It will be amazing (at least to me) if 3D Hubs could add a pricing feature that adds a surcharge for prints which require a large quantity of time and/or material.

These prints are more risky (a failure is more apt to occur per print as the printer is active for much longer). It is basically the opposite of the bulk discount option.




Hey @John_CORExy!

When you refer to large prints, do you just mean a single large volume print? Or multiple prints within an order?

Single large prints. They are so risky that the chance of failure goes up significantly the longer they are on the bed.

Not everyone has my build volume (300x300x400+) and so any part with a dimension greater than 250mm in any axis would be subject to a surcharge.


I also have a larger printer, and definitely can agree with you on this one! Prints with a large footprint are a pain, and I do have to babysit them more, so it would be nice to see this implemented.

Hey @John_CORExy, Thanks for the feedback, the idea definitely noted. Do you think you could solve it with the bounding box metric at least to a certain extent? That’s the metric that predicts the size of a part the best out of the current metrics. The larger the part exponentially more expensive the part will be. What do you think?

@Arnoldas, could you explain in a bit more detail how bounding box works?

I appreciate the reply @Arnoldas !

I’m not sure a bounding box solves the equation. It more or less seems like an alternative way to price based on object size without taking into account the relative size…same way as calculating by sliced volume.

What I’d love to see is a surcharge that would be applied to the slicing volume if the volume exceeds a certain threshold. That way it would take into account the increased likelihood of a failed print and that needs to be factored into the material costs.

Example of current system:

Slice volume price $0.50 per cm^3, setup fee of $5.00, volume of part 10cm^3

In this case the fees are $5.00 + (10 x $0.5) = $10.00

If we increase the volume to 100cm^3 then under the above we get a $55.00 print.

But on a per print basis I am getting more rejects on the larger print due to the increased risk of the longer print time. So what I am proposing is an option to do the following:

Slice volume 0 < 50cm^3 = $0.50

Slice volume >50cm^3 surcharge = $0.10

So under the 100cm^3 case the calculation becomes:

$5.00 + (50 * $0.5) + [(100-50)*($0.5+$0.10)] = $60.00

We could just adjust the formula to apply the surcharge not just to the incremental volume >50cm^3 but to the entire 100cm^3 as that may be easier to explain and implement (though unfair if you have a 51cm^3 part and open to manipulation by Hub operators).

Finally from a competitive perspective, not many have the print volume envelope that I have so there is less supply and it would be nice to capitalize on that instead of charging the same rate regardless of print size.

Thanks again!


You could add your printer twice or add a second printer of a different model (with under a 250mm bed size) and then price accordingly. If a customer puts in an order at the wrong rate you can change it and comment on the change before accepting the order. This is a bandaid not a permanent solution. I am curious Why are your prints failing so far into a print? What types of things go wrong? I print up to 360*360*320 and have a failure rate of around 20% for the first 10 minutes and 20-30% for small parts. After that the failure rate goes down.

Same question, what tends to go wrong with the prints later in the print? Also see above for my bandaid solution. I actually used that method for a while since my Delta prints tall not flat while the others print flat not tall. Just add a ghost printer or duplicate to make pricing easier.

Your idea on dual printer profiles is a nice stopgap suggestion. I may do that! But it would not really address the print time/volume issue. A 1mm wide by 300mm part would be priced at the premium but only because one axis exceeds the envelope but it could be a low risk quick print. From a supply/demand perspective maybe that is OK though but I’d rather think of it i terms of print time and volume which are correlated. On the failures, you are correct in that it can happen early on usually. But that is a big cost. And the odd late failure can be very costly. I am not suggesting a doubling of print fees or anything. For me, a 10% surcharge would be great… As for dailures? Power surge, filament jam, temporary under extrusion, overhangs at the very top not printing satisfactorily, sensor failure or anything else. We are talking 36 - 48 hour prints sometimes. None of the above happens very frequently, I am quite happy with my printer, but collectively the risk goes up the longer the print. The majority of my prints work out fine for sure but I am a bit obsessive on shipping out a high quality print so I will scrap a print if I see flaws that others may be okay with. If my pricing is too high under the scenario I proposed then so be it…fewer orders. But the customers that I do deal with will be happy with the end result hopefully. Hope that makes sense? Cheers, John

That does make sense and thanks for clarifying. I’ve had issues finding a way to price based on print time. Which is similar to what you are talking about. My printers need to make a certain amount per hour so I don’t have to stop printing. When you start running 12"*12"*12" prints at 100 micron it is difficult to get a good read on pricing vs a 1.2"*1.2"*1.2" 100 micron print. I do a lot of 24-100 hour prints and very seldom have issues towards the end of a print. I’m also doing this as a hobby not a business which allows me to eat a lot more cost than most people. Also one note, do you use “no break” or UPS battery backups on your printers? Do you experience more filament jams with a particular type of filament? Do you run multiple printers or just one?

A UPS is on the nice to have list at the moment!

I don’t have a chronic filament jam…actually has never happened to me on an extended print. I did once have the hot end wire fatigue and fail on me once right near the end of a print. Another time it was a slicing error that I did not catch during the setup phase and didn’t manifest itself until 2/3rds of the way in.

I too am priced fairly competitively as this is just a hobby for me as well. But given that I am already priced pretty well, the ability to price adjust the bigger prints would be awesome to maintain a steady, albeit small, margin.

I am running a single printer and I must love punishment as I am soon to embark on a 400x400x600 build. We’ll see how that goes…

Thanks for the thoughts!

@Enza3D Bounding box can be understood by imagining the smallest box you could possibly put your object in. Volume of that box is then the “bounding box volume”. It is beneficial for calculating the price of the intricate models that might not contain a lot of “mass” but be large and complicated to print. It’s mostly used in SLS printing, but I think it can be used smartly for FDM as well.

@John_CORExy I see. I agree that with bounding box volume it’s a bit more difficult to control the pricing, but adding the component could still get you somewhat similar result. Adding a very little fee per cm3 wouldn’t affect the small parts, but as the part gets bigger, the fee would add up.

One thing we do is once the customer uploads a file we sort out only the Hubs that have the build volume big enough to print it, so customers with big project will only see you when searching through the Hubs.

If however you’re pushed to increase the price for these bigger models that calls for us to consider this change


Yes, I agree as well… The same is true for support material…

There has to be a way that 3D Hubs can adopt the same methodology as Simplify3D does, when preparing a part for print.

It looks for support material and it estimates the printing time. It would be very helpful and more customer friendly if we can set up our pricing structure according to these two simple calculations.

For example, if a print requires more then x amount of hours, then add x $ amount per hour to the price. Same is true for support material, if we can specify the price per cm3 for support material and the price is then automatically included in initial quote, it would be better and easier for the customer and us…