3D Printer Energy Use

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Here are some data points:


  • Nema 17 - about 5W - [1]

D3D Universal

  • 20W for 4 steppers
  • 40W for extruder heater at full power (max printing)
  • LCD - .1A at 5v - 0.5W - [2]
  • Fan - 2.4W [3]
  • Blower - 3.6W - [4]
  • Seems like arduino can draw max .2A from 5v pins - or 1W max. Since LCD is powered by Arduino, total for Arduino, RAMPS, + LCD is probably 1W max. [5]

TOTAL: 67W, about 1/3 of the industry standards.

Power Costs

  • 7c - 30 cents usa - with 13 cent average - [6]
  • Germany - 33 cents - [7]
  • Belgium - 28

Example of Savings

  • It costs $202 per year per printer in electricity costs for D3D Universal running in Germany, 24/7.
  • That's about $400 saved per printer per year!
  • In America, you'd be saving about $160 per printer per year compared to running a printer with a heated bed.
  • If you are running a personal cluster of 12 printers - that is $5k that stays in your pocket.
  • In America, the average savings would be about $2000 per year.
  • For a cluster of 100 printers in Germany, you are saving $40,000 per year if you are using the D3D Universal printer for production.

Insulated Heatbed

Data taken by running D3D Pro with and without an insulated heat bed. A print bed temperature was set to 100C or 178C - and duty cycle of the bed was measured by recording the time that the bed went on and time it went off. From this data, the on time and off time was extracted. The duty cycle results were converted to absolute and relative energy savings. Absolute average energy savings were 38W at 100C, and 106W at 178C. Relative savings were 30% at 100C and 41% at 178C.

Conclusions: if running a print farm, significant energy savings are obtained. For a print farm case, even a few percent is worth it, as every percent gained saves from $3-8 in total energy costs per printer per year in Germany, and $1-3 in areas with lower energy costs.


Insulated heatbed savings: saves 30% from heat bed usage.

  • 36 watts saved at 100C on average. One printer - saves 0.864 kWhr per day. In Germany, that is 29 cents per day. That is $104 per year!
  • Overall energy cost savings from a 100 printer print farm - $10,000 per year.
  • In extreme case of high temperature materials printed with 178C heated bed - savings is $300 per printer per day.