How much does laser cutting cost?

Wat kost lasersnijden? - Snijlab

Calculating the costs of laser cutting is a complex story. There are many things that influence the costs of laser cutting. That is why you often see that no prices can be found online at laser cutting companies. The price is always calculated especially for you.

We wanted to charge the fairest possible price and not have to do the calculations ourselves. That's why we where you can upload your drawing and a price is automatically calculated.

In this article we explain which things influence the costs of laser cutting. We also look at the costs of laser cutting compared to other production methods.

What determines the costs of laser cutting?

Simplicity/complexity of the design

In general, the simpler your design, the faster it is to create. This is because you pay for the 'cutting length', i.e. how long the line is that is cut (or engraved). Based on this, we calculate how much electricity is used to make your order, which partly determines the production costs.


Material choice plays a role in production time. After all, thick, heavy materials take more time to cut than thinner ones. This is often less relevant for very small designs, because start-up time plays a greater role there.

Production time

Because each part is custom-made, the production time for each part varies.

Start-up costs

Start-up costs also play a role. It is important that your drawing is properly checked to ensure that production goes well and that no material is wasted. After production, your work must be properly checked. For example, on errors in the material, whether the engravings have good contrast, etc. This means that the production of a single piece of a unique part is relatively expensive.


You can have a single piece of a unique part for just €25, a large collector's plate made of a valuable material can cost more than €100 and you can have a small part in a series laser cut for just €0.10, for example.

Compared to other techniques

In our article Laser cutting in larger volumes we already compared different production techniques in terms of time to market, freedom of form, suitability for making prototypes and suitability for producing larger volumes.

In terms of costs, there are of course also differences between the different production methods.

In this comparison we assume that you want to have something made from wood or plastic to your own design. Do you use wood? Then milling and laser cutting are the only options, 3D printing and injection molding of wood is not possible.

3D printing

3D printing is sometimes cheaper for single pieces of small (<10cm) objects, because the start-up costs are low. If you want more than one piece, the price of 3D printing per piece is usually not much cheaper. A large part of the costs is in the production time and that is not decreasing.

3D printing quickly becomes expensive for larger designs, due to the long production time. Laser cutting and milling are more suitable.

CNC Milling

Milling has somewhat higher start-up costs than laser cutting. The processing also takes longer. But it does have advantages for large formats. This produces beautiful edges and gives the opportunity to create pockets (floors).

Injection moulding

In injection molding, the mold (the hollow casting mould) is in most cases the largest investment item. The design and complexity of the part determine the cost of the mold, which can easily run into the thousands of euros.

Cutting lab laser cutting

With laser cutting, the production itself is much faster, but there are slightly more start-up costs than with 3D printing. This means that the price drops quickly with larger volumes.

You can have a single piece of a unique part for just €25, a large collector's plate made of a valuable material can cost more than €100 and you can have a small part in a series laser cut for just €0.10, for example.

In short, there are a few areas where laser cutting always beats other techniques in price

  • Medium-sized (up to 1m) designs in wood and plastic

  • Small (<20cm) objects in wood and plastic in series

This way you keep the costs of laser cutting low

Choice of material

Are you making a prototype? Then choose an affordable material such as corrugated cardboard or MDF. Products can also often be made from these materials.

Do you need wood? Then choose birch plywood for thin materials <6 mm. This is mechanically strong and relatively quick to process. For a thicker product, poplar plywood may be more economical. This depends on your design, so check online.

Not too many different materials

You will receive a discount for each subsequent drawing of the same material. After all, many of the start-up costs have already been incurred. That makes a difference. So where possible, choose the same material for all your parts.

Smart design

Do not draw unnecessary cutting lines. See where you can make parts border each other so that they are separated by one line instead of two.

Choose an affordable delivery time

Choose a longer delivery time if you can wait a little longer. This gives you more time to process your order, which makes production more cost-effective.

More pieces = lower costs

The first copy is always the most expensive. Choose a larger edition and you will spread the start-up costs over more products.

Many different parts?

Merge them into one drawing. This saves on start-up costs.

Additional services at no extra cost

  • An engineer checks your drawing before it goes into production

  • Minimal smoke deposits and shadow edges on your parts

  • Quality control so that 99+% arrives correctly (we continuously measure this)

  • Your part numbers are clearly stated upon delivery for quick commissioning

  • Free design consultation via video call

  • Free advice on material selection

Would you like to know what it costs to produce your design using laser cutting at Snijlab? Then request an online quote or order directly.

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