I used a lot of the links @evansd2 listed to come up with my cost. A lot of them run a pro, so their initial machine cost is higher than mine, since I run a basic.
To start, I started with (material cost x2)+(print time x .50)+human labor, packing materials, etc.
Pretty much this was how I started, I decided that to replace my glowforge, I would need $3,000. I wanted to recoup the cost in 100 hours of print time. So I got 30/hr for run time, which is 50 cents a minute. I thought since I was pretty beginner, 30/hr for human time, this includes me having to put the files in order, loading in new materials (I also sand and mask my stuff too), packing it up, all this usually takes less than an hour.
Now, this formula works with my most reoccuring customer, especially since she supplies her own files and materials, so I really just charge her for cut time and my time packaging. But for future purposes, I’m going to have to increase the rate, because I also need to include in there machine maintenance and cleaning costs. On top of that, I’m finding that I’m not a beginner, and I’m starting to value my time a lot more. I think a dollar a minute is fair for the complexity of the projects I do. So my next formula will be reflective of that.
FYI, I keep a comprehensive log of all my cut times. I don’t round up, I charge exactly what it takes. I also don’t charge for full sheets of materials unless a full sheet was used. I go by 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, full. This is based on my own guestimations, I don’t measure it, but I’m pretty confident when it comes to how much usable sheet I have afterwards.
So far, every project I’ve done, using my formula I created based off the other posts, every price seems pretty fair. My increase in cut time charges will just going to be for people who want things cut. Especially since I will end up having to buy another laser if volume of cuts increases. I haven’t decided if my personal projects will get an increase, mostly because I find it much easier to work with myself than correcting the work of others to get it laser ready.