So I have little to no idea regarding 3D printing and was building web-based software for a client, I have 3 values in my access,

  • Material: PLA
  • Material Cost: 1300 kr per kilogram
  • Infill Percentage/Density: 50 %
  • Material length: 13000 mm
  • Printing Cost Per Hour: 70 kr

Given this information, what would be the formula to calculate the rough estimation of the time required to 3D print this? I know that it's different for all the 3D printers but still, I would like to have a way to calculate a rough estimation of the 3D printing time, that possibly but not necessarily, touches the reality of most 3D printers.

  • $\begingroup$ The slicer should give you a good time estimate. There is no sane way to estimate time without generating the slices and tool path. There is just too much variation influenced by the part geometry. $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Feb 13, 2022 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ @user10489 I can't use a slicer, there are only somefor web-based software, the ones that exist are too complex $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2022 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ You really can't get a good estimate at all without a slicer. Geometry factors can easily change print time by a factor of 10, and slicer parameters (like infill pattern and density) can change print time by a factor of 2-3 or more. There really is not a good way to escape using a slicer of some sort. $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Feb 13, 2022 at 4:59

1 Answer 1


You'd certainly need to know more information than that provided. 3D printers have speeds ranging from 20 mm per second to as high as ten times that (extreme 3D printer sports!) and the speed during printing varies with the geometry of the object being printed.

More considerations involve printer nozzle size, object layer thickness (if uniform throughout), printer model, slicer software used, slicer software profile used.

For a rough estimate with the information, you could expect a variance fifty percent or more, if someone was willing to take the risk of making an estimation.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, as I said there is need of more estimation but I'd like to get a rough estimation with the given information, what to expect? $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2022 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ Too many variables left unfilled to provide any answer of note. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Feb 13, 2022 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I've actually got some more info now. Should I edit this existing question or post a new one? $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2022 at 2:13

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