There’s no round-the-clock power consumption level for any 3D printer. Different 3D printers tend to consume different amounts of electricity. There are printers with large builds that consume high power and printers with small builds that consume less power. Similarly, printers that print only at high temperatures consume high power, whereas printers that print at moderate temperatures consume low power.
The point is electricity does not come free thus, keeping the power expenses in check while using a 3D printer is important. This article uncovers all the answers related to the power consumption of 3D printers, so stick here till the end!
How Much Electricity Does a 3D Printer Use?
In this section, we have explained how much electricity does 3D printer uses based on some parameters. So let’s find out about them.
Based on specifications: This is the best way to calculate the power consumption. Each printer mentions its minimum and maximum power usage under specifications. The simple formula to calculate power is current x voltage, which means if a printer has 30A (current) and 12V (voltage), then the total power rating would be 360 W (Watts). This method is very useful for getting accurate results on how much a particular printer is consuming power.
Based on components used: All the components in the printer contribute to average electricity usage. Hence, it is essential to consider each component individually;
Bed heating: The larger the heat bed size, the larger the power will be drawn. The heat bed needs optimum power to reach the desired temperature for operating filaments. The average range of bed heating is between 200W for Direct Current and 1000W for Alternating Current.
Hot end heating: In any 3D printer, this is the most power-consuming component as it is utilized in filament melting. Power consumed depends on the temperature used by the filament. Depending upon the filament used for printing prototypes, the temperature is decided. For example, PLA filaments demand less heat as compared to PETG filaments.
Most filaments need a considerable amount of power for melting, so your electricity usage will be more. The average power used by hot ends is around 50 Watt.
Stepper Motors: Extrusion is an integral part of any 3D printing, and stepper motors are used to do the same. These motors are used to extrude and move the cartilages; they are also helpful to change bed position. The stepper motors in most 3D printers utilize 5 to 10 Watts.
Control Board: Control boards are present in almost all printers as they regulate all the other components such as fans, beds, heaters, or motors. It alone consumes 15 Watts. Controls direct the energy in the right component and the required amount so that none of the components get damaged due to higher wattage production than required.
Printing Speed: The longer the printer takes to print a model, the more power will be consumed. So, to save your electricity usage, you must set up the printing speed to the highest. But you also need to make sure the quality of your print is not degraded.
What Exactly Affects the Amount of Power Used in 3D Printer?
The amount of power used depends on the thickness of the filament. The thinner the filament’s layer falls on the print bed, the longer the time will take to print, ultimately resulting in overall 3D printer power consumption. Thus to save up power usage, you must keep the filament thickness thick throughout the process.
Another factor that affects the amount of power used is the printing speed. If the print speed is set to lower, the time taken to print a single prototype will be longer. Therefore, to keep your electricity usage in check, it’s recommended to set the printing speed high; in that way, you will get your prints printed faster and save a little power.
The most important factor affecting or resulting in more power usage is hot end beds. If the bed is already pretty hot, you wouldn’t have to keep the bed temperature running constantly. But for this to happen, your print bed must be highly efficient. As an alternative, you can use a heat insulator mat that maintains the thermal conductivity of the print.
Does High Wattage Cause Electric Shocks in 3D Printers?
As you all know, 3D printers do not use much electricity like other devices, but that does not mean they don’t give electric shocks. But if you handle the 3D printer properly, you could be saved from electric shocks. The major reason why 3D printers produce electric shocks is their power supply. Thus you must set the voltage to 230V which is the ideal supply for any 3D printer.
What Does The 3D Printing Electricity Cost?
On average, it is calculated that a 3D printer with a hotend of 205°C and a heated bed at 60°C consumes an average power of 70 watts which, when calculated for a 10-hour print, would take 0.7kWh costs around 9 cents.
Ways of Reducing Electricity Costs While Using a 3D Printer?
When it comes down to lowering power usage, you have to find some effective ways that will help you speed up your printing time or speed and also help in 3D printer energy consumption.
- Try using a smaller 3D printer
- Use a filament that does not require hotbeds or higher nozzle temperatures, such as PLA.
- Make internal settings optimum that will make the printing process quicker.
- Use a larger nozzle size to print faster.
- Make sure to keep the 3D printer in a warm surroundings.
Though the 3D printer is minimalist in power consumption, with high-end tools and components, it can become more expensive than many household items. The average power a 3D printer uses is around 200 watts.
If you wish to undervalue the power usage you can fasten the printing speed, use low 3D printer wattage components or increase the filament thickness, all of these methods are effective to reduce the power usage of a 3D printer.