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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a 3D Designer?

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Finding an incredible 3D designer can mean everything to a business. Think about creating a blow-your-socks-off prototype or a 3D model that transforms your idea into something investors can genuinely engage with. 

But, as with so many business expenses, the big question is how much does it cost to hire a 3D designer – and that’s something with a truckload of variables.

Choosing a Great 3D Freelance Designer

Before you start number crunching, we need to know how do you find a 3D designer to get a quote from in the first place. That, at least, is pretty simple!

Unless you’re heading up recruitment for a large architectural firm or a big-name video game designer, you’re probably after a contractor. Designers often prefer freelance roles, as it gives them flexibility, a range of projects, and the creative freedom to expand their skills. However, you’ll find a wide range of design prices. 

Contractors can charge upwards of $35 per hour, although many will offer a project quote. Hourly rates can be more straightforward if it’s a small job or you have repeated tasks like tweaking a 3D blueprint. Project costs tend to be better for large designs. But make sure you discuss how many edits are included. 

Your best bet for finding a contractor with your ideal price point is to post a 3D designer vacancy or browse through freelancer profiles on a freelance site

How Much Does a 3D Design Cost?

We know prices can be a moving target, but it’s also very dependent on your sector and the scale of the project.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common 3D design jobs and their average costs. Bear in mind that it’s a ballpark figure, so you always need confirmed quotes before moving forward!

Costs Factors When Hiring a 3D Designer

The costs of a 3D artist will depend on your designer’s skill, experience, and, most importantly, the project time frame. Designers will need to know:

  • Whether you need a 3D design or a 3D printed model.
  • The complexity of the design.
  • What timescales are involved – a 3D design project will take a minimum of half a day.
  • How many revisions you want to include in the price.
  • Whether some design elements need industry knowledge – such as a detailed graphic for construction development.

Of course, it also depends on whether you have a full spec ready to go or want to upgrade the project as new ideas evolve. A flat project fee tends to start at $300 but can be around $2,000 for a 3D design.

Costs to Hire an Architectural 3D Designer

Architectural 3D design has transformed the way we perceive building plans. They’re a valuable resource for contractors or buyers who can visualize the finished building and identify potential pitfalls before a single brick is laid.

  • One-room remodel 3D designs usually cost $300 to $600.
  • A 3D design for a regular-sized kitchen is around $450 to $650.
  • Landscaping designs begin at approximately $650.

It may seem expensive, but you can save thousands of dollars in material costs by having an excellent 3D rendering and 2D blueprint.

Skimping on your designer costs won’t save you money in the long run!

Costs to Hire a Mechanical 3D Designer

If you need a 3D design for an invention or complex piece of machinery, we’re talking about a higher skill level – and price point.

Hiring an accomplished 3D designer to create product or equipment designs will often cost $400 to $500 a day, excluding 3D printing costs if you want physical renderings.

Costs to Hire a Graphic Animation 3D Designer

Our final category is graphic animation which that covers 3D designs like:

  • Clothes and fashion accessories
  • Business products and consumer goods
  • Promotional animation videos
  • Video game designs

An excellent 3D graphic animation showcases products or generates social media engagement leading to serious returns on your investment. Most graphic animation 3D design projects start at $1,000.

Should I Hire a 3D Designer at an Hourly Rate?

We’ve talked briefly about project prices vs. hourly rates. It’s often cheaper to agree on a fixed price, as a skillful 3D designer will want to invest as much time as they can to create a fantastic graphic. Likewise, hourly rates vary, and you’ll find an entry-level designer for maybe $30 an hour but pay multiple times that for a seasoned professional.

The best way to choose a great 3D designer is to look for someone who has the right skill level to achieve the design you need – any more, and it’ll break the budget. Any less, and your 3D design might fall short of your expectations.

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