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When to Buy a 3D Printer

When to Buy a 3D Printer

July 6, 2017 – By Becca Golliher

Deciding if purchasing a 3D printer is right for your business can seem like an intimidating task.

There's a lot on the line when it comes to your business - it's important to know what's right for you.

We’re here to make it simple.


We’ve tailored a short list of questions to ask yourself before you continue.

  • How much does it cost you right now to outsource your designs?
  • What kind of time does it take for you to outsource production?
  • How many models are you outsourcing per month at this point, and how many could you see your company outsourcing in the future?


Here are a few basic things we’ve found about outsourcing.

  • Many 3D printing service companies charge an average of $40 for one ring printed in a castable resin.
  • Jewelers have limited control over shipping costs, shipping time, print resolution, a broken model, and more.
  • An outsourced 3D printed model can take up to a week to arrive, if not longer.
  • There’s no guarantee that a model won’t break in the mail by the time it arrives, setting a jeweler back an additional week until they can receive a new model.
  • Companies that offer 3D printing services could have printers with resolutions ranging from 20 to 200 µm Z resolution, which can greatly impact the details in a model.

For certain companies, outsourcing fits their needs. Whether they have only a small amount of production a month or just prefer having less to worry about, countless companies thrive by outsourcing their model production.

Some companies, on the other hand, are spending time and money on these services that they could be saving, or better yet, reallocating to better resources.  


Now that you’re thinking about that, let us tell you about what B9Creations can offer.

  • With the B9 Core Series, jewelers don’t have to worry about the unpredictability of shipping, resolution, cost, and more.
  • Each ring printed on the B9 Core Series costs $0.12 on average (1 mL of resin costs $0.18).
  • The price for a single model can be as little as $.06, depending on the amount of material used.
  • A castable model can be printed in as little as 45 minutes, and a design verification model possible in under 15 minutes with our Gray resin.
  • Jewelers know what details they can expect with the B9 Core Series, with capabilities as low as 20 µm for Z resolution.



IN-HOUSE PRODUCTION with the B9 Core Series

COST per model

Typically ranging from $20-$120

Typically ranging from $0.06 to $0.20.

TIME per model

Ships in 5 business days

Prints in 45 min- 2 hrs


Depends on printing service – could be anywhere from 20-200µm

Depends on your selection – Z resolution as low as 20 µm

Consider this math –

In the time it takes an outsourced model to get back to you (5 business days on average), you could have printed 53 separate models or even as many as 318. (See below).

 Outsourcing Math

And while the overhead cost of $9,955 may seem expensive, countless customers have told us the machine has paid for itself in a few short months.

We can prove it.

Let’s say each outsourced ring model costs you $40, while production costs with our machine are the $9,955 machine price plus the $0.12 resin cost per ring. The break-even point is approximately 250 rings, or less than one ring each business day of the year. In other words, if you’re producing more than 21 rings a month, you would benefit from owning your own 3D printer.

Here’s the math-

The red line is the equation for the total amount of money jewelers could spend on outsourcing –

And the blue line is the equation for the total amount of money jewelers would spend after buying our printer –

(We’ll assume an outsourced print costs $40 and an in-house print costs $0.12. These vary depending on company and ring size.)

While outsourcing models costs $40 every time, using the B9 Core Series, after you pay for the machine upfront (or use our financing option), models cost less than $0.50, with no maintenance fees.

 Cost Graph


Want to calculate the price point at which you should adopt a 3D printer into your jewelry business?

Put your current outsourcing price into this equation to determine the number of prints (x).

 3D Printer Math 2

Whether it’s now or later, there’s money to be saved by adopting 3D printing into your jewelry workflow.

We hope this article has helped you evaluate what qualities are important to you when considering integrating 3D printing into your jewelry business.

Either way you choose, we wish you the best of luck.

Happy printing!

Check out our Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing for Jewelry Businesses. In this guide you'll learn how 3D printing can help you overcome the biggest challenges you're facing, what to look for in a 3D printer, and when's the right time to buy - while helping you grow your business, serve customers faster, find the best ways to bring production in-house, and lower your operating costs.


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Note: This is only accurate if you currently outsource your 3D printed resin models or have significant knowledge about CAD software.