How to Make Money With a 3D Printer
75% of all 3D printing users are SMEs. Not so surprisingly, 93% of the firms that used 3D printing gained a competitive advantage in their respective industries.
3D printing has come a long way over the past decade or so. It’s not a hobbyist’s market anymore. Businesses and entrepreneurs use a 3D printer to make money today. They are employing 3D printing in creative ways to augment their sales and marketing efforts to fulfill their business goals.
Here are some ideas for 3D printer owners on how to make money with a 3D printer.
Rapid Prototyping Services
There was a time when 3D printing jobs came primarily from construction, engineering, and architecture firms. Today, there’s a burgeoning demand from a variety of industries, including dental firms, medical firms, and aerospace players. These businesses constantly need on-demand 3D printing services and pay good money for high-quality 3D models.
Interestingly, many of these firms may already have in-house 3D printing capabilities, or a third-party 3D printing contractor to assist them. So, it’s quite possible that they may be interested in just the designs. If you are a 3D designer, this can open up a huge market for you.
Sell 3D Printed Products
The era of mass-manufacturing and outsourcing has made it difficult for niche product owners to find parts and replacements. Even when they are available, they may be too expensive.
More importantly, there’s a thriving market for personalized, one-of-a-kind products. 91% of the consumers prefer to shop from brands that offer personalized products.
3D printing offers 3D printer owners several ways to make money with a 3D printer by creating and selling unique, personalized, and low-volume products that aren’t easy to find for customers. Platforms like Etsy and eBay have turned into thriving markets for this category of products.
Some product ideas along these lines are as follows:
- Drones, RC Planes, and Accessories
- Accessories for retro products such as Raspberry PI, older Nokia phones, and so on.
- Movie-grade props and cosplay
- Nerf gun accessories
- Jewelry and ornaments
- Nail extensions
- Figurines, cups, vases, and so on.
3D Printing Courses
There is a huge and growing interest in 3D printing. Students, especially those pursuing 3D design or printing, are actively looking for reliable resources to learn the ins and outs of 3D printing. Hosting online courses on 3D printing for a fee allows you to create a sustainable revenue stream. By giving your students lifetime access to course materials, you make it possible for them to learn 3D printing at a pace that suits them.
If you have any industry projects to offer them, that can be a massive shot in the arm to your courses’ value offering and will attract an even larger number of students.
Become a Freelancer
If a business offers a product or a service, there’s likely a freelancer offering the same for a lower price. Startups, SMEs, and even executives at larger businesses are always looking for reliable freelancers that offer affordable 3D printing services.
You can list your 3D printer on freelancing sites, describe your services, and start making money with a 3D printer right away. 3D Hubs, MakeXYZ, MyMiniFactory, CGTrader, and Cults3D, are just some of the freelancing websites that allow you to get started today.
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