3D printers have been all the rage in recent years and you ’ ve probably seen some of the badly impressive items that come out of these things .
But did you ever think of looking into how to make money with a 3D printer instead of just looking on with awe at what it can produce?
There are actually several ways to monetize a 3D printer, whether you make money selling 3D models, offer 3D print products on requirement or a bunch together of other items .
thus if you think you have the skills to profit off your 3D printer – or are will to learn how – then keep interpretation to find out some options you may want to consider .
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How to make money with a 3D printer
1. Print items to sell online
many people make money with a 3D printer by designing and selling items on-line. There are many ways to make this exercise, but the most common manner to do so is to sell through Etsy .
With Etsy, you can create your own store where you list your products for sale. It ’ second easy to set up and take orders from customers on the web site, and Etsy takes a small cut of your gross .
Another choice is to make items for other sellers on Etsy. You could make products for them, or you could provide a avail like printing designs onto fabric that they will then sell themselves .
Both of these options are great if you ’ re looking to make money with your printer in the long-run – but it can besides be an effective means to make flying money in the short-run, excessively .
What can I make and sell with a 3D printer?
You can make anything with a printer. If you want to make money, think about what 3D print products are in demand and that people are will to spend their hard-earned cash on – and make them ! here are some ideas :
- Jewelry – This is an especially popular choice for crafters who have paper cutters or other tools that work well in small-scale manufacturing.
- Pet accessories – Dog and cat owners will be willing to spend money on products that make their pet’s life more comfortable! Just make sure you follow safety guidelines when producing things like collars and leashes.
- Etchings – Customized etchings make a great gift for creative people who are looking to commission someone (or just buy one) to make their own artwork.
- Mugs – These make for really personal gifts that will be well-received by many recipients. Add your logo, or give it as a funny gag gift with some hilarious artwork.
2. Launch a local 3D printing business
If you live in a major city, it might make sense to open up your own shopfront for local anesthetic manufacture. You ’ ll necessitate access to customers and lots of capital ( you won ’ t make much money at inaugural ! ), but if there is demand for this serve locally then you could make quite the success floor out of your business !
alternatively, you can make your services available to local businesses as a work from home plate side hustle. You work with them on a individual basis to make money 3D printing on demand, allowing you to offer customers the appliance of printing what they need .
This option is perfect for those who want an easier way to make some excess cash from time to time – you can be ampere involve or uninvolved as you like strictly based on how many orders you ’ ra bequeath to accept !
How do I start a 3D printing business online?
The first thing you should do is to launch a website for your new 3D printing business, as this will allow local customers to find you, see the services you offer and submit orders through your site. You should also consider speaking with a professional regarding the various financial and legal aspects to consider when starting a business.
If this all sounds a piece hard, take a look at this service offered by BetterLegal. For a flat tip, they’ll have your business up and running in two business days. All you have to do is spend five minutes filling in some forms and they ’ ll take care of the respite .
That is, you don ’ metric ton necessarily need to wait until all the fiscal and legal points are taken care of before locking in your world mention and launching your locate. In fact, it ’ sulfur best to do this a soon as you can if you have a detail business name in judgment, to make certain that no one else takes it .
And you can actually do both at once ! In fact, creating your web site is way easier than you probably think – and likely much cheaper if you choose to host your web site through our top choice, Bluehost .
Not only does Bluehost cost less than $3 per month, but you’ll get a free domain name just for signing up through them!
Find out more about Bluehost here .
FYI: even without any technical school setting at all, you can well launch your site in less than 20 minutes .
Check out our bit-by-bit guide on starting a web site to see just how to do it !
How much does it cost to start a 3D printing business?
The main cost involved in starting a 3D printing business will be buying the printer itself. This means that costs can vary up to around $10,000 depending on which printer you choose and other aspects, like whether you plan for your business to be online or brick and mortar, which can cost more with store-related expenses.
That said, depending on how you do this, there are ways to keep costs down at first. As note, hosting your site can well cost less than $ 3 per month. You can besides consider buying a more sanely priced 3D printer, just to see whether you can actually make money with a 3D printer before you invest in something more high technical school .
For case, the Elegoo 3D Printer is one of the highest rated on Amazon and is highly well priced. A number of customer reviews say that it’s excellent for beginners to 3D printing, so this could be equitable what your new printing business needs to get off the earth .
