Did you know that 3D printing can be used to make money? You might not have thought of it before, but the truth is that there are many ways to use this technology for profit. You can find a commercial 3D printer in libraries, schools, and even some homes. If you want to get into this world of entrepreneurship and innovation, there’s never a better time.
Here are some ways you can make money from 3D printing.
- Provide Specialized 3D Printing Services
You can offer 3D specialized printing services to people around you. Some niches that require this kind of printing include shoe design, architecture, jewelry, and product development.
Before identifying your area of specialization, research and find out which of the niches would be profitable in your area. Niching down will help you be an expert in one industry.
- Sell Your Prints
People often want to buy the prints you make. Some people might be interested in buying a print of their favorite sports team, while others may just enjoy taking home an interesting design that they can put on display. The marketplace for this type of purchase is still developing, but many online shops already exist and are increasing by the day.
Some shops where you can sell your prints include MakerBot’s marketplaces, Shapeways, and Etsy. Make your designs easily customizable if you want many customer requests. Customizable designs allow customers to order a print that is just for them.
Some of the most popular items that sell well on these sites are jewelry, phone cases, video game characters (such as Minecraft), statues or figures of people, and animal figurines with customized faces. Some printing services charge per item rather than by volume. So, ensure you know what size will be best before uploading anything.
- Create Prototypes
Companies often use prototypes as a way to test their products and gather feedback from consumers. This is usually done through an in-house design team or by partnering with a designer. You can make money from prototyping either on a per-project basis, for example, $100/hour, or charge a flat fee of say $500. That way, you’ll give the company unlimited access to any new designs that you create during this period.
The best thing about making 3D prototypes is that you may not have to print the designs because you can use stereolithography or laser sintering methods. You may have to do some post-processing with the parts, but if you are not using this tool for production purposes,, that doesn’t matter.
Some people dislike printing because they think it’s wasteful. However, nothing is wasted when a design is being prototyped since there will be no need for them in the end product anyway.
Some tools also make it easier for users to share their templates online easily. That means you’ll be able to create more designs for free. It also makes access easier as anyone with an internet connection can download whatever they want whenever they want from wherever they are located. This leads to greater collaboration among designers on projects.
You can make lots of money from 3D printing. While some might think that it is just for toy purposes, there is more than meets the eye with this technology.