How to Make Money with a 3d Printer

Introduction:

So, you always wanted a 3d printer but were unable to justify the cost associated with it. 3D printer not just adds to one of your cool gadgets, it can be a money-making investment if managed with the correct approach. 

Not everyone will be welcoming to your idea of investing in a 3d printer, as people do not readily understand its utility of it, and how it can be employed in the creation of a side income stream.

Investment in a 3d printer is not a bad bet, here we will discuss how you make money with your 3d printer.

How to Make Money with a 3d Printer in 2022

Where to buy a 3d Printer?

3d Printers can be bought at most of the popular e-commerce websites, selling electronic items. Additionally, the same can be bought from any of the specializing electronic stores in your town.

Many stores may not have it readily available but on placing a request they can get it easily arranged. 3d printers require specific materials that you need to buy along with them to start printing the stuff.

Depending on the type of Printer you have bought, you will have to buy compatible materials. Generally, 3d printers require PLA, nylon, epoxy resins, ABS plastic, and polycarbonate

How profitable is 3D printing?

When it comes to 3dprinting business, the selection of your target customers plays a quite important role in achieving profitability.

If you manage to position yourself as the go-to guy for clients who want to invest a decent sum of money for generating the model of what they want, then you can do wonders with your 3d Printing business.

But if you get stuck selling lower-cost stuff to retail consumers then you are directly competing against giants of the business and products available at eCommerce sites like amazon.

When competing for lo cost items it becomes highly difficult for an individual to be able to manage the cost-benefit.
So, if you target your customers right, it has an excellent profitability scenario.


Ways to make money using a 3D Printer (100 words each) 

Sell pre-made 3D prints on Etsy: (https://www.etsy.com/market/3d_printed_objects)

Etsy is well-known for being one of the greatest locations to sell homemade things, including 3D printed items. Modeling a three-dimensional object is an expressive, free-form craft comparable to sculpture or painting. 

When 3D modeling is translated into physical form, it has a mystical character since it comes directly from the mind.

Consider the creative possibilities that 3D printing may bring and seriously consider purchasing a 3D printer, even if simply to polish your design abilities.

On a basic level, aesthetic and high utility 3D printed products appear to do well on Etsy. While perusing Etsy, it's not unusual to come across 3D printed apparel and accessories, as well as jewelry.

On Etsy, these categories have a sizable market. Furniture and art are other wonderful sectors to target, especially if the print is one-of-a-kind or humorous. Lamps, iPhone covers, jewelry, dolls, and skulls are among the more popular 3D printed products on Etsy.

List of 3D printed products that you can sell on Etsy:

  • FIGURINES
  • DOLLS
  • LAMPS
  • VASE
  • PHONE CASES

Pros and Cons

PROS:
  • A cost-effective and faster method to test the waters for 3D printing ideas
  • Access to the customer base that already frequents ETSY
  • Almost negligible expense on marketing
 Cons:
  • Huge Competition
  • Operating Margins are thin
  • Lower chances of growth if business remains within the website
  • Difficult to penetrate the market

How can you stand out on Etsy?

Yes, it is difficult to build a customer base when there is already a high competition, but the same factor also gives an advantage, you can learn what customers like and dislikes about the product of the competition and build on the same.

  • 3d Print finish should be up to the mark.
  • The quality of raw material used should not be compromised
  • Ask for customer testimonials

Start a 3D printing business in your local area 

Like any other business, before starting a 3d business in your local area there is a need to do a required amount of market research.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgECxaxUIb0

Some of the questions that need to be answered are:

  • Is there a scope of 3d printing business in your area?
  • What is the type of customer base that you can operate with?
  • What is the pricing of the 3D printed products in your area as compared to places where the market is good?

https://howtostartanllc.com/business-ideas/3d-printing

If your area does not have identifiable 3d printing business scope then local area business should be put on hold and other avenues should be identified.

If you have ample scope then you need to identify the customers and work towards understanding the needs and pricing expectations so you can create a viable business plan.

Lastly, you need to understand if you will be selling the products cheaper or more expensive in the area, the higher the pricing better the profit margins for you.

Once you have established the business potential you will have to position yourself in the market, stating the reasons to be chosen among the competition.
 

And voila you have a viable business with you, just maintain the quality and focus on customer satisfaction and you can have long-term viability of the business.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • A better understanding of the customer base
  • Numerous Marketing plans can be employed
  • Advantageous over e-commerce only businesses
 Cons
  • Business is highly dependent on local shoppers
  • Facility investment
  • Unclear Market Depth
  • Difficult to compete with Existing experts

Offer a specialized 3D printing:

There are no limitations on imagination and 3d Printing is highly dependent on how you can imagine the product viability. 

The business model for 3d printing can be identifying the high selling product and venture into a similar kind of printing with cost or quality advantages.

But there is another part of the 3d printing business that has huge potential, one that involves selling specialized 3D printing offerings.

The business here can be built by identifying the potential and approaching the target customers with your unique offering that fits the customer requirements.

List of niches you can offer your 3D printing services to:

  • Building Models
  • Toy Models
  • Fixtures Models
  • Engineering Concepts

 Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Easier to build goodwill
  • Consistent Business possibility
  • Once the system is made, it becomes easier to model again
  • Industrial Relations
 Cons
  • Operating on a thin margin of error
  • Opportunity Cost

 Sell your 3D printing designs

The 3d Printing business can also be utilized with the ancillary avenues that it comes with. One among the same is selling of you own printing designs. 

