Do you want to make money with 3D printing? You are in the right place.
3D printing has changed the way we perceive designing and manufacturing. It has created different opportunities for those that love trying out new things. If you carry out the survey, you will discover that 3D innovation has brought about many needs that lead to different models of businesses.
From buying the 3D printer to making great designs and selling the 3D pints, you can make money with 3D printing.
In this article, I will cover the best ideas and products that you can use and sell to make money with 3D printing. You can use any of these ideas and products to create a new source of income for yourself. Hopefully, they will also help you come up with new ideas.
1. Pre-Made 3D Prints
You can make money with 3D printing by selling pre-made 3D prints on Etsy.
Etsy is one of the largest online marketplaces for 3D printing. Many 3D printing hobbyists prefer Etsy due to the large audience it has. Some businesses have also carved a niche and also developed a brand for themselves on Etsy by selling pre-made items with some sort of customization.
Here are some pros of selling 3D printed products on Etsy:
- It is a quick way to know if your 3D printing idea is valid
- You will benefit from the huge audience Etsy has
- It is cheaper to run ads on Etsy than on Google
However, it has some cons which include:
- It is hard to have a competitive advantage
- Your business will be under Etsy’s control
- The profit margin is low for sellers that cannot differentiate
- There are lots of cheap clients on the platform
Some 3D printed products that you can sell on Etsy include the following:
- D&D miniatures
- Freezing Bernie
If you want to be successful selling pre-made 3D products on Etsy, you need to differentiate yourself. Here are some tips that will help you stand out on the platform:
- Offer something different that will make your product unique. This may be offering 3D prints of higher quality or custom finishing.
- Take photos of high quality.
- Don’t compete for price.
- Ask your satisfied clients to review your products.
2. Specialized 3D Printing
You can offer this as a service and you need to find a niche that you are comfortable with to be profitable doing this.
Some niches in which you can offer 3D printing services include:
- Toy designers
- Architecture companies
- Tabletop miniatures
- Jewelry designers
- Engineering firms
Some advantages of offering this 3D service are:
- You can easily generate repeatable business.
- It is easier to master one niche than trying to master all industries without any tangible result
- The process can be standardized
- You can easily become the go-to expert in your industry
Here are some drawbacks to this idea:
- If you choose the wrong niche, you may encounter problems later
- You will miss out on other opportunities
3. 3D Printing Business
You can also make money with 3D printing by starting a 3D printing business in your local area. It is difficult to start a 3D printing business.
Although you can generate high profits and focus on your local area will give you an advantage over online-based 3D printing businesses, however, the following cons are associated with the business:
- The market can be saturated
- It has high investment costs
- The demand is dependent on the market in your local area
- It is difficult to compete with 3DHubs, Shapeways, and other giants in the 3D printing business.
If you are lucky to be located in an area with a huge demand for 3D printing, then you can make huge profits from your 3D printing business.
I listed those cons not to discourage you but for you to know the risks associated with the business. Lots of 3D printing companies have closed down because they were not able to make sustainable profits.
There is a lot of work involved in fulfilling custom orders. If you don’t use an automated system, you may end up doing many back and forths with your clients. If you use one of these instant quoting systems, you may get low-quality jobs and lose customers in the process.
The best way to make money in a 3D printing business, especially if you’re running your business on a small scale, is to differentiate yourself from being a commodity.
You need to become more than just another 3D printing service. It may sound corny, but that’s the reality. Ensure you offer other services that will make your 3D printing service more valuable. For instance, you can make more money by offering unique 3D printing services like metal plating services for 3D.
If you don’t know how to offer these services, you can partner with a company that does. With that, you will be able to differentiate yourself from others and will also attract customers with unique needs.
Irrespective of the services you want to offer in addition to your 3D printing business (whether creating molds or painting), it is important to find the right customers.
4. Jewelry and Ornaments
Due to the high resolution and the affordability of photopolymer-based resin 3D printers, you can make pieces of jewelry crafter using lost wax casting.
For instance, you can design a ring and print it with a UV light-curing photopolymer wax. You can then use the wax to create a cast mold, and then burn it away when filling it with molten metal.
