How to Use the New 3D Printing Cost Calculator in GrabCAD Shop

The new 3D printing cost calculator in GrabCAD Shop gives you the ability to communicate and manage costs per work order. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to set it up and use it so you can provide accurate 3D printing price estimates.

  1. Step 1: Configure Rates for Machines & Materials

    Before Print Operators and Engineering Managers can start using the 3D printing calculator, the Shop Administrator needs to configure the rates. He/she can do this by following these steps:

    • In your shop, navigate to Machine Types
    • Select your machine
    • Complete the following fields:
    • Time Rate: a rate per unit of time to run a job on a machine. This could account for depreciation, electricity, machine consumables, machine and maintenance costs.
    • Base Rate: A fixed minimum rate for any order that will be printed by this machine. This could include any basic shop maintenance or post processing costs.
    • Material Unit: Cost per unit of material or support to the shop. This can then be used to understand how much material was used to fulfil orders in the shop, and the cost of consumables have been recouped.

    For Materials, you’ll want to complete both the material cost and support material cost.

    Not sure what to estimate? Check out our blog post on 3D Printing Material Cost.

    Remember to repeat Step one for all of your machines

    • Important note: The currency is based on what you initially selected during setup. If you would like to change the currency (Ie. US Dollar to a Euro ) you can change it directly in the Shop > Shop Information > Currency. 

    It’s also important to note that every technology and shop refers to and charges users for material and time differently. For example, if I am a print operator doing large FDM prints, my time and material rates would use hour and cubic inches (in3)

    However, if I am a print operator doing small PolyJet prints, my time and material rates would use mins and kg because PolyJet is measured in weight, not volume. These units allow admins to figure out how they want to measure and charge for these things.

  2. Step 2: Calculate the cost of 3D printing a work order

    Now that you’ve set up the rates for all of your machines and materials, the Print Operator can start to use the new calculator. 

    To do this, navigate to a work order in the Operator Dashboard. Enter material and time estimates to see a price based on the rates you filled out.

    To see a detailed breakdown of the cost in this work order, click the Calculator icon. You can even add additional costs or discounts to the estimate.

    After you complete the price estimation, be sure to select Update so the changes are saved. Back in the Operator Dashboard, you should see your changes reflected in the price estimation.

  3. Step 3: In Summary

    The new GrabCAD Shop 3D printing cost calculator gives operators the ability to quote an entire work order. This new functionality will help managers properly plan for operating costs such as materials and so much more!

    To learn more about the latest features we released in GrabCAD Shop, check out our Fall Update. To sign up for a free trial, visit GrabCAD Shop!