A successful design can attract multiple sellers and can create a substantial amount of return without the risk of printing the same and blocking your working capital.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OiAEWiSPRI

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • A passive avenue to earn
  • No blocking of working capital
  • If you are good at designing It can give repeating business
 Cons:
  • High Competition
  • It takes time to build a reputation of your designs
  • Missing out on a sizeable opportunity
  • Chances of theft of design

Start a YouTube Channel

Nowadays, people refer to youtube for almost everything. With time at hand and expertise in explaining things in the simplest possible way can generate an excellent avenue for you as a YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_7aK9PpYTqt08ERh1MewlQ

The avenue is already bombarded with channels, to stand out, you need to add elements that catch viewers' attention with some actual value addition to the skills they possess.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Scalability
  • High revenue scope
  • Reputation
Cons
  • Difficult to gain popularity
  • Requires time and effort
  • Rent your 3D printer for events

It all depends on the viability of the business, renting a 3D printer for a kid’s birthday party may not be an excellent idea. But renting a 3d printer at an auto expo selling miniature versions of cars can give an excellent result.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Side Income
  • Building connections
Cons:
  • Wear and Tear
  • Difficult to judge which event can be profitable.

Marketplaces to offer your printing service

Shapeways: (https://www.shapeways.com/)

One of the leading 3D printing marketplaces in the world. The platform offers huge potential for 3D designers and Printers.

They can register on the website and offer their product or services to potential consumers.

Shapeways offers a wide collection for their prospective consumers.

Fiverr is one of the popular platforms for freelancers to approach for various projects posted on the platform.

Among the wide array of projects offered and the possibility to showcase your products and services,

the likeliness to be matched with a potential customer or an interesting business is not farfetched.

An e-commerce platform with a focus on providing a specialized platform for varied products and services in the global space.

The platform aims at bringing together the online designing of products to the physical forms with an emphasis on 3d Printing.

It lets the seller of products and services register and offers the same to potential customers.

3DHubs: (https://www.hubs.com/)

3Dhubs offers you an opportunity to register as a manufacturing partner providing a variety of listed services.

It is a concentrated marketplace with a customer base, and its presence across the world helps in building its reputation.


MakeXYZ: (https://www.makexyz.com/)

It is a platform that connects the customers requiring 3D designs and printing with the people who are providing the same.

You can register with them and build your business. 

The platform has a variety of offerings that makes it easier for consumers to frequent the website.

Cost of a 3D Printer

Prices for 3D printers vary from around $200 to $500,000+, depending on the printing technique, materials, and complexity of the 3D printing product.

The type of 3D printing requires differs, some processes require Plastic 3D printers whereas some complex ones require Metal 3Dprinters.

Best 3D Printers for Beginners:

Da Vinci Nano ($189)

The da Vinci nano was created to make 3D printing more accessible to everyone. Its small size and portability make it an ideal 3D printing partner for beginners.

The small weight of the printers makes it ideal for novices who may require frequent changes. Furthermore, the secure printing locations make it even more profitable.

Flash Forge Finder ($299)

Forge finder is one of the most economical and simpler 3Printer that one can find for beginners. It is super quiet and safety features stand out among its peers.

When a new user starts using the printers, in no time one can adjust and gain mastery over the printing techniques.

Monoprice Select Mini ($220)

Again, a printer specifically designed for beginners, the design of this printer is as straightforward as they come. It is a printer that just does what it is designed for and nothing else.

If you want to start building 3d models with the real feel of 3D printing as a beginner it is an excellent choice.

Ideas for things to print and sale  

From babies to adults you will find everyone requires something or the other that is printed using a 3d printer, it is up to your imaginations and ability to print different ideas. Here is a list of a few simple items that one can print:

  • Toys
  • Figurines
  • Lamps
  • Phone cases
  • Fridge Magnets
  • Coasters
  • Bowl
  • Planters
  • Pencil holders
  • Spectacle cases
  • Mobile phone holder

How to make money with 3D printed items offline?

Fairs and craft shows:

Fairs and craft shows are excellent places to sell, different 3D printing products. It can be an excellent way to showcase your 3Print quality sand finish.

Depending upon the type and size of fair and craft show one should design, price, and sell the products.

Garage sale:

Generally, people look for cheap and easy-to-buy items in a garage sale, it can be an effective way to sell 3 printed items there.

Small toys to many other items listed all can be a viable items to sell at these events and generate some quick buck.

Where to sell your 3D printed items online:

So, you have bought a 3D printer and have tried a few prints for yourself. If you see the quality of your finished product, is impressive enough to be sold in the real market, then you should go out and try to sell.

There are two options to start selling 3D printed items:

  1. 1
    Start a store of your own in an area where you find it comfortable and see the potential for sales. Opening a store can be expensive, if you do not want o do so, you can partner with a few sellers in the area and test the waters. 
  2. 2
    If you lack time to print and then market the products yourself then various available online channels can be the optimal solution for you. Some of the popular e-commerce partners for 3D printed items are:
  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Social Media

CONCLUSION

With a correct approach and ability to print quality items, a 3d  printing nature can be a successful way to earn side income and with time it has the potential to become a full-scale business.

If you always wanted to buy a 3D the printer now is the time.

FAQs

Is 3D printing a good side hustle?

Yes, 3D printing can be an excellent side hustle, if you possess the required imagination and a knack to identify items that will sell.

The business has huge potential and the ability to create what is being demanded to make good money.
 
How can I make money with 3D?

There is a variety of ways to make money utilizing your 3D printing skills. You either start production or sell online/offline. 

Additionally, you can start providing service of your designing skills by selling your designs or making a YouTube channel.
 
What 3D prints sell the most?

3D prints that sell the most are trend-dependent. Still few of the items that always have topped the list are Dungeons and Dragons miniature figurines, Mini lamps, and Movies derived items.

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