3. Sell personalized printed items
Personalized items make for antic gifts and are some of the best things to sell on Etsy. And now you can make them on demand with your own 3D printer !
You might think that this international relations and security network ’ t the best way of making money with a printer because of how personal these are – but if you ’ ra not running large scale operations then personalized prints will make for a nice small side bustle .
One of the most democratic is custom wedding items, like pieces that have the names of the bride and groom or the date of the marry, but this international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate precisely restricted to weddings – target things like this for any event !
You could besides make personalize Christmas crafts to sell, like ornaments with designs like names, words, handprints or footprints on your 3D printer, making these something that you can make money with on-line, excessively .
4. Offer 3D printer designs
There are batch of software programs out there which make it comfortable to make designs that you can then sell to others to use with their own 3D printers. These could be targeted at people wanting something for their own personal habit or for a occupation venture .
For model, you could make starship and rocket designs which people might want to use for their kids. Or, you could make more generic items such as animal models, toys or even earphone cases, desirable for both adults and children alike .
Models of characters from popular movie franchises make for an excellent way to make money with a 3D printer equally well, so keep this in beware when creating designs .
5. Start a blog on 3D printing
If you ’ ve got something to say on the subject of 3D printers, then this is one bang-up way to do it .
For example, your blog could be targeted at beginners who want to make their inaugural steps into the world of making things on demand with a 3D printer. alternatively, you could target a specific recess by helping people make a certain character of detail more easily or with more variety .
Thinking about starting a blog to make money?
Great choice! After all, it’s one of the cheapest online businesses to start at under $3 per month – less than a cup of coffee! In fact, that’s the price you’ll get if you launch your site with Bluehost, which is easily my top pick for the best website host for beginners to use. Not only will you get a free domain name, but you definitely don’t need any tech experience to get started.
To find out more, check out my simple step-by-step guide on how to start a blog as I show you the exact steps I took to start on the path to earning thousands of dollars every month – on the side of my full-time job! Great option ! After all, it ’ s– less than a cup of coffee ! In fact, that ’ s the price you ’ ll get if you, which is well my top pick for the best web site host for beginners to use. not only will, butTo find out more, check out mya I show you the demand steps I took to Bloggers make money through a number of different avenues, including being paid by companies to write web log posts on their behalf and running expose ads from sponsorships. You can make evening more when your readers buy products that they see advertised on your site – including, say, different types of 3D printers or even your own 3D prints that you ’ rhenium sell .
6. Create an online course teaching others how to do 3D printing
It ’ second not barely blogging that can make you money through your web site – on-line courses are a lucrative room of doing business besides. As with any run, it needs to be well designed and offer students measure for their time and investment in ordering to make the most come of money potential .
One great example is an on-line course teaching people how to make money with a 3D printer. You could make money by selling it on your web site or through platforms like Teachable, showing people how to make their own products and sell them for profit .
It might be worth considering partnering with other experts in the playing field to create something that ’ sulfur more change – such as potential courses on how to make dollhouses from start using a printer, or make your own jewelry .
7. Launch a YouTube channel or TikTok account about 3D printing
There are batch of on-line platforms which make it easy to make money from your hobbies and interests, with two of the most democratic examples being YouTube and TikTok .
Given you ’ re here learning about how to make money with a 3D printer, then the chances are that others will be interest in watching videos about the submit excessively – which is where you come in !
That is, you could make videos to teach others this like topic. alternatively, you could focus on hobbyists and show them how to get started with this as a founder or how to improve their 3D print skills, with unlike ideas on what they could create .
You might besides make money through your channel by running ads from sponsors, or flush make a living as an influencer .
Related: 6 Proven Ways to Make money on Snapchat
8. Sell specific 3D printed items at conventions etc.
If you make a few items and want to make money with them, then head on down to your local convention .
You ’ ll find batch of people selling their own designs at these events, so all you need is the right intersection – such as space-themed models for kids or something like that. You can besides make money by having person make a bespoke token for you for you to then resell, such as custom-make phone cases or custom figurines .
You could besides make extra cash by selling prints of your bespoke designs, which make it easy to show people what your wares look like before they buy. fair be aware that this may mean that they can copy you – which could be perfectly fine, ampere long as you don ’ thymine wish about any potential competitors in your recess .
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Can you make money selling 3D models?
