Business Ideas for 3d Printing
Entrepreneurs take note: as and, there are more 3D printing business opportunities than ever before. If you’ve ever wanted to make money off your 3D printer, here are a 15 consumer-oriented 3D printing business models to consider.
From a consumer perspective, the beauty of 3D printing is that it completely blurs the lines between the traditional notions of ‘producers’ and ‘consumers, ’ leading to an entirely new category: the ‘prosumer’. Even today’s entry-level 3D printers, for example, empower makers to produce novel, commercial-grade products easily and affordably in their very own homes. Alongside the growing ‘prosumer’ movement are several distinct trends in consumer goods manufacturing. Today’s buyers demand mass customization, local production, and sustainable materials—all of which 3D printing can provide.
Even if 3D printing itself isn’t your forte, you could try your hand at creating a 3D modelling service or app. And if you’re short on resources, crowdfunding campaigns were practically designed to help get you on your feet. In short, there are plenty of ways to profit from the boom in 3D printing technology. Here are 15 creative 3D printing business ideas to get you started on a successful new venture:
3D Printing Business Idea #1: Create and sell 3D printed jewelry, home furnishings or decorations
This first idea for a 3D printing business might be the most straightforward and potentially even easiest on the list, though it does require a keen sense of style and a certain finesse. The idea is simple: create a 3D design, and sell it. With 3D printing, designers can create custom, unique jewelry, accessories or decorates that are beautiful, cost-effective, and highly marketable 3D printed goods. For example, self-trained artist Melissa Ng turned her passion for creative wearables into a successful via her shop, Lumecluster. Or, take a look at, LeFabShop’s, or fashion designer Kasia Wisniewski's . The options are endless. Once you’ve got a vision for your 3D printing business, commercializing is as easy as setting up a shop on online platforms like Etsy, or 3D printing-specific markets like i.Materialise.
3D printed jewelry from Melissa Ng
3D Printing Business Idea #2: 3D print customized video game characters
If you have a knack for not only playing video games but also creating your own video game characters, 3D designing and/or 3D printing customized gaming characters might just be right up your alley. Gamers invest a lot of time into creating their characters, and are often willing to pay for high-quality figures, meaning this could therefore be a very profitable 3D printing business. Case in point? Whispering Gibbon recently received six-figure funding for their RenderFab 3D software that .
3D Printing Business Idea #3: Become a 3D printed fashion designer
From 3D printed shoes, to 3D printed glasses, to 3D printed garments, starting your own 3D printed fashion brand could be a great way to put your maker and design skills to work and earn some money while you do so. Just look at fashion student Danit Peleg’s entire made on a desktop 3D printer, or mechatronics engineer Markus’ stunning for proof that it doesn’t take a whole fashion brand to bring 3D printed wearables to life.
3D Printing Business Idea #4: Open a 3D printed Selfie Studio
If you’re looking to get in on one of the hottest 3D printing consumer trends, you might consider starting a . Customers are 3D scanned to capture their individual and one-of-a-kind look, and then 3D printed into fun figurines. There is a lot of room for creativity, too: just look to these that can be fastened onto lego bodies for motivation.
3D Printing Business Idea #5: 3D print custom prosthetics or assistive devices
While 3D printed selfies are fun, the best business ideas are the ones that solve real world problems. There is a huge need across the world for lightweight and cost-effective prosthetics or assistive devices, and 3D printing technology has already proven to be the answer. The possibilities within the field are numerous, as we’ve seen within the realm of 3D printed prosthetic hands, whether they be, , or . There are also the areas of, , and custom that could be explored.
3D Printing Business Idea #6: Whip up some 3D printed food
Earlier this week we covered a story on how the is beginning to change the face of fine dining, so why not get aboard the train for what is sure to be a delicious, and lucrative, ride. Some of the most marketable 3D printed food products to date have been in the realm of 3D printed chocolate and candy, so that might be a good place to begin, though being a bit creative couldn’t hurt either. You could always open a bakery for instance! If you love cooking but don’t have the knack for it, consider basing your business on 3D printed cooking accessories, like this Kriszti Bozzai did with her custom .
3D Printing Business Idea #7: Become a 3D architect
For a larger scale business project, why not consider pursuing something in the field of architecture? To date, we’ve heard of 3D printing being used within the field in a variety of ways, from 3D printing building models to show clients, to to preserve them, to to make creative structures. For a particularly inspiring story check out how one creative maker . If you’re starting off in the field of 3D printed architecture, we suggest starting small by making scale models, and working your way up, perhaps one day even helping to 3D print an entire home!
3D Printing Business Idea #8: 3D printed maps
3D printed maps can be used to more fully depict the topographical features of a landscape (even that of !), thanks to their nifty use of the Z axis. Thanks to this added functionality, the commercial demand for 3D printed cartography is growing, so master the art of the additive atlas and get printing. Last year, Finnish firm Versoteq created these cool for Slush, a tech startup event. Follow Versoteq’s lead and propose a 3D printed map project to a large organization, business, or city, and you could soon have a powerful 3D printing venture on your hands. can also serve a more noble purpose: A number of 3D printing companies have started, using free, open source map data and 3D printing them with embossed streets and landmarks.