Analyze and estimate the cost of your 3D printing project using Cura
You can estimate the cost, print time and inspect your 3D model with Cura before contacting us about your 3D printing project, or while waiting for a quote. Email: email@example.com and go to our 3D printing Services page for more information about material rates and start-up costs.
Estimates created with these steps may not be 100% accurate to your quote. Other factors including setup costs, materials, model geometry, bulk discounts, shipping or other production aspects may affect your quote. These steps are meant to give an approximate cost and material usage estimate for your 3D printing project.
1. Download and install Cura
Cura is Open Source Software you can download for free. It can be used for analyzing 3D models and slicing to produce gcode for most 3D printers.
2. Setup Cura for your print area
Select Printer type: Prusa Mendel i3.
In the top menu bar click on Machine > Machine Settings.
Choose the maximum width, depth, and height to match the print area.
Our maximum print dimensions available are:
Edit these three fields and click ok.
3. Load 3D model into Cura
At the top click: File > Load model file...
Choose one or more files from your computer.
4. Orient and move object(s)
Right click and move the mouse to rotate the view. Use the middle mouse button to zoom.
Left click on the model to select. Use the rotate and scale buttons at the bottom left of the model viewing window to orient the part in a way that will reduce overhangs, bridging areas, and support material.
5. Select basic print settings
Under the "basic" tab change values for quality and fill percentage. The lower the layer height the better the vertical layer finish will be. Adjusting shell thickness, top/bottom thickness, and fill density will affect the amount of material used and strength of your part.
Print speed is typically set between 40 and 60 mm/s depending on the part or machine constraints.
Changing print settings will affect the print time and material used. Estimated material cost (in grams) and print time is located at the top left of the model viewing window. Cura recalculates it's estimation each time settings are changed and may take several minutes depending on the model(s) complexity.
6. Estimate part cost
Multiply the amount of grams shown for the part by the material rate to determine how much the part will cost to print.