

MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $2499.00

Build Volume: 295x195x165

Total Volume CM= 9492

Est Price of Printer $2499.00

$/CM= $0.263

Number of Marvins to Sell: 68

#36 BCN3D Sigma

BCN3D Sigma 3D Printer
Buy on from BCN3D $2540.00

Build Volume: 210x297x210

Total Volume CM= 13098

Est Price of Printer $2540.00

$/CM= $0.194

Number of Marvins to Sell: 69

#37 Raise 3D N2

Raise 3DN2 3D Printer
Buy from Raise 3D $2799.00

Build Volume: 305x305x305

Total Volume CM= 28373!

Est Price of Printer $2799.00

$/CM= $0.099

Number of Marvins to Sell: 76

#38 Gcreate gMax 1.5 XT

Gcreate gMax 1.5
Buy from gCreate $2995.00

Build Volume: 305x305x305

Total Volume CM= 28373!

Est Price of Printer $2799.00

$/CM= $0.099

Number of Marvins to Sell: 76

#39 Ultimaker 3

Ultimaker 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $3495.00

Build Volume: 215x215x200

Total Volume CM= 9245

Est Price of Printer $3495.00

$/CM= $0.378

Number of Marvins to Sell: 95

#40 Ultimaker 2 Extended

Ultimaker 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $3653.82

Build Volume: 223x223x305

Total Volume CM= 15167!

Est Price of Printer $3653.82

$/CM= $0.241

Number of Marvins to Sell: 99

#41 Raise 3D N2 Plus

Raise 3DN2 Plus 3D Printer
Buy from Raise 3D $3899.00

Build Volume: 305x305x610

Total Volume CM= 56745!

Est Price of Printer $3899.00

$/CM= $0.069

Number of Marvins to Sell: 106

#42 Ultimaker 3 Extended

Ultimaker 3D Printer
Buy from Amazon $4295.00

Build Volume: 215x215x300

Total Volume CM= 13868

Est Price of Printer $4295

$/CM= $0.310

Number of Marvins to Sell: 116

#43 MakerBot Replicator Z18

MakerBot 3D Printer
Buy on Amazon $6499.00

Build Volume: 300x305x457

Total Volume CM= 41816!

Est Price of Printer $6499.00

$/CM= $0.155

Number of Marvins to Sell: 176

Summary

Okay that was a pretty list, if your reading this thanks for scrolling the whole page!

So what’s important here?

The thing to look at is the $/CMand How many Marvins. Looking at these numbers will tell you if the printers features are really worth the price your going pay and how long it will take to give you a return on your investment.

There is no wrong answer, it really all depends on your need for the 3D Printer and the features it offers.

I hope you have found this list helpful and this helps you choose your next 3D Printer.

Feel free to leave us a comment and share this on Social Media.

Check out our blog post Best 3D Printing Tools and Hardware Everyone Should Own

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting article, but the real question – where can we find someone (let alone 6 or 176 someones) who would pay $40 for a 10cm Marvin?

    • Ha ha ha thanks Bob, glad you liked the article. The 10cm Marvin was used as an example and was averaged on 3dhubs from 20 local hubs. I was also surprised how much hubs charged for the 10cm sized print. This just goes to show consumers can make good profit printing larger size prints. Thanks for the feedback stay tuned for more…

  2. Maybe if you were to charge a little less per “Marvin”, and made a few more, you would probably have a “ROI time frame” that is a lot faster. Which would then allow you to purchase an additional printer, and hopefully start to doubling you sales. Just a thought.

    • Hi Jim,
      We agree with you and we are working on an accurate cost and profit calculator we are hoping to add to the blog soon.
      It seems the larger the print size on 3dhubs the higher the profit margins are. There is more intensive for a large build volume for those looking to turn their 3D Printer into a revenue machine.

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