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How Much Power Does a 3D Printer Consume?

How Much Power Does a 3D Printer Consume?

Electricity bill is a recurring cost and thus it cannot be ignored. Therefore, there is a need to give priority to keep the power consumption low. Usually, a 3D printer is used for the production of objects on a large-scale. The power consumption for such printers can be very high and that needs to be kept in mind before purchasing one. In order to understand how much power a Cloud 3D printer consumes, you need to know the components that come with it. With this knowledge, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether the printer suits your requirements or not.
3D printers usually use AC or DC power supplies at home outlets via an outlet cord to produce products like plastics or metal objects in place of manufacturing them where factories are located distant from homes and hence have a large cost associated with it. Even though it is not a huge cost, the power consumption will always have to be taken into account. Usually, 3D printers use an AC power supply from a standard outlet which can save you up to 80 percent of the cost. 
Power Rates in Canada
The average residential cost of electricity in Canada is $0.179 per kWh. The rate for small commercials that do not use power more than 40kW are charged with 10.54¢ per kWh. Non-residential customers that consume power between 40kW and 500kW are charged $11.97 per kW.  

Source: https://www.fortisbc.com/about-us/corporate-information/regulatory-affairs/our-electricity-utility/electric-bcuc-submissions/electricity-rates

How Much Power Does a 3D Printer Use in an Hour?
The Cloud 3D printer uses a high amount of power per hour on average, but this will vary depending on the size and build volume of the printer as well as what you are outsourcing from it. To get an idea of what your costs will be from using such a printer, you need to know how much power it consumes. For example, if you are planning to use the printer to create lightweight plastic objects then it will consume less power than when printing out objects while using other raw materials like metals. Therefore, if you are not in a hurry to complete the task, then you can save on electricity bills by letting it print overnight without consuming more than is needed for the task.
A standard 3D printer consumes approximately 50 watts of power in an hour. Well, this adds up to a lot of power usage given the non-stop nature of FDM printing operations. Hence, it can lead to a huge electricity bill. For other printers, heating the printing bed consumes a lot of power because the printer requires 120 volts of power.

Factors That Contribute In The Power Consumption of Cloud 3D Printers

  1. Heating at the Hot End – When you use an ultralight PLA filament and heat the hot end for a long time, then the motor will consume more power due to the element’s resistance. This happens because they are rated at 16 to 20 amps.
  2. Heating up the Printer – It is also very likely that you will need to set your printer up again after it has been in operation for a while since it will take some time before it reaches its optimum temperature for printing. The heater needs to reach its operating temperature which can take about 1 minute in most printers or 30 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Heating of the Printer Bed – The printer bed will also heat up as the printer prints. For example, if you are printing with ABS filament, then the bed will get heated to about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). This is why you need to use a surface that can handle this temperature and maintain its shape or it might deform due to the heat.
  4. Heat Losses – The printer will also lose some heat through airflow, so you can use a fan to increase the airflow within the printer’s enclosure in order to reduce this occurrence. This will help to keep the temperature constant and reduce the loss of heat.
  5. Control board – This device comprises multiple electrical components which control the printing process. It is also known as the printer’s brain because it controls all the movable parts to enable proper printing. Though it does not use huge power, the overall power usage can add value to the electricity bill.
  6. Stepper Motors – There are two essential sets of stepper motors used in a 3D printer. One of them controls the extrude gears and the other one controls the nozzle movement while object manufacturing. These motors are small and use very low power. But they run solely for Cloud 3D printing projects hence accumulating high costs.
How To Reduce the Power Cost Used in 3D printing?
  1. Increase the Volume – It consumes less power when you increase the volume of your 3D printing operations. This will reduce the amount of filament that needs to be used in order to complete projects.
  2. Use Better Filament and Filament Sizes – You can save on power consumption by using a PLA or ABS filament while running FDM 3D printing processes in most cases. But this is not always possible as it depends on the raw materials you are using with your printer and how fast you need to print using them.
  3. You can choose a small 3D printer – Choose a printer that has a smaller build volume and can run at low power consumption. This will help to reduce overall power costs in comparison with the large 3D printers.
  4. Use settings that print quickly – The settings that you use will affect how much power it consumes. For example, if you are printing at a resolution of 100 microns and need to print only one layer of the object, then this is a time-consuming operation since the cloud 3d printer needs to heat up again after each layer and also because it needs to cool down before starting another layer.
If you want to reduce the overall cost, you should also consider other factors. You should rely on online services. You can get several Cloud 3D Printer services such as online slicing, project monitoring, creating real-time progress reports, and automatic control on 3D printers from one platform. Cloud 3D Print is a platform that offers all these services and thus you can reduce power costs to a great extent. 

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