The cost of printing high quality 3D prints can vary quite a bit depending on several factors, but most cosplayers agree that it is cheaper to purchase a kit than to print the parts yourself. This is because the cost of 3D modelling for most characters is high, and often includes hours of customization and detail work. It can also depend on the size of the character. In general, a kit will cost more than printing yourself but will take less time to produce.
Check out our article on how much does it cost to 3D print cosplay! You’ll learn about all the different types of equipment you’ll need, as well as what type of materials suit different needs.
Cost Of The 3D Printer
The cost of the cosplay 3D printer is the most significant factor in the total cost of printing your cosplay. Makers of cosplay kits can range from a few hundred dollars for smaller models to several thousand for high-quality, larger models. If you are looking to buy your own kit but are on a budget, there are a lot of used printers available for sale that will still put out quality prints. It is easier to find cheaper printers if you are looking internationally.
The time it takes to print the cosplay depends on the size of the model. A small, simple design can be printed in just a few hours, whereas something larger might take an entire day. Smaller sizes typically cost less but will take longer to print.
Cost Of Kits Vs. Printing Yourself
Printing the cosplay yourself can save you money in the long run if you are willing to put in the time and effort. The cost to print very large and complex pieces can reach over a thousand dollars, though, so this option is only for well-funded fans. You will need every piece of the kit more than once, so it is nice to have everything you need in one place, at least until you get used to working with 3D printing and start searching for more affordable designs.
Other Materials To Consider
It can be tempting to print your cosplay from a cheap material that resembles plastic or vinyl such as TPU or ABS. These materials will not be as durable as nylon, which is the material that most cosplay kits are made from. A stronger material will only cost a little bit more, and it is well worth the investment. The kit design of your cosplay will be far more detailed in nylon than if you were to use one of the cheaper options.
There are several ways to save money while still printing a professional looking product. When deciding on sizing, you can always scale down the model to get a more affordable print. Also, printing prototypes is a great way to test out many different materials or designs before committing to one that you are certain will work well. This can save you a lot of money and stress at the end of the day.
What Else Should I Know?
The price of the kits and printers can vary depending on the brand, quality and size. It is also possible to buy single parts that you can then fit together to create an entire costume. This is a very affordable option for cosplayers on a budget, but it will take longer to find all of the pieces that you need. Some cosplay kits are even sold as partial prints that you then fill with foam or Worbla to create a finished product.