You can certainly make money selling 3D models, not only by selling the models themselves, but also by selling the files for people to make models with their own 3D printers. Make sure though that if you plan to sell your files, you make a note of their license to make sure that you’re allowed to sell them.
For most people, specially if you don ’ t have something like an in-person convention for your item where you can set up a point of view, the easiest room to sell the models themselves is through sites like Etsy. Just make sure that your printer material is impregnable enough for this function and that it ’ s possible to ship these items without damaging them in transit .
9. Freelance with your 3D printing skills
Another room that you can make money with a 3D printer is by offering your skills for freelance study. It ’ south already a pretty niche market, but you ’ ll frequently find the best opportunities in fields where there are not many people who have your expertness, such as if you ’ re able to specialize in a certain item .
You should start by offering your services on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. That way, you can start to build your portfolio as a manner to attract more customers going forward .
Keep in mind that the means you make money with a freelance caper is by charging per hour or project, so make surely that your rates are competitive – specially if it ’ mho in an area where there aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate many people who have the skills .
It ’ s besides worth considering the possibility of hiring assistants for mercenary work – such as if you ’ rhenium looking at a project with many little jobs which could be completed simultaneously by person else, or if you make bespeak items which could be completed by person else. This can be a great scheme for allowing you to scale up your 3D print business .
Is 3D printing a good business?
Launching a 3D printing business can certainly be lucrative, given it’s still a growing sector so competition may be less than in other fields. The one issue is that there are higher start up costs than you’ll see in other side hustles, particularly relating to the need to buy and maintain the 3D printer as well as related materials.
That said, it can truly be fun, particularly if your focus is on products that you ’ rhenium passionate about, like from a particular fandom or making beautiful items for people ’ south weddings. There ’ south no point in making something which is unmanageable to make a profit on, thus reach sure it ’ second something that you enjoy and can see yourself doing for a while .
Is 3D printing expensive?
You’ll find that the expenses for starting a side hustle with a 3D printer can be slightly high at first, particularly in relation to buying and maintaining the hardware. You’ve also got to make sure you’re storing your materials somewhere safe so they’re not damaged between uses.
One thing which people much overlook is the monetary value of printing in terms of materials. It ’ south dependable that you can make money by selling prints but there needs to be a balance between the monetary value and the criterion of the materials to ensure you ’ re able to profit off your 3D printer without sacrificing choice. At the same time, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry if this takes some trial and error at first as that ’ south wholly normal .
What skills are needed for 3D printing?
The skills you ’ ll need to make money 3D printing count on the type of work you ’ re design to do. In general, though, you should aim to have at least the follow :
- Knowledge of how to use a 3D printer. Clearly, you can’t make money with a 3D printer if you don’t know how to use the machine in the first place, so get up to speed with how this works so you can start producing your pieces.
- Understanding of licensing laws. This is especially the case if you plan to sell pieces based on other people’s designs or even if you intend to sell your own 3D prints. Either way, understanding how licensing works and what you (and others) are able to do with these items will be critical to avoid legal difficulties down the line.
- Experience with 3D printer software. It’s not enough to know how to use the actual printer, as you also need to be able to use the software that works alongside it. That said, this is certainly something that you can play around with to learn by doing.
- Marketing skills. You don’t necessarily need to be an amazing salesperson to make money with a 3D printer, but some understanding of how marketing works will help to promote your products.
- SEO. Whether you plan to sell your pieces through sites like Etsy or to have an in-person business where people can find you through Google, knowledge of SEO is going to be critical. This includes things like knowing which keywords to use based on what people are searching as well as how to use them, to make sure that you’re one of the first results that people see when looking for 3D printing services.
- Creativity. While you can do 3D printing with other people’s prints, some creativity is going to need to be involved. This could be as simple as understanding which items customers often want printed for their weddings and other events, so you can focus your product line on these or expand when you see a gap in the market.
Can a 3D printer pay for itself?
Studies have found that a 3D printer may be able to not only pay for itself but even save money for households in only one year. This was based on the printer making just 20 household items, such as safety razors or shower curtain rings, in a 12-month period. This would thus also apply for 3D printers used commercially.
These findings are based on this study from 2013, meaning the engineering has decidedly improved ( and printer prices dropped ) since this was released. It suggests that even when aiming to make money with a 3D printer, it ’ randomness more than possible for the device to pay for itself with very few sales .
