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3D Printer Costs

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LD1690 on 30 Nov 2020
Commented: Patrick Donovan on 30 Nov 2020
Could I get some help with a code for 3D printing costs?
I'm not good at this, but want to use MATLAB for my job on quoting 3D printing jobs.
I have a few perimeters to go off of and anything else that is needed I can provide.
Cost per roll of filament is $20.32 and has roughly 322 meters per roll.
9.3 cents per kWh of power consumption. It uses 240 watts while running.
The print takes 1hr and 45 minutes and the volume is 3.848 inches cubed.
I will use 10% infill for this particular part.
I'm not sure where to start, but have some experience with MATLAB. I just want it done the easy way so I can use it for quoting jobs.

  1 Comment

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 30 Nov 2020
See also their earlier question

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Accepted Answer

John D'Errico
John D'Errico on 30 Nov 2020
Edited: John D'Errico on 30 Nov 2020
Honestly, this is something more easily written using a spreadsheet. They are perfect for such an application.
Fill out the half dozen fields that contain the information you need. You put in the information, and see a result at the bottom. Using MATLAB for the problem seems to be a case of using a Mack truck to carry a pea to Boston. That said by someone who is often a strong advocate for MATLAB.
Where needed, spreadsheets offer a solver. So any formula you would write will be just as easily written in a spreadsheet cell. Yes, you could write a livescript, where you provide some variables, and it dumps out a result. But that is using a tool with a lot of capability to multiply two inputs together, so cost per hour times the time needed to run a job. Again - perfect for a spreadsheet.
I think your biggest problem will be to write down the relations describing the cost, since you seem to be a little vague there. But MATLAB will not help you in that respect. You need to know the mathematics of your problem before you write any code anyway. You can even have a spreadsheet online, so you could post a spreadsheet, and then access it from any location.
What I would do is write out everything - on paper. How is everything related to everything else? What do you need to know? Once you can see that, now I would ask if a spreadsheet is not able to do this directly.


LD1690 on 30 Nov 2020
True! I will more than likely go that route then. I just know with MATLAB lots of things are possible, but learning excel or google spreadsheet may be easier lol.
I do appreciate the input and helpful advice. I bet they would be more inclined to understand the spreadsheet than MATLAB anyways.
Thank you for your help!
Patrick Donovan
Patrick Donovan on 30 Nov 2020
I agree with John, this is most likely a problem better suited to Excel.
On that note, I figured I'd make this up for you based on the example you gave. The "Calculator" page lets you enter some of the job-specific data you've given. "Parameters" lets you change more static data, such as your unit's power consumption, filament diameter, cost per roll, etc. If you think you'll need Excel in the future, I highly recommend learning how to use it instead, but if not this might save you some time.
Hope this helps!

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More Answers (1)

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 30 Nov 2020
In my experience, the 3-D printing programs will tell you how much it will cost for the filament, as well as how long it will take to print. Doesn't yours?


LD1690 on 30 Nov 2020
Yes sort of. I want to put in power consumption as well and have an idea of how many of one part I can print per roll of filament. Just looking at a way to bring all of the costs into one. I know power is pennies, but I'm trying to hone in on costs so that I can present it to our engineering department as a way to bring more work to the printer. It's the first one we have and want to eventually roll out a few more and I just need a good presentation on costs. It will likely run 24 hours and then we will add more so power consumption is something else I added as a way to really dig deeper into the actual costs of running 3D printers.
LD1690 on 30 Nov 2020
energytext = "Power Consumption costs " + C + " cents"
Here is my power consumption script. Do you think that will work?
I am working on volume and infill next. I'll post when I have something hopefully.

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