We are all familiar with traditional 2D printing-printing documents on paper, such as letters or memos. 3D printing is the process of making stereoscopic three-dimensional objects from digital files. In this post let us learn to make money with 3d printer.
Introduction to 3D Printing
With the latest developments in this technology, people can print everything from hearing aids to furniture and other design products. The best part is that it requires less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
Today, 3D printing is mainly an interesting (if expensive) hobby, or an important part of the company’s industrial supply chain. But research companies predict that the field will develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry in the next five years. Is this an opportunity that you can take advantage of? I am the editor of Master, NewMarketMaster.Com. If you are interested in developing a 3D printing business, this video will help you introduce the basics and start a business. Now, let’s see how to make money with 3d printer.
Creating a Business to Make Money with 3D Printer
Step 1: Cover the entrepreneurship basics
Whether your hobby or side hustle is 3D printing or anything else, if you want to make it into a business, you need to cover some of the basics. We’ve got a comprehensive guide on the 10 steps you need to take when starting a business. Find the link at the end of the blog post. But I’ll put out the high-level stuff for you right now.
You need to write a business plan.
This means doing market research, selecting a certain 3D printing niche (more on this in a second), understanding how much funding you need to get started, and planning for how you’ll grow, where you’ll find customers, etc. This is where you write the story of your business from beginning to end, as you see it today.
Choose your business’s legal structure.
Will you be an LLC, S-Corp, or sole proprietor? There are financial and legal benefits to each. Register your business. This includes registering a business name, getting a tax ID number, and registering for state and local taxes.
Some of what you’ll need to run a 3D printing business isn’t cheap—like the printer. Do you have the cash on hand to pay for your startup investments? If not, where will you get your funds? Friends and family? A startup loan? Time to start researching this.
Get some business financial tools.
Look for a business credit card and business bank account so you can separate your business and personal finances, and the money your business makes has a place to live. There’s more to this process, including potentially finding a storefront and hiring employees, but let’s move on to the next steps, since they’ll dictate the size, scope, and details of your 3D printing business.
Now that we are clear with the business and legal process, let us look at other pillars that let us make money with 3d printer.
Step 2: Choose your niche
You can print all kinds of things with a 3Dprinter—but that doesn’t mean you’ll print everything. Industries that use 3D printing include automotive, aviation, and aerospace. As a small business owner starting out in this arena, you’re probably not going to 3D print on that scale (though that could be an option for the future as you grow).
To start, pick a field where you see an opportunity to serve consumers or other businesses. That could mean designing and printing consumer products like eyewear and jewelry, or healthcare products like crowns and dentures. If you need some inspiration, the Fundera team put together a list of 3D printing business ideas, covering everything from custom-made tools and rare parts to sustainable fashion and collectibles. Find the link at the end of the blog post.
Choosing your niche
The niche of 3D printing that you choose will dictate everything, of course—but most pressingly, it will dictate the materials you need, the printer you use, and other important startup investments.
Step 3: Select your software
As you probably know, a major part of 3D printing is building 3D models, and you can’t do that with Microsoft Paint. You’ll need 3D modeling software that is robust enough for business use. When getting started, you can find open source and otherwise free software with really simple tools and features to help you get a handle on how to design 3D models. Well-regarded, popular options include Tinkercad, Blender, and Design Spark Mechanical. As you start to make money with 3d printer using free tools, you should upgrade to professional tools to grow.
Free vs Pain Software
Eventually, you will want to upgrade to a professional version of certain softwares or industrial grade software, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year in licensing fees. These fees will be worth it—the paid software options will have incredible capabilities and tools that help you model, animate, and render professional-level products.
You may also need “slicing” tools, which is software that takes a CAD model, slices it into layers and turns your model into G-code. Your 3D printer reads this G-code and prints the model layer by layer. Does all of this sound confusing to you? It may be worth it to invest in a training course on 3D modeling and animation so you can understand how to best use the tools available to you.
You’ll save yourself hours of trial-and-error in the long run. Look into local courses or research what’s available online.
Step 4: Invest in your hardware and materials
In order to 3D print, you’ll need a 3D printer, as well as the materials necessary to create your products. You have two options here:
- Turn to a third-party printer
- Invest in buying your own.
In the former scenario, you become something of a 3D printing middleman; in the latter, you handle all the production yourself.
Buying your own 3D Printer
If you want to buy your own printer, consider questions such as how many items you’ll typically need to print, the scale of those options (are they small, like eyeglass frames, or large, like entire homes?). How detailed your creations are, and what material you’ll use.
Different printers will use different processes and require different materials. There are a handful of different methods you can use to print
They include — Vat Photopolymerisation, Material Jetting, Binder Jetting, Material Extrusion, and others. In order to decide the process for you, check out 3Dprinting.com’s rundown of each printing process.
No doubt the product you’re looking to print will dictate what process you use.
Step 5: Begin marketing your business and making connections
You’ve got your printer, your software, your materials, and your ideas. The last part of starting a 3D printing business is the part where you, you know, do business. You need to find customers and clients to sell your products to.
Right now, the market is fairly limited for straight up selling wares from your 3D printer. It will be difficult to compete on price with products manufactured and sold by larger firms. You may be able to carve out a niche selling specific items, such as customizable earbuds or artwork.
To market these items, you’ll need to set up an ecommerce site, and use a mix of traditional and digital marketing (including email and social media) to get the word out about your business.
Networking and Connections
If you’re looking to create a B2B business, attending trade shows, using direct mailers, and cold calling are just a few of the ways you can drum up business.
3D printing may also just be one part of a larger business you have, which you use to complete custom and unique orders. 3D printing is still coming into its own, so prepare to play the long game when it comes to finding profitable ways to use this emerging technology. That does it for our rundown on how to start a 3D printing business.