This means that when looking for how to profit off a 3D printer, you have a lot of options, meaning you should be able to get in the black relatively quickly. Of course, as with anything, there needs to be adequate provision and necessitate for what you ’ ra offering in order for this to work. For exercise, if you ’ re merely making items that appeal to niche markets or which are unmanageable to make profit on then don ’ t expect your printer will see any benefits from its practice .
On the other hired hand, if you make items which appeal to a wide scope of customers and can be made stingily then there ’ s a good gamble your printer will make back its costs in no time at all. This is particularly dependable for those who are looking to start their own business with these machines and therefore may be able to build up their customer list promptly .
Can you sell 3D prints on Amazon?
For those who make their own designs then Amazon is a great place to start selling these. However, if you are looking to sell someone else’s 3D prints, you’ll need to make sure that your design is not protected by copyright and that the relevant license applying to the print allows you to do this.
If it does have this protection or the license does not allow for commercial resale, then you should contact the original couturier and see if they ’ ra interest in providing you with license to sell their designs through Amazon .
alternatively, you could focus entirely on what ’ s called private tag selling. This is where you find a product that person else is offering for this purpose and then resell it under your own brand list. This means there won ’ metric ton be any copyright issues and the license should allow for commercial resale .
A fortune of people design items specifically for Amazon and then print these out to earn a profit, so there ’ s no reason why you should hesitate when considering doing the same .
Do you need a license to 3D print?
You need to make sure that you are not violating any copyright laws when considering how to make money with a 3D printer. This can be done by ensuring the license allows for the relevant products to be sold, including the license applicable to the underlying designs which may well be under these protections.
The ideal option is to find prints that are subject to one of the more flexible creative Commons licenses. This is when the license is available for anyone to use subject to certain light conditions ( like acknowledging the original generator ), allowing you to make your own products from this and parcel the results of this exercise with others .
You should besides look for any detail that ’ second under private label rights. PLR is when the rights to make the merchandise are sold by a third party so that you as the buyer can resell this under your own brand name. In this case, there ’ s no trouble with copyright protection ( subject to some conditions occasionally, like you can alone sell up to a certain amount of the item ) and you ’ re able to make a profit from these prints without any issues .
How long does it take to learn 3D printing?
Learning how to use a 3D printer will take at least six months for those who are beginners in this field, including learning how to use some of the major 3D modeling tools. However, this process is much quicker for people who are already familiar with CAD software and have some measure of technical know-how.
This means if you want the device to make a net income for you then it ’ s critical that you take the clock time to learn how they work and what can be done with them .
The basic skills needed are more straightforward than most people think : You ’ ll need to know your direction around CAD software, which is used to make designs in this field ; how to model objects using these programs ; how to make designs which can be used with a printer ; and finally, the basics of using any printing software. With some time and drill, there ’ s no rationality why you won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be able to master each of these .
How hard is it to learn 3D printing?
It isn’t excessively hard to learn 3D printing, but you do have to make sure you’re investing the time and effort into learning what’s required. In particular, close attention is needed to learning the finer points of how each machine works, including what to do if they fail or produce something different from what you expected.
There are a issue of 3D print courses with Udemy that you could consider taking. For example, depending on where you ’ re at in terms of your stream level of experience, take a expect at some of the top-rated ones like :
Final thoughts on making money with a 3D printer?
As you can see, making money with a 3D printer can be done in any number of ways, which is why it ’ second crucial to make certain you ’ re train and have the right skills before taking this on .
In particular, sites like Etsy make it easy to make money with a 3D printer by allowing you to sell the products you make there to a huge pool of potential customers. alternatively, you could try offering prints through sites such as Shapeways that allow anyone in the global to submit their designs. The locate takes wish of customer service and manner of speaking, so it can turn into a actually effective mannequin of passive income .
While there is a eruditeness curve, make surely you make it your goal to learn the skills needed to produce in truth quality work with your 3D printer and there ’ s no reason why you can ’ triiodothyronine flex this into a fun side hustle – or your entire business .
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About the author
Anna is the collapse of LogicalDollar and a personal finance technical, having been seen in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader ’ second Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo ! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She ’ second committed to helping others get on the path to fiscal exemption using the experience gained from turning $ 60,000 in debt into a booming investment portfolio. Find out more .