How Long Do 3D Printers Last?

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Updated January 16, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how long does a 3D printer last. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models can be extraordinarily complex, and this complexity could impact the overall lifespan. So how long does an average 3D printer last, and what are some useful tips to help keep the best 3D printers running for a good long while? Keep reading to find out.


  • Generally speaking, an average 3D printer lasts anywhere from four to ten years or 7,500 to 15,000 printing hours.
  • Ensure a good lifespan for your printer by engaging in regular maintenance and cleaning tasks and only using approved 3D printing materials.
  • Consider investing in a dedicated enclosure to surround the printer as it completes the 3D printing process.

How Long Will a 3D Printer Last?

Modern 3D printers last anywhere from four to ten years, depending on the specific model and how often you use it, once you learn how 3D printers work, of course. This is not to say that you will avoid maintenance issues during that time frame, so you may still have to learn how to get the broken filament out of a 3D printer. This timeframe also assumes general maintenance and care, so you will also have to learn how to clean 3D printer nozzles.

Insider Tip

If you are using a dedicated cleaning solution to maintain your printer, check the instructions to ensure the chemical compound is safe to use.

This timeframe breaks down to 7,500 to 15,000 hours of active printing, even if you have just learned how to 3D print on fabric.

Tips to Ensure a Long Printer Lifespan

To ensure you end up at the far end of that lifespan range, several tips are worth considering.

Clean and Maintain

Regular printers do well with ample cleaning, but 3D models practically demand it. These are expensive and complex bits of technology with plenty of sensitive moving parts. Having just one nozzle act up ruins the entire printing experience, so protect your investment by cleaning and maintaining the printer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t skimp on these processes, even if using filament is extremely annoying.

Consider an Enclosure

3D print jobs sometimes take a long time, hours, and even days. During this process, you want to avoid touching or moving the printer at all. If you jostle a printer as it works, you could damage the nozzles, and the print head, and, of course, ruin the print. That is where dedicated enclosures come in. These enclosures cover the entire printer and protect all sensitive bits and bobs as it works.

Upgrade the Power Supply

Consider upgrading the power supply to a higher quality component to squeeze the most life out of your printer.

STAT: Depending on where and how you store it, 3D-printed objects made from PLA can last from a month to 2 years and up to many years. It can break down at different rates depending on its environment. (source)

Printer Lifespan FAQs

What makes one of these printers break down?

These printers break down for a number of reasons, from a faulty print bed to busted filament spools and other underlying issues. Environmental conditions also hasten this process.

Which printers last the longest?

Generally speaking, the most expensive and high-tech models last the longest, though this depends on your printing technique and the durability of the print bed. Just because a printer lasts the longest does not mean it is exempt from making bad prints.

When should a printer be retired?

Only retire a printer once you start noticing issues during printing hours, even with regular maintenance. If your model still boasts decent printing capabilities with great print quality, there is no reason to retire it.
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