Do 3D Printers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Having a 3D printer at home has become increasingly popular in recent years, as they have become a lot more accessible to the general public, and many people can now get their hands on a 3D printer of their own, for at-home use.

They can come in handy in many different ways, and with a 3D printer, you can create and make all sorts of items, with the only limit being your imagination (and the capabilities of the 3D printer, of course!)

Do 3D Printers Use A Lot Of Electricity

However, when using a 3D printer, you might wonder how much electricity they use. Is using one going to cost you a big electricity bill? How much does it cost to run one? And are there ways of lowering the usage of electricity on a 3D printer?

We can answer all of these questions, and more, so that you know exactly how much electricity your 3D printer is using, and whether that is viable for you or not.

Let’s get right into it!

How Much Electricity Does A 3D Printer Use?

Let’s start out with the most important question: how much electricity does a 3D printer use?

Well…the truth is that it depends on the type of 3D printer that you have, and the model. Bigger 3D printers, as a general rule, will use up a lot more electricity than smaller ones, for example.

The power consumption completely depends on each 3D printer, and the amount of time that it is in use. A 3D printer that is 30A 12V, for example, will draw around 360 watts of power.

As a general rule, the standard 3D printer will use around 50 watts of electricity per hour.

You can then calculate the standard cost of the 3D printer, in regards to electricity consumption, by multiplying the 50 watts of electricity per hour, by the amount of money that your electricity costs.

There are too many variables that depend on your unique situation (the cost of your electricity, and the specifications of your 3D printer, plus the amount of time you use your 3D printer for), for us to give you a proper estimate on how much electricity your 3D printer uses. But you get the idea.

Are 3D Printers Expensive To Use?

Okay, so we’ve said that the amount of electricity that a 3D printer uses depends on the type of 3D printer in question, and the amount of time it is used for. But as a general rule, would we say that 3D printers are expensive to run and use?

Our answer is no.

Sure, they’re going to affect the final electricity bill, because they are consuming a portion of electricity within your household. But all things taken into consideration, they aren’t really something we would think of as expensive, as the electricity usage is nothing too extreme.

Of course, this can depend on the printer, as big heavy-duty 3D printers can incur a way bigger cost to the energy bill.

But a standard at-home use 3D printer is usually pretty cost-effective, and is nothing to be worried about. If anything, the expensive part of running it will be the materials needed!

Factors That Affect The Amount Of Electricity Used By A 3D Printer

Just in case you want to be able to break down the exact cost of using your 3D printer, based on the amount of electricity that it consumes, we will give you a list of the main and most basic factors that affect the amount of electricity a 3D printer consumes.

Here they are:

The Temperature Setting

3D printers can be used at different temperatures, depending on what it is that you are 3D printing.

Some materials and filaments will require higher temperatures in order to be used in the 3D printer, and others don’t need as much heat, and this will directly affect the amount of electricity that the printer is consuming.

The Size Of The 3D Printer

The bigger the 3D printer, the bigger the electricity consumption. It’s a pretty obvious deduction, but the actual reason for this, is that bigger 3D printers will usually have a bigger printing bed, and this requires a bigger amount of heat and electricity, until it is fully heated and functional.

It is also because bigger 3D printers are often intended for heavy-duty, and have many more features and capabilities, all of them using up energy.

The quality of the 3D printer

The higher quality a 3D printer is, the more features and functionalities it will have, and therefore, the more power it will consume.

However, high-quality 3D printers should also be highly cost-effective, which means that sometimes, buying a cheaper 3D printer might actually mean that you are wasting more money on electricity, because it consumes more while performing less.

Tips For Lowering The Electricity Cost Of A 3D Printer

If you want to reduce the energy consumption of your 3D printer, so that you’re spending less on electricity when it is in use, then we have a few tips for you:

Use A Smaller 3D Printer

As a general rule, smaller printers will use less electricity!

Use Low-Heat 3D Printing Materials

Some materials require higher heat than others. In order to reduce electricity consumption while 3D printing, use materials that do not require a heated bed.

Set The Settings To A Faster Speed

The faster a 3D printer finishes the job, the less amount of time it will be on and keeping itself heated, so the less electricity it will use up!

Use A Larger Nozzle

Using a larger nozzle can significantly speed up the printing process, saving you electricity.

Use Your 3D Printer In A Warm Environment

Most of the electricity used up by the 3D printing is for heating itself up, so if you use it in a warmer environment, it will not have to use as much heat to work.

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, 3D printers do not use that much electricity. The standard 3D printer will use around 50 watts of electricity per hour, although it of course depends on the type of printer that you have, and the amount of time that you have it running for.

If you are worried, there are ways in which you can lower the electricity consumption of your 3D printer, but as we’ve said, we wouldn’t really consider them to be expensive to run.

Michael Moore