How Much Electricity Does A 3D Printer Use?

Cheryl Owens28 Feb 2022

A 3D printer is a device that uses computer-generated instructions to print three-dimensional objects. This technology allows you to create things from any digital design you can think of. For example, you could use a 3D printer to create an object based on a photograph or your idea. The first 3D printer was created in 1986 by Charles Hull at the University of Texas. He was then granted a patent in 1988 for the process he used on his machine. The first commercial 3D printers were created in 1992 and sold commercially in 1993. They have revolutionised the way we create things. They allow you to build new objects from a computer file and then print them in three dimensions. For example, you could use a 3D printer to print a thing shown on your computer screen right now. Thanks to these devices ' low cost and high speed, this technology has already made its way into many people’s homes. But before you think about buying one, there is one crucial thing to note: how much electricity does it use? If you don’t know this information, it might be a good idea not to buy one just yet. This article will give you an overview of how much electricity 3D printers use and which models use more or less than others. Read on for answers!

How Much Electricity Does a 3D Printer Use?

When you think about 3D printers, it’s essential to keep in mind that they use up a lot of electricity. This is because they use high-powered motors and hot heaters to print objects. Due to the high-power draw, a typical 3D printer will eat through approximately 240 - 800 Watts per hour. This continuous heating and cooling cycle prevents the printer from using an off-the-shelf regular household power supply - instead, they require notable large ‘direct current’ or equivalent sources. 240 – 800 Watts in one hour would equate to 1 – 3kWh per week depending on whether it ran at full speed all of the time, or maybe only for five hours per day on average. So, you can see how fast that adds up to a bill for electricity! Similarly, 10 – 15 square meters (108 -162 square feet) printed over a year would use roughly 35kWh at the minimum or 105kWh at the maximum per week. If you are printing something every day, that can rise to around 50 or 100kWh each week. Of course, running such a machine non-stop is rarely how 3D printers are used in the real world. On average, you can expect a smaller 62kWh bill for five hours per day - but the print time will be approximately twice as long for typical 100mm^3 prints on A4-sized machines. By these rough estimates, printers use 30 - 70 kWh* /week (32% – 68% of an average household’s total) 172 – 367 kWh /month (3 – 5 times larger than an average household) 1882 – 4669 kWh /year (11x-24x greater than an average household) * Based on ballpark average printer and electricity cost in the USA ($0.15/kWh). Also obviously depends on the volume of material printed within a given period.

Which Types of 3D Printers Use More or Less Energy?

Wattage is the amount of electricity a device uses to work. When you're shopping for a 3D printer, it's essential to know how much wattage each model uses so that you can ensure it will be both affordable and efficient for your needs. There are three different types of 3D printers, and each type uses a little more or less energy. The two leading 3D printers use a filament using a hot end and a cold end that melts and solidifies the material, respectively. The other primary type of 3D printer is a powder-based printer that uses powder rather than filament. This type of printer doesn’t use ink or liquid to build up layers, so it uses much less electricity than filament-based printers. The amount of power used by these three types of 3D printers varies based on the object they are printing. For example, you will use much more control when printing with an LED light than printing something like plastic cups.

How Do I Lower Electricity Costs With a 3D Printer?

If you are looking for a low-cost solution to help lower your electricity bills, 3D printing might not be the best option. This is because 3D printers use a lot of electricity. The average 3D printer uses about 0.26 kWh per cubic centimetre of material printed, according to stats from the Department of Energy. This means that if you print one 20cm x 20cm x 20cm cube, it will use about 2.6 kWh of electricity just in the first layer alone. That's more energy than what most people use in an entire month! However, you can somewhat reduce the amount of energy used by 3D printers by using a low-temperature setting when printing materials like ABS plastic or PLA plastic. Be careful because these temperatures are higher than those recommended for food products and other items intended for human consumption!

What Affects How Much Power is Used?

The amount of electricity a 3D printer uses is determined by many factors. The first and most important factor is the model you are buying. Some models have very high-power usage, while others use only a tiny amount of power. Another significant factor that affects power usage is the size of the printed object. If you're printing a massive thing, it will use more electricity than a small object. Additionally, the speed at which you print an object also affects how much power it uses. Publishing an object slowly will use more electricity than printing it quickly if you're posting it. Finally, other factors can affect how much energy is used during printouts, like whether or not your printer has been appropriately calibrated and what material has been chosen for your project.


3D printing, from a technological perspective, is nothing new. It’s been around for a while, and with the advent of personal 3D printers, it’s becoming more and more affordable. But what does all this mean? 3D printing can be a giant energy hog to run. If you’re trying to be eco-friendly, it’s vital that you consider the factors such as the size and material used before buying a 3D printer—and that you find out how much energy is required to run one.

Cheryl Owens

Cheryl Owens

Welcome to Printlitic! 3D printing became a hobby of mine 5 years ago with an earlier model of Anycubic printer. Since then, I have grown to love seeing what people can build & create, and how these printers can change the world.

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