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How to Price 3D Printed Designs

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Thinking of selling designs you’ve printed with your Silhouette Alta? Awesome! But first, you’ll need to learn how to price your printed design. Let’s take a look at it today.

How to Price 3D Printed Designs

Unlike pricing other handmade goods, you’ll need a scale to price your 3D printed designs. Why? PLA filament is bought by weight, not by foot or inches.

Here’s the formula that you’d use to find out how much your 3D design cost you in materials:

(Cost of PLA spool) divided by (Weight of the spool) = (Material cost of PLA) multiplied by (1000 to convert to grams if needed*) = Material cost of PLA in grams
*You must figure the weight of the spool in the same measurement as you weigh your finished 3D design. If you weigh your design in kilograms, there’s no need to convert to grams. If your finished product weighs less than a kilogram, you must convert to grams.


(Material cost of PLA) multiplied by (Weight of your 3D Design) = Material cost of finished printed design


(Material cost of finished printed design) + (Cost of your time to design, electricity used, packaging materials, and so on) = Total Costs

and finally, 

(Total Costs) x 2 = Wholesale Price
(Wholesale Price) x 2 = Retail Price

An Example

I recently purchased this (gorgeous!) Mint PLA filament. It cost $17.99 for 1 kilogram of material. Let’s pop those numbers into the formula above:

($17.99) divided by (1 kilogram) = $17.99 per kilogram. However, my printed design is quite small, so we must convert this to grams. There are 1000 grams per kilogram. So, $17.99 divided by 1000 is 0.01799. In dollars this works out to $0.02 per gram (rounded).

Then, I printed this 3D monogram keychain. How to Price 3D Printed Designs with Silhouette Alta - 3D Printer - 3D Printed - by

It weighs 6 grams using my Accuteck scale.How to Price 3D Printed Designs with Silhouette Alta - 3D Printer - 3D Printed - by cuttingforbusiness.comTo put those numbers into the formula above:

($0.02) multiplied by (6) = $0.12 in material costs.

Now, $0.12 is the cost of your PLA materials. It doesn’t take into account your design and print time, consumable materials (like tape), electricity used, packaging materials, shipping and selling fees, and so on.

Let’s give those numbers a value:

  • Design time and checking in on the machine: 10 minutes at $10 an hour ($1.70 rounded)
  • Consumables: Packaging materials, tape, and electricity would be less than $1.
  • To simplify the example, I have no shipping or selling fees as I’m selling it locally.

Then, I add those together and I get $2.82. That gives me a wholesale price of $5.64 and a retail price of $11.28.

Could I sell a customized monogram keychain for $11.28? Absolutely!


If you are interested in selling 3D printed designs but don’t have a Silhouette Alta, or the Alta isn’t large enough for a design you have to do, I urge you to look into Shapeways. Shapeways is well known company that you can outsource your 3D designs to. Find them at

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How to Price 3D Printed Designs with Silhouette Alta - 3D Printer - 3D Printed - by


Saturday 8th of June 2019

I am trying to make a monogrammed keychain with my alta and was wondering if you had a tutorial on this or knew of a place I could find one. Thanks!

Christine, Cutting for Business

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

First make the monogram in Silhouette Studio, then simply open it in the 3D software. The Alta's software has been designed to work seamlessly with Silhouette Studio.