Summary of machine rates

From: Terry Wohlers (
Date: Thu Jan 15 1998 - 02:45:58 EET

Original posting:

I have a question for service providers running a Stratasys FDM1650,
FDM2000, or FDM8000, or Sanders
ModelMaker or ModelMaker II. As you're well aware, there are many ways of
calculating the cost of building RP models for customers. Many have tied
the cost to machine build time. Approximately what do you charge customers
per hour for machine time using one or more of these machines? I
understand that those running an SLA-500 charge in the $100/hour range and
those running an SLA-250 now charge around $50/hour. Please correct me if
I'm wrong. LOM-2030 pricing is also around $50/hour, according to figures
that were shared with me. Thanks for your input!

As promised, I am posting excerpts from the messages I received. As you
can see, the price/hour is all over the place. I have removed names to
protect the innocent. <g>

Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.


1) I have been told that the price ranges for a SLA-500 is from $75/hour
for a customer in the midwest to $100/hour on the east cost. We use an
equation that derives the cost from the part's Z-height and volume on our

2) I don't currently have an FDM, but am having some parts built as part of
an evaluation. The vendor I am working with is charging in the neighborhood
of $35 per build hour on the FDM 8000.

3) We're a bit different since we don't sell time, but we recently
calculated our COST at $38/hour for our SLA 250/50. We're working on
similar numbers for FDM 1650 and Actua 2100.

4) We checked the costs of running an MMII and we think we can offer for
about $15/hour in the beginning. After six month, we think we can go down
to $10. We have an LOM 1015 and we have to calculate $30 for getting jobs
against the SLA 250. (from Germany)

5) The hourly rates quoted by service bureaus in India range from
US$20/hour of build time to US$40/hour of build time. All the services
offered here in India are currently on the FDM1650.

6) My experience is that the companies will get as much as they can out of
the machine. I've seen prices around the $125 an hour range. The bureaus
are not typically happy about giving out the info. They want to do it on a
per part basis, or give you an amount per cubic inch. You have to really
pry to get the hourly. Or you have to know how fast the machine builds and
calculate it.

7) We will usually quote $20-25/hour (for the FDM1650) but have gone much
lower for larger/longer parts. We're running an FDM165, DTM Sinterstation
2500 (nylons, SOMOS, and Trueform), and an SLA250.

8) If the FDM machine runs at 100% capacity (8760 hours/year), our hourly
rate is $22.83. I would
guess in reality that our system runs in the neighborhood of 60% capacity
which equates to approximately a rate of $38 per hour.

9) I am in charge of FDM1650 and we currently charge $25/hr for machine
usage, plus the material cost. Our company is a non-profit service
organization, therefore officially we do not make any profit. That
obviously explains our low rates.

10) I have been seeing a lot of service bureaus in the $30/hr range. Many
appear desperate to get orders and are underpricing their parts.

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