This craft requires some skill, but if you are creative, you can easily retail your line of exclusive, high luxury jewelry, especially if you have carved a niche for yourself. The most important factor in this type of business is to find a profitable niche. Then specialize in materials and designs that are needed in that niche.
This type of business is associated with high ticket products that can make huge profits. There are a lot of potentials for your business to be featured by niche publications and blogs. Also, you can easily persuade big influencers to promote your designs and attract more customers in the process.
Despite these benefits, this idea requires high setup costs due to the resin printer and rare metals that you will be using. You also need to be creative and skillful for this to be successful.
5. Nail Extensions
Great nail arts are not products of chance. They require lots of effort and imagination. People, especially ladies, now love playing with fake nail extensions. Nail products are a new world on their own.
The good news is that you can use 3D printers to create beautiful nail extensions at a cheaper rate and also resell them at a high price. Apart from being cheap to produce, nail extensions are also small and quick to produce. They also require small storage space and can be customized.
If you want to make some profits with little risk, then you can try out this 3D printing idea. You can use this idea to meet the series of needs of customers and can also help you have a good profit margin.
6. Fashion Accessories
You can make money with 3D printing by creating fashionable products like phone cases, earrings, pendants, and lots more. It is easy and fast to manufacture ornaments from 3D printing. Since the hoops are small and have lightweight, anyone can try making them at home.
Fashion accessories that are made with 3D printing have high resale value; you can sell them as a form of jewelry. Ensure you take care of the materials that you use in making those ornaments because they may react to some skins.
7. Product Mockup
You can also help other small businesses and designers to make money with 3D printing. Product mockups are compulsory for design professionals and students. This audience may be very busy as a result of their jam-packed schedule and they won’t be able to spare time to create prototypes for their designs.
Here’s where you come in as a 3D printing business person.
You can help your audience by bringing their creative creations to life while you sell them at a good price. If you use the best technologies and the proper 3D printing techniques, this business can give you high profits.
You need to have a comprehensive knowledge of coding, design, and technical skills so that you can provide the right 3D printing service with this idea. Also, don’t use low-quality materials so that the mockup can look great and perfect.
8. Architects’ Modeling
You can set this up as a service. It can also be an eCommerce business depending on how you view it. If you want to offer it as a service, you could offer architects high-quality and bespoke quotes to showcase projects in a physical 3D form and then print all the props custom.
If you prefer offering it as an eCommerce business, you could as well offer different buildings with various sizes and props for architects that want to show their projects as custom (but have a limited budget).
The building needs to be custom printed (a great upsell opportunity) but the surrounding buildings, as well as the setting, can be generic stock buildings.
To gain more profits, you can run the eCommerce and service sides of the business together. This idea is rapidly expanding and it has high levels of generating repeat trade from customers.
However, you need to have some level of design expertise. If you don’t, you can partner with someone who does and can do it at an affordable rate.
How Much Can You Make with 3D Printing?
It is difficult to determine the exact amount that you can make from 3D printing. Research estimates that 3D artists earn about $53,000 every year. But you can only make this figure if you do 3D printing work for corporations.
Is it illegal to 3D print and sell?
There is nothing illegal about printing and selling 3D products. It is safe and legal to sell 3D printed products on eCommerce platforms such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. People are making good money by offering 3D printing services on different sites.
Is 3D printing a good business to venture into?
Yes, the 3D printing business is a good business. People are attracted to 3D-printed products because of their uniqueness. They are also great for business due to the fewer amount of materials used and less waste generated. You can use any of the products or ideas in this post to get started.
How much do you need to start a 3D printing business?
You need between $1,000 and $10,000 to set up a 3D printing business. The actual cost will be determined by the type of 3D printer you want to use, the utilities, software, marketing, and rent (if you do not want to work from home).
Judging from what we have covered so far, it is safe to conclude that you can make money with 3D printing.
There are lots of ways you can do this, whether offering specialized 3D printing and product mockup services, or by selling 3D-printed products like jewelry and ornaments, fashion accessories, or pre-made 3D prints.
However, it is not easy to make money with 3D printing. You need to be smart and must also invest lots of hard work for you to succeed in this business.
Loved this post? Why not check out other money-making resources that I have for you on Tosinajy. You will find one or two ideas that you can use to make money from home.
Thanks for reading.