Metal 3D printing has been a hot topic for a while now, and that’s no surprise given the technology’s incredible potential. Yet, despite the industry’s growth, prices of printers seems to be a bit of an uknown. Naturally, metal 3D printers are expensive, but just how expensive?
In general, prices for professional metal 3D printers range from around $50,000 to $1 million! That’s a very wide price range, where the final amount is highly dependant on the size of the machine and its performance.
In this article, we’ll present some of the market’s most popular metal 3D printers and their prices, starting from low to high. We won’t go into much detail on metal 3D printing as a method, but if you’d like to learn more about it, feel free to read our metal 3D printing guide.
Later in the article, we’ll discuss how it’s possible for you to have something 3D printed even if your budget isn’t large enough to afford a machine.
Let’s dive in!
The Desktop Metal Studio System+ is an office-friendly metal prototyping solution. The entire system consists of a printer, a debinder, and a furnace.
The Studio printer, which has a build volume of 300 x 200 x 200 mm, is a metal 3D printer that works similar to FDM 3D printing. The system is designed to extrude bound metal rods, which is basically a metal powder held together by polymers. This technology, coming directly from Desktop Meal, is called bound metal deposition.
When parts are printed, they need to go through the debinder and the furnace, which aren’t included in the printer’s $60,000 price tag. The debinder will set you back a further $15,000, while the furnace is more expensive, coming in at $85,000.
The debinder dissolves the primary binder, preparing the parts to go into the furnace. In the furnace, the parts are heated and sintered to achieve the desired strength and density.
Technology: Bound metal deposition
Build volume: 300 x 200 x 200 mm
The Metal X 3D printer from Markforged is the company’s first metal 3D printer, designed with the goal of making metal 3D printing more affordable. Normally, the terms “affordable” and “metal 3D printing” don’t make much sense together, but Markforged somehow made it possible.
The Metal X is priced just a shy of six figures – $99,500 to be precise. The machine has a build volume of 300 x 220 x 180 mm, which is surprisingly large considering the price!
The Metal X doesn’t rely on lasers or binder agents, it works similar to FDM, and more so to Desktop Metal’s Studio machine. Metal parts are made by extruding metal powder bound in a plastic matrix. Markforged likes to call this technique atomic diffusion additive manufacturing, or ADAM.
Unfortunately, the printer alone isn’t enough to complete the production of a metal part. Two post-processing units are needed, the Wash-1 and the Sinter-1. We don’t know the exact prices of these devices, but some sources claim a price tag of around $165,000 for all three units together.
Technology: Atomic diffusion additive manufacturing (ADAM)
Build volume: 300 x 220 x 180 mm
Arcam is a Swedish company and one of few producing EBM 3D printers. GE Additive, General Electric’s additive manufacturing firm, is the majority owner of Arcam.
Arcam’s Spectra H is an industrial metal 3D printer developed mainly for the aerospace industry. The printer utilizes electron beam melting (EBM) to achieve highly accurate, lightweight metal parts.
For this technology, the Spectra H’s build chamber is one of the biggest, measuring 250 mm in diameter and 430 mm in height.
The price for the Spectra H is not listed on the official website, but it’s estimated to be between $100,000 and $250,000.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Spectra H, contact the company directly to get your quote.
Technology: Electron beam melting (EBM)
Build volume: ⌀250 x 430 mm
The M100 is EOS’s entry-level metal 3D printer. Powered by direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), it has a reputation for being a high quality machine and ideal for cost-effective small production runs.
The most common use case of the EOS M100 is 3D printing small batches of implants and other medical accessories. Part of the reason for that is the relatively small build chamber, which measures 100 mm in diameter and 95 mm in height.
Despite the M100 being the base metal model, it sells at a six-figure price tag, estimated to be between $100,000 and $250,000.
If you’re interested in purchasing the EOS M100 3D printer, reach out to EOS and get your quote.
