Quoting and Pricing

So I still haven’t quite figured out the best way to go about quoting and charging people. Do you charge a set up fee plus material and inches cut? How do you go about pricing something with out wasting the time to draw it up in fusion? What kind of rates are you all charging?

Really I think a lot is job specific. Usually if it’s something that only takes me 20-30 min to design, I charge $20 plus material. (That’s if it’s just a single piece of material. If they need multiples, so (5) 2x2 sheets then I charge $20 per sheet.) that’s just me though.

Are you doing it out of your garage or out of a shop?

Just my shop but I do it on the side, not full time

Wow that seems cheap. Depending on the material, the $20/sheet isn’t much more than break even (or even a loss).

I double the cost of materials & any design work is $60/hr. I don’t calculate machine time. I use a similar approach for laser work too.

But, if what I’m charging comes out significantly less than similar stuff elsewhere, I’ll bump the price up. If it’s available elsewhere significantly less or no one buys at my price, then I know I simply can’t make that thing cheaply enough to be worth it. That’s one reason to do as much unique work as you can.

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You think $20 plus material is to cheap? They bring me the material and for 30 minutes of my time I’m happy with $20 lol

So our welding shop is currently charging $80 an hour for any work done in the shop. I certainly like the idea of charging for the programming by the hour, but I’m still learning fusion so I feel bad charging people for my learning curve.

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I’m in MA and all Fab shops I know of charge at least $80 per hour. I would say material plus markup(20-40%) and shop rate ($60-100)to program and run.
When I first learned CAD I charged 1/2 price for my learning curve but once I got good full price.
The water jet guy I use now has a minimum charge of $135. I had 2- 8” numbers cut and got a bill for $135 plus shipping. The draftsman I was using before was $100 per hour.
If I had machine it would have taken me 15 min to program and 15 to load and run. $20 for material and $40 labor. Total $60 vs $147 I paid waterjet.

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I’m glad this topic has been brought up, because I don’t know either lol…but here’s a couple things to consider:
CAD knowledge isn’t cheap…average design engineer gets paid 40-65 and hour in the aviation industry (based on steady year pay of course, something that custom shops don’t have the lexury of)
Simple mech shops charge you 95/h…110 for a dealer…
So I think if one would want to project an hourly rate, it should be somewhere around those numbers…
For instance I spend far more time behind F360 than I do on the table…once I have my Gcode I spend 20 min at the table and 95% of that is being OCD about where and how I can use the smallest amount of metal.
One other thing, and I don’t mean to sound crude or pompous by it, but I don’t know how to really phrase this differently: there are those that can, and those that cannot, those that cannot pay those that can…wether it is they don’t have the knowledge, the tools or the time, same difference, they pay those that do…I think it’s important to remember so that you don’t undercut yourself and end up doing shtuff for free in the long run


I agree completely. Also, even if you’re okay working for very little, you’ll be depressing the price others in your area can charge. If you’re only doing it as a hobby it’s easy to rationalize low fees as you don’t need to make a living but the others who are will have to price lower as a result of your low prices - even if you wouldn’t be able or willing to do the job because you didn’t have time.

Great points here guys, definitely taking this stuff into consideration. So you guys that do it for a living, regardless of the size of the part, if it falls into 1 hr category you charge the same even if it only takes 5 minutes? Just seems as a consumer if I wanted someone to just cut 4 squares for example, there is no way I would pay $60 for someone to do it for me. Maybe I am just over thinking lol

I have been charging $50 per 2’x2’ sign. I have $15 In materials coupl bucks for consumables.

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Where do you guys get your metal and what gauge…15$ for 2x2 worth of sheet metal is really cheap (but then I’m not a sign pro so I don’t get the volume discounts)…are you getting it local or online?

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So zachp when you are charging $50 bucks a sign, are these signs that are pretty universal and you are not customizing it very much? Are you simply loading material cutting it, cleaning it up, painting it for $50 bucks?

As far as material goes the last 4 x 8 sheet of 1/8” (11 gauge) that we bought cost us about $133 from our metal supplier BMG metals, and we mark everything up 50%. Customer is currently paying $6.20 a square ft. I’m located in williamsburg, va.

I am buying from a local steel yard. I buy the 4x8 sheet and they shear it to 24”x24” for $120. They also deliver it to my office for no charge. I am not getting any discount as I would need to buy 10 sheets at a time to get that.

Yes the signs are generally universal for the $50. I am probably not making as much as I could but, I am growing my library of signs and getting paid to do it. I cut the sign, hit it with the knotted wire wheel to knock the dross off, wipe it down and deliver it. Painting and powder coat is an extra cost that I haven’t thought much about yet.

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I generally break it into 1/4 hour for small walk-in jobs. But get a plumber or electrician and you will get a minimum hour plus a service call charge.

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all great info guys, especially on sheet metal cost, I see I’m not getting ripped off so that’s a good start LMAO!
I agree with Cor, my AC guy stopped by to figure out a problem cost me 95$ just for the service call…of course that was not charged again when he came back to replace the bad part but, I see no reason to charge a reasonable set up fee…interesting topic…I think one should be learning how long a design will take…obviously a square with a letter isn’t gonna take that much time vs a intricate design…you still have to clean up the SVG files so they cut correctly…there’s no magic about it, gonna take time and you should get paid for that time…unless customer brings a file that’s ready to go and all you have to do is Gcode it (and if it Gcode ok without any problems -like some of us are learning the harder way lol) and then cut it…then I’d say charge a set up fee and then charge by the inch cut or sqft of material used…

we are using 5x10 sheets shearing into 2’x2.5’ it makes them easier to get the full stroke of the table. currently doing 3 different monograms and charging 75.00 flat fee to cut acid dip and powder coat also offerin a second one for 50.00 they are very little time to program . we built our own ovens from 2 old deep freezes. because im still learning fusion 360 I do custom signs for cost per blank x2 plus 100.00 design fee that includes acid dip and paint. more intricut work add a little this makes all pieces a bit different in price so repete customers don’t speak to there friends and give them a price for you … this is just my opinion is working for us




You should be able to use the ones in the Razorweld 45 Google Sheet I posted - as long as the Amps listed are less than 30A there shouldn’t be any problem using the same speeds/settings as the 45 guys are using.

Thank you jamesdhatch I screen shot it was gonna try that going through consumables like crazy ordered a refrigerated drier be he first of week also seems I loose my cut on a direction change like curly Q’s and stuff …any thoughts would be forever grateful