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How Much Electricity Does a 3d Printer Use

  • 7 min read
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

I started as a portal to educate and guide people who are either looking to buy a label printer or want to start a business selling them. Here I cover the differences in label printer technologies, the advantages and disadvantages in each and also share my (unbiased) recommendations on which type is best for your business.

When you operate a 3D printer, you can expect it to consume anywhere from 50 to 250 watts per hour, depending on the type of printer and the specific printing task, with FDM printers typically using less power than resin printers, and large industrial printers requiring even more energy. Your electricity costs will range from $0.01 to $0.05 per hour, depending on your location and printer model. To minimize expenses, you'll want to optimize your print settings, choose energy-efficient printers, and calculate your electricity costs accurately. As you delve into the world of 3D printing, you'll uncover more ways to reduce energy consumption and enhance your printer's efficiency.

Understanding 3D Printer Power Usage

On average, your 3D printer guzzles a significant amount of electricity, and understanding its power usage is important to manage your costs and minimize its environmental footprint.

Regarding power consumption, FDM 3D printers typically consume 50-100 watts per hour, while resin printers use 100-250 watts per hour. However, large industrial 3D printers can consume over 1000 watts per hour due to their size and complexity.

To put this into perspective, understanding your electricity usage can help you estimate your electricity costs. For example, if your 3D printer consumes 100 watts per hour, it'll cost you around $0.01 to $0.05 per hour, depending on your local electricity rates.

With this knowledge, you can optimize your printing schedule to minimize your electricity costs. Additionally, energy-efficient models are available to reduce power consumption in 3D printing. By choosing an energy-efficient model, you can significantly reduce your power consumption, leading to cost savings and a reduced environmental impact.

Factors Affecting Electricity Consumption

Your 3D printer's electricity consumption is influenced by a multitude of factors, including print speed and complexity, which greatly impact the total power usage.

The type of filament material and printing temperature also directly influence the power usage of the printer, as certain materials require higher temperatures, increasing the energy consumption.

Moreover, factors like print volume, layer height, cooling systems, and heated beds can affect the total energy consumption.

It's important to bear in mind that different printer models have varying idle power consumption rates, contributing to the overall electricity usage.

Additionally, the printer power consumption can be affected by the implementation of energy-saving features and optimized print settings.

Understanding these factors is vital in managing your 3D printer's energy consumption. By recognizing the impact of these variables, you can take steps to reduce your printer's electricity consumption, ultimately saving you money per kWh.

Calculating Electricity Costs

managing energy expenses efficiently

As you understand the factors affecting your 3D printer's electricity consumption, you're likely wondering how to calculate the actual costs involved. Calculating electricity costs is important to understand the financial implications of running your 3D printer. To do this, you'll need to know the power consumption of your printer, the cost of electricity per unit, and the number of hours you print per day.

Here's a breakdown of the estimated costs based on different electricity rates:

Location Electricity Cost (cents/kWh) Monthly Cost (8 hours/day)
Average US 11.4 $10
New York 17.1 $15
Europe (avg) 30 $25
California 19.2 $17

Using a power meter or multimeter can help you accurately measure your printer's power usage. For instance, the Ender 3 printer uses about 0.12 kWh per hour, translating to approximately 1.5 kWh daily during 12 hours of printing. This can help you estimate your yearly electricity cost, which can be around 157€ at a rate of 0.3€/kWh. By calculating your electricity costs, you can better plan your printing process and minimize your expenses.

Reducing 3D Printer Energy Use

By implementing a few simple strategies, you can greatly reduce your 3D printer's energy consumption and lower your electricity bills. Optimizing print settings and utilizing energy-saving features can substantially minimize your printer's energy consumption.

Moreover, printing multiple objects simultaneously can optimize printer efficiency, reducing the total amount of electricity used. Selecting filament made from recycled materials can also contribute to lower energy consumption.

In addition, implementing scheduled printing to avoid leaving the printer idle can help save on electricity costs. For instance, if you're only printing for 4 hours a day, you can save around 20 cents per day, which adds up to around $6 per month.

By making these adjustments, you can decrease your 3D printer's energy consumption, leading to significant long-term savings. Consider investing in efficient 3D printers with energy-saving designs to reduce power usage overall.

Measuring Power Consumption Accurately

monitoring energy use precisely

You can accurately determine your 3D printer's power consumption with specialized tools, ensuring accurate cost estimation and informed energy-efficient decisions. To measure power consumption accurately, you'll need to invest in tools like Watt Electricity Usage Monitors or clamp-on multimeters. These devices provide detailed data on wattage usage during printing sessions, allowing you to calculate the precise amount of power your printer consumes.

Here are three crucial steps to measure power consumption accurately:

  1. Use a power meter: Connect your 3D printer to a power meter, which will track the wattage usage in real-time.
  2. Calculate the power consumption: Use the P=VI formula to calculate the power consumption in watts. This will help you know how much power your printer would cost per year.
  3. Monitor and analyze: Continuously monitor your printer's power usage and analyze the data to identify areas for optimization.

Optimizing Printing for Efficiency

To optimize your 3D printing process for efficiency, it's time to investigate how adjustments to your printing strategy can greatly reduce electricity consumption. By making a few tweaks, you can minimize your energy usage and save money on your electricity bill.

For instance, printing smaller and simpler objects consumes much less energy compared to larger, intricate prints, so consider scaling down your designs or breaking them into smaller parts. Along the lines of efficient printing, you can also adjust your print speed and temperature settings to reduce energy consumption. Moreover, utilizing energy-saving features on your printer can help minimize power consumption during printing.

You can also print multiple objects simultaneously to enhance printer usage efficiency, which can save energy in the long run. Anything else you can do to streamline your printing process will contribute to a more energy-efficient 3D printing practice. Selecting eco-friendly filament materials is another way to reduce your environmental impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost to Run per Hour?

When you run your 3d printer, you'll want to know the hourly rate. It depends on power consumption and energy efficiency, affecting your operating cost. Expect to pay around €0.03 to €0.21 per hour, depending on the model and material used.

Do 3D Printers Make an Electric Bill Go Up?

You'll see a slight monthly increase in your electric bill due to your 3D printer's power consumption, but implementing energy efficiency practices and considering cost factors can minimize the impact.

Is It Expensive to Use a 3D Printer?

You'll find that using a 3D printer can be expensive, depending on your energy efficiency, cost factors, and budget constraints. With power consumption varying greatly, it's crucial to take into account these factors to minimize expenses and stay within your budget.

Is It OK to Run a 3D Printer for 24 Hours?

You can safely run your 3D printer for 24 hours if you guarantee continuous operation with proper maintenance, prioritizing printer safety, and enjoying long run benefits, but be prepared for potential extended downtime for repairs.


As you continue to 3D print, keep in mind that understanding your printer's power usage is essential for minimizing electricity costs and reducing your environmental footprint.

By optimizing your printing settings, selecting energy-efficient machines, and accurately measuring power consumption, you can greatly decrease your energy expenditures.

By taking these steps, you'll not only save money but also contribute to a more sustainable future for 3D printing.

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