Technology: Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)
Build volume: ⌀100 x 95 mm
3D Systems is the oldest 3D printing company and still one of the current leaders of the 3D printing industry. Originally specializing in resin 3D printing systems, they entered the metal industry around six years ago. One of their latest offerings is the ProX DMP 300, priced above $250,000.
The ProX DMP 300 is an industrial metal 3D printer capable of producing high quality and highly-detailed metal parts. It utilizes direct metal printing (DMP), which is the same thing as DMLS. The build volume isn’t the largest out there, measuring 250 x 250 x 330 mm.
Interested in purchasing the ProX DMP 300? Contact 3D Systems directly to get a quote on this 3D printer.
Technology: Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)
Build volume: 250 x 250 x 330 mm
The Trumpf TruPrint 1000 LMF is an industrial metal 3D printer based on the laser metal fusion (LMF) technology, which is the same thing as selective laser melting (SLM).
The build chamber of the TruPrint 1000 isn’t very large, coming in at 100 x 100 x 100 mm. Nevertheless, it has a price tag above $250,000.The exact pricing is hard to come by, but we figure $300,000 is a safe upper bound.
If you see yourself as a potential buyer, it’s best to contact Trumpf directly to get a quote.
Technology: Selective laser melting (SLM)
Build volume: 100 x 100 x 100 mm
One of the recent newcomers to the world of metal 3D printing was none other than HP. Last year, they unveiled their Metal Jet 3D printer, which makes use of binder jetting to fuse metal particles. HP’s goal with the Metal Jet was to deliver a machine that enables cost-effective high-volume production.
The Metal Jet comes with a build volume of of 430 x 320 x 200 mm, which is a massive upside of HP’s offering. The system is priced just under $400,000, making it a very desirable choice in the ever-growing metal 3D printing market.
Reach out to HP if you’d like an exact quote on the Metal Jet 3D printer.
Technology: Binder jetting
Build volume: 430 x 320 x 200 mm
Metal 3D printing was always a very promising technology, with the potential to change how we manufacture metal parts. However, the revolution never really happened, as metal 3D printing was too expensive and wasn’t fast enough to compete with traditional manufacturing.
The optimism for metal 3D printing changing how we make metal parts was brought back thanks to Desktop Metal, a company headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Desktop Metal specializes in industrial additive manufacturing solutions, with the Production System at the peak. What makes the Production System so unique is its Single Pass Jetting technology. It enables much faster production speed when compared to other metal 3D printers.
Nozzles for the binder agent work together with powder spreaders to print in a single pass across the build area. The idea behind the technology is to ensure that, with each motion, printing is happening, and that’s what enables the high speed production.
Good things aside, the $750,000 price tag “only” gets you the printer, and not the necessary furnace. The furnace is used to heat the printed parts to just below their melting temperature to remove the remaining binder and completely sinter the powder, thus achieving the desired density of the parts.
The furnace is rather expensive, with prices starting at $500,000.
Technology: Single Pass Jetting (binder jetting)
Build volume: 337 x 337 x 330 mm
As you can tell by looking at the price tags of the above-listed metal 3D printers, metal 3D printing isn’t cheap. Metal 3D printers are serious machines requiring serious skill to operate them. Not only that, metal 3D printers are rather massive, meaning they require a lot of space.
Companies that purchase metal 3D printers either use them on a daily basis, or simply have the funds to afford such machines to produce small batches of custom-designed parts. But what if someone wants to try metal 3D printing, or needs something to be 3D printed in metal, but lacks the funds to do it? Well, that’s when 3D printing services come in.
These days, the number of 3D printing services offering metal 3D printing is growing. The very best of them, such as Sculpteo, i.materialise, 3DHubs, and Shapeways, offer a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, titanium, and aluminum, to name a few.
Want to find the best price for your needs? Check out, All3DP’s 3D printing and price comparison service.
Feature image source: aetlabs.com
License: The text of "How Much Does a Metal 3D Printer Cost in 2019?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.