3D Printing Material Costs of 2024

This article explores the diverse range of 3D printing materials available in the market, highlighting their cost per kilogram or liter and analyzes some influenticial factors in determing the 3D printing material cost to provide a comprehensive understanding of the investment required for different types of 3D printing projects.

Material Price Range per Kilogram
PLA $20-$50
ABS $20-$50
PETG $25-$60
TPU (Flexible) $30$70
Nylon $70-$120
Resin (SLA/DLP) $50-$150 per liter
Metal Filament $100-over $500
Specialty Materials $100+

Prices of 3D printing materials

PLA and ABS Filaments

For PLA and ABS filaments, these foundational materials in the 3D printing world are typically priced between $20 and $50 per kilogram. PLA, sourced from renewable materials like cornstarch, offers a lower melting point, which is ideal for novices. ABS, with its higher resistance to temperature and durability, is favored for creating functional parts. This makes ABS one of the many best heat resistant 3D printing materials available for those interested in creating durable, enduring designs. The price range reflects basic to higher-quality options, with specialty filaments that incorporate unique properties or colors commanding higher prices.

PETG Filament

PETG Filament is slightly more expensive than PLA and ABS, usually ranging from $25 to $60 per kilogram. This material combines the ease of printing of PLA with the strength and temperature resilience of ABS, making it a versatile choice for various applications. Its cost is justified by its chemical resistance and low shrinkage, which are critical for producing durable items and prototypes.


TPU (Flexible Filament)

TPU (Flexible Filament) prices range between $30 and $70 per kilogram, attributed to its capacity to create flexible and stretchable items. This material requires careful printing adjustments, but its versatility in producing items like wearable devices and phone cases makes it a valuable choice for specific projects.


Nylon filament is known for its strength and flexibility, priced between $70 and $120 per kilogram. The cost variance accounts for different formulations that can enhance attributes such as color stability and overall durability. Nylon’s application in parts that require movement or strength, like gears and hinges, reflects its higher price point.


Resin, used in SLA/DLP printers, ranges from $50 to $150 per liter, depending on the type of resin and its intended use. This material is prized for its ability to capture intricate details and smooth finishes, making it suitable for models, jewelry, and dental applications. If you are weighing your options between resin and filament for your project, you might find our comparison article on Resin 3D Printing vs. Filament 3D Printing—Essentials You Should Know very informative. The price reflects the specialized outcomes achievable with different resins, from standard to more durable or flexible types.

Metal Filament

Metal Filament, containing a high percentage of metal powders mixed with a plastic binder, is among the most expensive materials, with prices ranging from $100 to over $500 per kilogram. The type of metal—stainless steel, bronze, copper—affects the price, offering a metallic finish for jewelry, prototypes, and functional parts that require a metal appearance.

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Specialty Materials

Specialty Materials, such as carbon fiber reinforced, wood fill, or glow-in-the-dark filaments, can cost upwards of $100 per kilogram. These materials are designed for specific applications, providing unique properties that enhance the functionality or aesthetic appeal of printed objects. Their higher cost reflects the specialized nature and the added value they bring to projects, ranging from professional-grade prototypes to personalized crafts.

What Is the Most Expensive 3D Printing Material?

The most expensive 3D printing material is platinum, with prices up to $60,000 per kilogram, followed closely by gold at approximately $58,000 per kilogram. Titanium, valued for its strength and lightweight properties, stands at about $500 per kilogram, making it the most expensive non-precious metal option for 3D printing.

What Is the Cheapest 3D Printing Material?

The cheapest 3D printing material is PLA (Polylactic Acid), a biodegradable plastic derived from renewable resources like corn starch. Its cost is around $20 to $50 per kilogram, making it highly affordable for hobbyists and professionals alike for a wide range of applications.

Factors That Affect 3d Pring Material Cost

Several factors influence the cost of 3D printing materials:

  • Material Composition: The base materials used in the filament or resin significantly impact cost. For example, filaments blended with metal powders or carbon fiber are more expensive due to the high cost of these additives.
  • Manufacturing Process: The complexity of the manufacturing process, including the purity of the material and the precision required to produce consistent filament diameters or resin viscosities, can affect price. High-quality control standards lead to higher prices.
  • Brand and Quality: Premium brands known for their reliability and performance often charge more for their products. Higher-quality materials can yield better print results, reduce the likelihood of print failures, and offer properties like improved strength or finish that justify their cost.
  • Special Properties: Materials designed with unique properties, such as increased strength, flexibility, temperature resistance, or specific aesthetic qualities (e.g., transparency, glow-in-the-dark), command higher prices. These specialized materials often require more complex formulations and testing.
  • Market Demand: The popularity of certain materials can influence their price. High demand for specific filaments or resins can drive up costs, especially if the supply is limited or if there are patents protecting the material.
  • Regulatory and Safety Standards: Materials that comply with regulatory and safety standards for specific industries (such as food-safe filaments or biocompatible resins for medical applications) may be more expensive. The certification process adds to the cost, ensuring the materials meet stringent health and safety requirements.
  • Packaging and Quantity: The way materials are packaged and the quantity in which they are sold can also impact cost. Bulk purchases typically reduce the price per kilogram or liter, whereas specialty materials sold in smaller quantities may be more expensive.
  • Shipping and Availability: Depending on your location, the cost of shipping and the availability of certain materials can add to the overall expense. Import fees and taxes for materials not readily available in your region can also increase costs.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the cost and properties of various 3D printing materials is crucial for selecting the right material for specific projects, whether for professional use, educational purposes, or personal hobbies. From the affordability and eco-friendliness of PLA to the high-end precision and detail achievable with precious metals like platinum and gold, the range of 3D printing materials caters to a wide range of applications and budgets. When considering these applications, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional 3D printing service provider to ensure your project’s success. One such provider, known for their expertise in a wide range of 3D printing materials and methods, is QSY Professional 3D Printing Service Provider in China.