I’m new to 3Dhubs and was wondering what is the general practice when printing for clients… am I expected to remove support material or is this for the client to do?


1 Like

Hi 3rDgeneneration,

First of all, welcome to 3D Hubs! To answer your question, at the moment there are no strict rules regarding the finishing of 3D printed parts for customer as the Hubs have always been completely free in the way they conduct their business. Some Hubs set a price that includes the removal of supports, others ask their customers whether or not they would like to have the supports removed and sometimes charge an additional fee.

I will say this though, in the two years that I’ve been with 3D Hubs I’ve seen a lot of orders come by and I would actually highly advise against charging customers an additional fee for support removal after they already send in an order. Having to add additional material costs to be able to print the supports is one thing, but to charge for removal as well often results in the cancellation of an order.

This actually brings me to another topic that I’d like to ask your fellow Hubs when they read this. Would you guys be interested in more general guidelines regarding running your own Hub or would you rather leave it as is and have every Hub set their own way of working?

As you can imagine, customers would like the quote on the order 3D Print page to be as close to the final quote as possible so I would recommend that you set your own material and startup prices in such a way that additional services are already included.

I hope this was helpful.

Robin - 3D Hubs


I remove the support and don’t charge extra. But it is pretty easy to remove and for the hard ones Id rather be the one breaking the part removing support than the customer.



I would love any general guidance. I am new to this and just starting to set up my hub. Anything on pricing guidelines, I know you can’t possibly know all situations but just general starting points such as cost to just start the machine ( I guess that would be for any print is X amount base cost), cost per run hour, weight of material etc. Any other items/suggestions would be great.

Honestly, if you guys could figure out how to work in some way to estimate support material costs (not removal, just raw material costs) that would be amazing. I know it would be difficult to do, and it’s not as much of an issue with FDM prints, but it is killing me with SLA prints. Or maybe just include a notice to the customer stating the quote does not necessarily include those costs?

For a lot of the small SLA prints I do, the supports use at least half as much material as the actual print does (sometimes the supports use more material) and that’s simply a cost I can’t eat. It’s also a cost I can’t include in my base pricing, because it no longer makes me competitive in my local market.

I think either we need better cost calculation upfront (like what Shapeways does) or you guys have to state that our prices need to include these extra services. Some kind of unified requirement so customers better know what’s included, or maybe a better description of how Hubs works for customers so the process is more transparent.

1 Like

(Sorry for the double reply, not sure what happened there!)

The one downside I see with pricing guidelines on the site will be when you need to charge more than the guideline for various reasons. The customer may get upset and say “well the guidelines say you should only charge me this much”, that might leave a sour experience even if there is valid reasons to charge more.


This is a fair point; maybe Hubs should release a customer guidelines that better outlines what a customer can expect from a Hub. I think this added level of transparency would really benefit the community as a whole. Even if (and when) customers choose not to read it, we as the Hub can direct them to specific sections when they question why prices are the way they are or why we change things.

For example, we’re all required to charge a base price which is our material cost and whatever other cost we as Hubs individually factor in. As a customer, I have no idea what that price that gets quoted includes, so I would naturally assume it includes everything when that’s very often not the case. I think if Hubs were to release an official customer “handbook” and leave a link to it on top of the page when a customer uploads a design to print (or prompt them with a pop-up window once a design is uploaded that says something like “Hey, have you reviewed our handbook on what you should expect?”) there would be better communication between the Hub and customer. Kind of like a “What to expect when you’re expecting” but for 3D printing with a Hub.

Break down what supports are and why you need them, why nylon costs more than PLA, why design/modeling costs aren’t included by default, shells and infill, etc. in terms your average consumer can understand and you will open up a lot more dialogue than there currently is. It also helps to have something official and endorsed by the overall company backing up what I, as a Hub, say to a customer in regards to modifications to files that may increase their prices. Looks a lot less like price gouging and more like genuine information.

Depends on the part. If it’s 20 minutes of my time I do it for free. If I see that it is a complex part then I will probably charge an extra 10-20%

A simple check box or hub feature overview would cover a ton of these things. Hub removes support material (y/n) Customer requests higher than 20% infill (y/n) *extra charges may apply. Customer requests support removal by hub (y/n) So a set of standard practices and questions that the hub answers and is displayed to customers when placing an order as well as a set of questions customers can answer (to indicate they would like extra services) with each order placed. That leaves hubs and customers free to go about their business while providing a better overall customer experience.


I have a neighbor kid who gets free filament and 3d printer training and parts for removing supports and cleaning up customer prints. It’s a win win.

This is great suggestion, best one I’ve heard on here!

Hey Thanks.

@gabriela3d I couldn’t tag you above as I was on my cellphone.

1. I would never let a customer remove the support. How can you verify that the print is perfect/without defect? What if the customer breaks the print removing the support? Is it your fault or theirs? This is not an option for me.
2. People who are talking about never charging for support removal are either insane or just doing this for fun. Unless we are talking about a flat on flat surface I always charge. If I’m using support it’s usually on something difficult and on such a project, removal is most tedious and labor intensive step.

More work = more money. This is common sense. Once you have a reputation you must decide what your time is worth and stick to it unless this is just a hobby for you.


Personally I ask the client first. If client tells me yes than I remove the support material for no extra charge.

Off course it depends on the type of print, and whether I use regular or solvable support material.

It is a little extra effort that shines professionalism and promotes better reviews on your orders as well.

The other side of the problem is that most client have no idea how to remove the support material, and thus risking damaging their new part, especially if the part is fragile, so by removing the support material yourself, you not only save the customer some headaches, but you make him/her more happy…

When a new print request comes in and there is a ton of support required, and delicate parts, I simply go back to the customer and let them know that they need to adjust their print. I learned the hard way where I did support removal for free once. Took 30 minutes, and it was only a 2 hour print, if that. The guy came back and ordered 50 more of the parts. 25+ hours spent removing support, breaking more than a few parts in the process. Never again.

If customers insist on requiring support, then I let them remove it or charge $35 per hour. In some cases I will use water soluble support.

Most people elect to either remove the support requirement, or remove the support themselves.