How Much Energy Does a 3D Printer Use? Find Out Here!

3D printing has become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more people investing in this technology for personal and professional use. However, one question that often arises is how much energy does a 3D printer use? As we become more conscious of energy consumption and its impact on the environment, it’s important to understand the energy usage of the devices we use.

The amount of energy a 3D printer uses can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the printer, the temperature of the heated bed and nozzle, and the material being used. While some 3D printers use as little as 50 watts of electricity, others can use up to 250 watts during printing. With this range, it’s important to understand the energy usage of your specific 3D printer to make informed decisions about its usage.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a process that allows you to create three-dimensional objects from a digital file. It’s also known as additive manufacturing, because it builds up the object layer by layer. This is different from subtractive manufacturing, where you start with a block of material and remove parts of it until you have the desired shape.

The Process of 3D Printing

The process of 3D printing starts with a digital file. This can be created using a 3D modeling software or you can download one from a website that offers 3D models. Once you have the file, you need to prepare it for printing. This involves slicing the model into layers, which the printer will then build up one by one.

The printer uses a variety of materials to create the object, including plastics, metals, and even food. The material is melted and then extruded through a nozzle, which moves back and forth across the build platform. As the material is deposited, it cools and solidifies, creating the object.

One of the advantages of 3D printing is that it allows you to create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to make using other manufacturing methods. It also allows you to create customized objects quickly and easily.

Overall, 3D printing is a fascinating technology that has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing. As the technology continues to improve, we can expect to see more and more applications for 3D printing in a variety of industries.

Energy Consumption of 3D Printers

3D printers are becoming increasingly popular for creating a wide range of objects, from toys and household items to prosthetic limbs and aerospace components. However, one common concern is their energy consumption. In this section, we will explore the factors that affect the energy consumption of 3D printers and how to calculate their energy usage.

Factors that Affect Energy Consumption

Several factors can affect the energy consumption of 3D printers, including:

  • Printer size: Larger printers typically consume more energy than smaller ones.
  • Print speed: Faster printing speeds require more energy than slower ones.
  • Print quality: Higher print quality requires more energy than lower quality prints.
  • Filament type: Different types of filament require varying amounts of energy to melt and extrude.

It’s essential to consider these factors when estimating the energy consumption of a 3D printer.

Calculating Energy Consumption

To calculate the energy consumption of a 3D printer, you need to know the printer’s power rating and the duration of the print job. The power rating is usually listed on the printer’s specifications and is measured in watts (W). You can calculate the energy consumption (in watt-hours) of a 3D printer using the following formula:

Energy Consumption (Wh) = Power (W) x Time (h)

For example, suppose a 3D printer has a power rating of 300 W and runs for 5 hours. In that case, the energy consumption would be:

Energy Consumption (Wh) = 300 W x 5 h = 1500 Wh = 1.5 kWh

You can also estimate the energy consumption of a 3D printer by using the average energy usage per hour. According to our research, most 3D printers use between 50 and 150 watts of electricity while running. This range corresponds to 0.05 to 0.15 kWh per hour. Therefore, if you run your 3D printer for eight hours a day, you can expect to use around 0.4 to 1.2 kWh per day.

It’s important to note that the energy consumption of 3D printers can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned above. However, by estimating the energy consumption, you can get an idea of how much it will cost to run your 3D printer and plan accordingly.

In conclusion, the energy consumption of 3D printers is an important consideration when using them. By understanding the factors that affect energy consumption and how to calculate it, you can make informed decisions about using your 3D printer.

How to Reduce Energy Consumption

There are several ways to reduce the energy consumption of your 3D printer, including choosing the right printer, optimizing print settings, and using energy-efficient materials.

Choosing the Right 3D Printer

When selecting a 3D printer, it is important to consider its energy consumption. Look for printers that have energy-saving features, such as automatic shut-off and sleep modes. Also, consider the size of the printer and the heated bed. Larger printers and heated beds require more energy to operate.

Optimizing Print Settings

Optimizing print settings can also help reduce energy consumption. Use the lowest possible temperature for the heated bed and extruder, and reduce the print speed to minimize energy usage. Additionally, avoid using support structures unless absolutely necessary, as they require additional energy to print.

Using Energy-Efficient Materials

Using energy-efficient materials can also help reduce energy consumption. PLA and PETG are two popular materials that require less energy to print compared to ABS. Additionally, using recycled or biodegradable materials can further reduce your 3D printing carbon footprint.

Overall, reducing the energy consumption of your 3D printer can help save money and reduce your environmental impact. By choosing the right printer, optimizing print settings, and using energy-efficient materials, you can make your 3D printing process more sustainable.


In conclusion, the amount of electricity a 3D printer uses varies depending on several factors such as size, temperature, and printing process. The average energy consumption range of 50 to 150 Watts means that an average 3D printer uses 0.05 kWh to 0.15 kWh per hour. However, this figure can go higher or lower depending on the specific printer.

It is important to note that fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printers use more electricity than other types of 3D printers. Thus, it is essential to consider the type of printer you have before estimating its energy consumption.

Additionally, the electricity cost of running a 3D printer is relatively low. For instance, a 3D printer with an energy usage of 100 Watts while printing costs around 1.3 cents per hour with an electricity price of $0.13 per kWh.

To minimize the electricity cost of running your 3D printer, you can consider the following tips:

  • Use a printer with a lower wattage.
  • Turn off the printer when not in use.
  • Use a power strip to turn off the printer and its accessories simultaneously.
  • Print in batches to reduce the number of times you turn on the printer.

By implementing these measures, you can reduce your 3D printer’s energy consumption and save on electricity costs.