3D Sand Printing Costs: The Complete Guide

September 27, 2023

By Jeff wei

One of the great advances that have been made in 3D printing technology in the manufacturing industry is 3D sand printing. This technology has revolutionized the foundry industry by allowing manufacturers to produce complex metal parts faster and cheaper. However, like any production process, 3D sand printing involves costs,How should it be analyzed.

What is the price of a sand 3D printer?In reality,3D sand printer prices are not as high as you might think. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the costs of 3D sand printing, both direct and indirect, and discuss some of the key factors that affect them.

Direct Costs:

  1. Material costs: 3D sand printing uses special sand materials that are usually more expensive than those used in traditional casting. The cost of sand materials is one of the main direct costs of 3D sand printing. In addition, there are binder should also be included in the material cost.
  2. Labor cost: Operating and maintaining a 3D sand printer requires specialized skills, so labor cost is also an important factor. Skilled workers need to monitor the printing process, maintain the equipment, and perform post-processing work.
  3. Energy costs: 3D sand printers typically require significant amounts of electricity and other energy resources. These costs include the cost of electricity, energy consumption for cooling systems and other energy costs associated with the printing process.

indirect costs:

  1. Equipment investment costs: The purchase of a 3D sand printer is itself a considerable investment. The price of these devices varies by model and performance, but they are usually expensive.
  2. Maintenance and repair costs: 3D printers require regular maintenance and possible repairs. This includes replacing parts, upgrading software, and ensuring that the equipment is functioning properly.
  3. Training costs: Employees need to be trained on how to operate a 3D sand printer, which can also add to the cost.
  4. scrap disposal costs: as with any manufacturing process, 3D sand printing produces scrap. Handling and disposing of scrap may involve additional costs.

Key factors affect cost:

  1. Batch size: Generally speaking, mass production can spread fixed costs, thus reducing the production cost per part.
  2. Equipment efficiency: The efficiency and speed of a 3D sand printer has a direct impact on throughput and cost. A more efficient machine will usually be able to complete production faster, reducing energy and labor costs.
  3. Material selection: Different types of sand materials have different costs, so choosing the right material for a particular application can also be a factor in cost.
  4. Design complexity: Complex parts require more material and printing time, which increases the cost.

Through the above analysis, you may think that the cost of 3D printing sand casting is very high, but through the following comparative analysis you will find that compared to traditional casting 3D printing sand casting whether from the efficiency or cost has great advantages.

What are the advantages of using sand 3D printing for sand casting versus traditional sand casting?

StrengthsSand 3D Printing CastingTraditional sand mold casting
manufacturing efficiencyhighlow
costslowerrelatively higher
production timefastrelatively slow
Design Freedomhighlimited
reject ratelowrelatively high
energy efficiencyhighgenerally
human workloadvery fewrelatively more
Complex Geometry ManufacturingEasy to implementhard to accomplish


  1. productivity: sand 3D printing casting has higher productivity because it eliminates some of the tedious processes in the traditional mold making process, such as hand carving or mold making. 3D printing can generate complex sand molds in a shorter period of time, and therefore the production speed is faster.
  2. Cost: Sand 3D printing casting usually has a lower cost. Although the investment in equipment is higher, it reduces material waste, labor and energy costs in the long run. Traditional sand casting involves a lot of manual work and wastage of mold making materials and hence is relatively costly.
  3. Production time: 3D printed sand molds are faster to make because they do not require handmade molds. Traditional sand mold making requires more time to prepare and carve the model.
  4. Design Freedom: 3D printing allows for a higher degree of design freedom because it allows for the easy creation of complex geometries and internal structures that are limited by traditional methods.
  5. Scrap rate: 3D printed sand molds typically have a lower scrap rate because it allows for more accurate modeling, reducing defects and waste. Traditional methods can result in more scrap.
  6. Flexibility: Models can be easily modified as needed with 3D printing, whereas traditional molds need to be recreated, so there is more flexibility.
  7. Energy efficiency: 3D printing is usually more energy efficient than traditional sand casting because it reduces heating and cooling time, which reduces energy consumption.
  8. Labor Effort: 3D printing reduces the amount of labor required, whereas traditional methods require more manual work.
  9. Prototyping: Sand 3D printing is suitable for prototyping as it allows rapid generation of sand molds for testing and validation.
  10. Complex Geometry Fabrication: 3D printing can easily realize complex geometries, whereas traditional methods may require more manual skills and time.

In summary, sand 3D printing for casting offers significant advantages in terms of efficiency and cost, and is particularly suitable for casting applications that require highly customized and complex geometries.

Here are two sand 3D printers to keep an eye on that are currently on sale at good prices. Take advantage of the opportunity!

Learn all about our sand 3D printers

  1. AFS J1600 pro(3DPTEK-J1600Pro)
  2. AFS J2100(3DPTEK-J2100)
  3. AFS J1600 plus(3DPTEK-J1600Plus)
  4. 3DPTEK-J1800
  5. 3DPTEK-J4000
  6. AFS LaserCore-5300(SLS)
  7. LaserCore-6000(SLS)

The price of sand 3D printer is quoted according to different models and configurations. Some accessories are mandatory and some are optional, so you can contact us for a specific quote.Get a quote now.


3D sand printing is a revolutionary technology that opens up new possibilities in manufacturing. However, it is important to understand the costs associated with it in order to develop effective production strategies and budgets. Cost analysis can help manufacturers optimize production processes, reduce costs, and increase competitiveness. Although the initial investment and direct costs of 3D sand printing may seem high, a comparative analysis from all angles will show that it promises to be a more cost-effective production method compared to traditional casting.

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Longyuan AFS Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of 3D printing equipment and manufacturing services in China, providing high-quality R&D pilot production and rapid manufacturing services for small-lot, multi-species and complex structure metal products based on the integrated technology of "3D printing, casting, machining and inspection".

  • Email: sales@lyafs.com
  • Phone:+86 13299265105
  • Add: No.7 Jin Yi Street, Shunyi District, Beijing, China.