How to calculate the approximate volume of material used in 3d print?


Is there a reasonable way of approximating the volume of material used for 3D print by knowing only the STL file volume and infill percentage?

Or what is the formula for calculating the exact volume and which parameters can be fixed to reasonable values?

Can this be done easily using Slic3r or CuraEngine in command line?

Note: Supposedly 3Dhubs use Cura[*] software to calculate the print volume.

Any help is appreciated.



Posted 2016-07-20T08:12:55.760

Reputation: 221

by knowing only the STL file volume which else volume do you want? – fukanchik – 2016-07-20T17:32:42.980

Are you sure you want the volume, or are you asking for the amount of print material required to print? The volume does not depend on the infill percentage, but the print material usage does. – emackey – 2016-07-20T20:07:09.547

@emackey Yes I am sure, I would like to know the volume needed independent of material type. It does depend on infill. With low infill the voids in the final print will be greater and thus the volume also. But any help is welcome. Do you know how to calculate amount of material required using CuraEngine? – dsalaj – 2016-07-21T06:38:20.193

1@dsalaj, so what you are saying is that you want to know the volume of the material used, and not the volume of the final print? – Tormod Haugene – 2016-07-21T07:44:07.150

1@TormodHaugene You are right. I was ignorant thinking these two are the same. Obviously the volume after melting, cooling, etc. will change. I was able to work out the volume of material used know simply by using the filament length (calculated by Cura) and filament diameter. – dsalaj – 2016-07-21T10:31:49.953

@dsalaj, so you found your answer then? Good to hear. :) Would you mind adding what you found out as an answer to this question and accept it? That will make it much more visible and useful to other users! – Tormod Haugene – 2016-07-21T10:34:31.540

1@TormodHaugene Thank you. Yes I have. I only need to figure out how to do it from command line with CuraEngine. I will do that, thanks. – dsalaj – 2016-07-21T10:38:59.350

Just as a small addition: Slic3r gives the amount of used filament in grams when slicing in Repetier. I find this very helpful because it my filament spool is also bought by weight. And I know the weight of the final piece. – kamuro – 2016-07-21T11:50:35.350

Use simplify 3d. It is built in! – StarWind0 – 2016-08-06T08:39:16.107



Possible way to calculate the volume of material used is to multiply the filament length (calculated by CURA after slicing and displayed in lower right corner) and surface of filament tip.

Volume = Filament_length * ( Filament_diameter / 2 )^2 * PI

Of course do not forget to convert all values to the same order of magnitude (e.g. cm³).


Posted 2016-07-20T08:12:55.760

Reputation: 221

4This is the correct answer for the volume of material used as talked about in the comments. Note that a traditional geometric volume of the final print would of course include the interior empty space between infill supports, not just the volume of the material used (for example, print a watertight model and dunk it in water, check the amount of water displacement). But for material used, this is the correct formula. – emackey – 2016-07-21T13:20:31.650