As 3D printing is a brand new technology, the cost component is also an important matter on consideration when comparing different printing methods and printers. Basically, the cost issue can be divided into two parts: printer-related costs and material-related costs. However, it should be understood that these two cost components are rarely independent of each other since, for example, the printer bought would determine more or less the material to be used.
Additionally, some cost elements are the same for both printer-related and material-related costs. To put forth, transportation cost is included in both and it actually is a big matter if one cannot purchase his needs in his vicinity. Thanks to the widespread 3D printer production in their area, the USA, Europe and the Far East are relatively lucky in terms of transportation cost, when compared to the other parts of the world. Anyways, transportation cost cannot be ignored in decisions related to 3D printing.
Another important common element of cost is the lead time of the printer and/or the material. Lead time is indeed a time period implying the time one would be able to receive the goods he ordered. For example, if it is stated that the lead time is 4-6 weeks for a particular good, it means that the good would not be delivered earlier than that. A point to be underlined here is that, if the delivery is cross-continental or still long-haul, the lead time may get even longer. The idea behind considering the lead time as a cost component is that the lead time prevents you from starting your work earlier and so blocks the money that could be earned weeks ago. Therefore, it is also important to consider the lead time in the decision, especially if the printer is to be bought for commercial purposes to prevent loss of opportunity.