How to make money with a 3d printer

Making money with 3D printing is relatively new. In this process, you build a model of your product so that your printer can craft the item to your exact specifications. The advantages of 3D printing include the ease of use as well as the ability to produce one-off items without spending a fortune. Three-dimensional printers make great gifts that inspire entrepreneurship and creativity in consumers.

There are almost no limitations to the capabilities of your printer, including the ability to make a profit.

An excellent way to earn money while having a relatively low investment is to start a 3D printing side business. You will be able to find a method that works for you, from starting a blog to selling 3D items!

How to make money with a 3d printer

Different ways to make money with 3d printers 

In this article, we will examine some of the ways that 3D printers can generate income in 2021.

1.Print-On-Demand

It’s no secret that 3D printing has the potential to make money. Almost all of us have the idea of starting a print-on-demand service. One of the classic ways of turning a new hobbyist technology into a business is by making it an item for sale.

The logic is simple:

  1. 3D Printers are now more affordable than ever.
  2. Then, why not just purchase the cheapest model and offer 3D printing to anyone who wants it.

At first glance, the logic seems sound. But the falling prices of 3D printers have made this business one of the most competitive in the still-burgeoning 3D printing industry.

Following is a list of niches you can target with your 3D printing services:

  •  Prototype Services Contractors
  • Architecture Designers
  • Toy Designers
  • Miniatures for Tabletop
Pros
  • Standardize your process, so you can repeat it again and again
  •  Makes it easier to master one industry than to be a handyman
  •  You can become an expert in that area
Cons
  • Ignore other opportunities
  • You may have problems down the road if you choose the wrong niche

2. Pre-made 3D prints can be sold on Etsy

 Three-Dimensional print is one of the most popular products on Etsy. Etsy is a popular destination for 3D printing hobbyists and professionals, due to the large audience, it attracts.

Many of the inventors have made their names on Etsy, either selling custom 3D printed items or pre-made articles.

You can sell the following 3D printed objects on Etsy:

  • Planters
  • Vase
  • D&D miniatures
  • Freezing Bernie
Pros
  • An easy way to test your 3D printing idea
  •  Etsy has a large audience to tap into for free advertising
  •  Running ads on Etsy is cheaper than running Google ads
Cons
  • Building moats (competitive advantages) difficult.
  •  If you can’t differentiate, your profit margins will be low.
  •  Etsy has control over your business

3.Build and sell 3D models

Using your 3D printer continually is not the only way to earn money with 3D printing. Selling 3D models is also a great way to earn money!

If you have no design skills, this might be difficult. Fiverr and Upwork are two places where you can learn how to design or hire one. 

If you sell your 3D models to merchants or Etsy sellers, you’ll make more money because:

  • It will increase their profits
  • Due to your experience with 3D printing, they know that your model will work properly.
  • To make things easier for them, you might also include some support
  • Show them how it would look 3D printed, which makes it even easier to sell.

Here are some places where you can sell your 3D models:

  • CGTrader
  • MyMiniFactory
  • TurboSquid
  • Cults3D
  • Pinshape
  • Turbosquid
  • Skrimarket
Pros
  • Money can be made while you sleep
  •  it’s more scalable than running a 3D printing business
  •  Using a platform like fiverr, you can have your models created even if you are not a designer.
Cons
  • Your 3D model may have a hard time getting traction.
  • Supporting and marketing your 3D model requires a lot of work.
  •  Copyrighted designs cannot be sold.
  • It is possible for someone to steal and repost/resell your design.

4.Start your own YouTube channel

It is easier to say than to do. Content creation requires time, effort, and consistency. You might have trouble standing out amongst the many 3D printing-related YouTube channels.

We won’t stop you from starting your own channel, though. We’re here to let you know that you can make money with it.

Pros
  • High earning potential
  • Other than YouTube ads, you can also make money with your audience
Cons
  • There is no guarantee that your content will be seen.
  • Tags can be stolen by other accounts to expose people to unwanted content.

5.Provide a 3D printing course online

Selling an online course on 3D printing can be an excellent way for you to make money if you’re confident and have an interest in teaching others.

You need to determine a problem where people will pay money. There are 3D printing courses that people pay for on Udemy.

These may not include “how to operate a 3D printer” courses, rather they may be about “how to operate a profitable 3D printing business. Using this strategy, you’ll be able to attract clients who are willing to pay for better services.

Pros
  • Passive income
Cons
  • With so many free tutorials online, it might be difficult to make money
  • Making an online video course is not an easy task You need to demonstrate that you are an expert

Is 3D printing profitable?

It depends on the niche in which you operate. You may not make much profit if you’re 3D printing for a consumer because you’re printing for personal use. Cheap products are popular with consumers.

Due to the amount of labor required to finish just one job, you’ll barely cover your costs. On the other hand, if you help a client solve a costly problem that they have with 3D printing, they are much more willing to pay more to have it fixed for them.

You can also read about the best printer for Cricut here.

Conclusion

It’s easier than you might think to make money with 3D printing. Some methods are easier to monetize than others, but there are many ways you can do that.

There’s no better time to make money with your 3D printer than now. Whether you’re selling products online, renting out your printer, starting a 3D printing service, or teaching others how to 3D print, there are numerous ways to make money with your 3D printer.

The process of operating, designing, and building 3D printed items can take some time to learn, but once you have the skills, you can earn a decent income.

References

Roberson, D. A., D. Espalin, and R. B. Wicker. “3D printer selection: A decision-making evaluation and ranking model.” Virtual and Physical Prototyping 8.3 (2013): 201-212.

Ahmed, Waleed, et al. “Open source 3D printer: A case study.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, 10th Annual International IEOM Conference, Dubai, UAE. 2020.

Ventola, C. Lee. “Medical applications for 3D printing: current and projected uses.” Pharmacy and Therapeutics 39.10 (2014): 704.

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