Since the cost of a 3D printer is quickly plunging, now is a great time to purchase one and start a business. While purchasing a quality 3D printer is simple enough, albeit somewhat expensive, figuring out how to make a good amount of money with a 3D printer is much more difficult.
Although more people than before own a 3D printer due to them being more affordable, very few people have figured out the trick to making good money with a 3D printer. Here are a few ways you can make a profit by starting a 3D printing business.
1. Custom-Designed Products
One of the best ways you can make money with your 3D printer is by selling custom-designed products. There are all kinds of products you can make and sell in bulk. With your 3D printer, you can make things like toys, iPhone cases, cuff links, mugs, jewelry, and art.
You may be wondering why people would even need custom-designed products. Typically, people need custom-designed products for advertising and marketing their business, products, and services. Businesses and organizations like to order lots of custom products with their name and logo on it. They then either sell these products at a very low price, or they give these custom-designed products away at events that they host.
For example, if a business is hosting a marathon, they may sell or give away custom-designed water bottles or even hats. A business doesn’t really profit from the initial sale. However, the people who purchased or received these products will ideally take them everywhere. This is a cheap yet effective way of advertising for many businesses.
While the owners of businesses will probably be the major customers of your custom-designed products business, other people will also need your custom product making services. For example, doctors and engineers will also need to have custom products made. People who are getting married or hosting a large party will order custom-designed wedding favors or party favors from you.
Also, if you’re willing to complete small orders, there will be people who will order a custom-designed product simply so they can have their name or a favorite quote on it.
2. Sell Items on EBay
Another way you can make money with a printing business is by selling things on EBay. There are many people on EBay who are making thousands of dollars by selling cheap, mass-produced products to people who need them. You can follow these seller’s footsteps by creating products and selling them yourself on EBay.
If the products you want to sell are unique, desirable, or on the valuable side, you can consider putting them on auction instead of having them available as “buy now.” That way, people can drive up the price of the item, so you can get the most money possible for your hard work. However, this will only work if your product is something people really want and if it will be hard for them to find a replica or something similar for cheaper.
3. Go Into Wholesale
Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes to successfully make a lot of money on EBay. Not only can it be difficult to actually sell things, but EBay’s relatively high fees will quickly eat into your profits. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to sell many things on EBay if you are just going to have to give up hundreds of dollars in fees at the end of the month.
Therefore, you should consider starting a wholesale type of business. Instead of selling the products yourself, you will simply create the products and sell them to other businesses for a low price. These businesses will then sell the products themselves on EBay, or they will sell the products on their websites or at their brick-and-mortar store.
Sure, you will make less money per product, but you will be able to focus all of your efforts on simply making the products. Once you find a business or two that is willing to purchase the products you make, they will most likely purchase everything you make. On the other hand, on EBay, you will need to have much more customers than just two in order to sell everything you have.
4. Do Prototype Work
Basing a business on a rehashed idea can make you money if you’re willing to work hard enough. However, these days, having a new idea is key if you want to have a really successful business. That’s why many business owners are trying to make, patent, and sell their very own products.
Before businesses can start producing and selling a new product, they need to have a prototype made. This is where you come in. Make money with a 3D printer by doing early prototype work for various local companies.
5. Renting and Per-Use Cost
While there are many people who own a 3D printer, most people don’t. One way you can make money is by allowing people to rent or use your 3D printer. You can charge a per-hour or even a per-day cost. Start your business by letting your friends and family use your 3D printer and then branch out to local companies. This option is excellent for people who have a 3D printer, yet don’t really know how to use it or don’t have the time to use it.
If you choose to rent out or charge a per-use cost for your 3D printer, you must invest in a good 3D printer, so people will be satisfied with the quality of the products.
Now that there’s plenty of easy-to-use software out there, 3D printers aren’t only for engineers anymore. Anyone who’s willing to take the initiative can purchase a 3D printer and start a business with it, especially since 3D printers are much, much cheaper than they were before. While the ideas listed above may be a little difficult to implement into a 3d printing business, once you get past the learning curve, you will be getting plenty of business and making lots of money.