With the world digitizing every day, even the way to make things has become digitalized. One such latest and most popular way of making things is 3D printing.
3D printing is all about making a physical object from a digital design.
All those tech-savvies who are intrigued by this technology of printing objects and looking out to make money through this, we are happy that you are at the right place.
3D printers have attracted a huge market after the inception of this new method of producing things.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to make money with this latest and most profitable device, i.e., a 3D printer.
Before diving into the article, scroll down to have a look at some basic things, you need to know about this money-making method.
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Best Things To 3D Print & Sell
The name 3D printing itself depicts that you will be producing a 3-dimensional object.
You can print anything from miniatures to toys and coasters to jewelry using a 3D printer. Few of the popular things that can be printed and sold out include:
- Camera sliders
- Flower vase
- Building models
- Key holders
- Planters and many more.
How To Sell 3D Printed Products?
While there are many 3D-printed items to make and sell, it’s important to know how to sell them.
There are 3 popular ways to sell anything these days. You can use any of these three methods to sell your 3D-printed products. They are:
- Sell through your physical store
- Selling on your online store
- Listing your products on eCommerce platforms such as eBay, etc.
Another way to sell your 3D printed products online is to use dedicated 3D printing platforms. Such platforms allow you to design, upload, print, and sell your 3D-printed products on their websites.
A few of them are:
You can improve your sales by spreading the word online through different social media platforms.
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How Much Can You Make With a 3D Printer?
This young and new market technology of 3D printing is one of the most promising ways to make money. Hence, owning a 3D printer can be one of the greatest assets nowadays.
The potential of making money with a 3D printer depends on various factors such as your niche, skills, experience and the product you sell, its quality, etc.
However, with everything in place, this is a great source to make some lucrative amounts ranging anywhere between 5 to 6 figures income per annum.
How To Become a Skilled 3D Printer?
Being skilled and experienced can take you a long way in this industry. Before discussing how to become a skilled 3D printer, here is a list of a few skills you need to have to make money through it.
- Knowledge of operating the printer: Learn all the techniques involved in running and printing things using the 3D printer.
- Software Knowledge: This will help you better your designs.
- Comprehend the licensing laws: Avoid legal difficulties while selling by understanding the license laws.
- Marketing skills: To reach more people, good marketing is mandatory.
- Creativity: Make your products stand out to attract more sales.
- SEO: Basic SEO skills such as keyword research will help your website show up at the top of search results.
So these are some crucial skills you need to have to make money through 3D printing. Now read further to know how you can shape yourselves into a better 3D printer.
Keep Making New Products
You can make new things apart from the products you usually sell so that you can learn more techniques involved.
For example, if you make phone cases, try making other ones like earrings or keychains to hone your design as well as your printing skills.
Take Your Time
Experience comes with time. Give yourselves as much time as you need to learn new things and polish your skills.
This will not turn you into an outstanding 3D printer but also teaches you the art of patience which is the key to success while designing micro prints.
Keep Up With The Trends
Learning and updating yourself with all the new trends in the field is important to become successful in this industry.
3D printing has already gone through several upgrades in this short span since its inception and continues to evolve. So keeping up with all the new developments is mandatory.
Using new materials and printers will help you expand your knowledge about 3D printing. You will also be able to figure out which material and printer are suitable for making a certain product.
You need to work on these things to become a pro-3D printer. It may take time to be well-versed in this art of 3D printing, but with time and practice, you can outperform yourselves.
Ways To Make Money With a 3D Printer:
Now that you have a clear insight into the hows and whats of 3D printing, here are some profitable ways to make money with a 3D printer.
1. Create And Sell 3D Printed Products
With the right knowledge and skill, there is no limit to the variety of products you can create using a 3D printer.
As mentioned above, you can create a whole lot of products, such as jewelry, pottery, caricatures, etc.
Create certain unique products, stock them up and post them for sale on your website. You can also sell them on eCommerce websites such as Shopify.
Choosing a product that people will need and are ready to pay for will help you scale up your business.
This option could be great for beginners to enter this industry smoothly while making good money.
2. Create And Sell Personalized 3D Printed Products
People love to present personalized products as gifts. It is also the current trending style of gifting.
The global market for personalized gifts is projected to reach a revised size of US $43.3 Billion by 2027, based on research and markets report.
Take advantage of this demand and turn it into cash by offering your customers personalized 3D design and print services.
Depending on the customer’s idea, you can make a whole range of things like name tags, ornaments with specific letters or codes, etc.
3. Sell Pre-Made 3D Products On Etsy
Another way to make money selling 3D-printed products is to sell on Etsy.
Etsy is the most happening stop to sell and buy handmade products. The recognition and sales an artist can draw through this platform are amazingly high.
Use this platform to sell the 3D products that you have already made, maybe out of your hobby or to learn, etc.
4. Become a 3D Printing Technician
A 3D printer is an expensive device, and users go for repair whenever there’s an issue internally instead of buying a new one.
You can cash this opportunity if you are familiar with the technicalities of the internal parts of a 3D printer and its working.
Indeed a job-finding platform quotes an approximate hourly rate of $22.36 for a 3D printing technician.
5. Design & Print Phone Cases
Phone cases are one of the most used accessories nowadays, and one can easily predict their demand.
However, here are some actual figures of how demanding mobile phone cases are.
The Grand View Research estimates that the global mobile phone protective cover market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2019 to 2025 to reach USD 35.5 billion by 2025.
Youth is a major part of this demanding market. They keep looking at and updating their phone cases frequently according to the latest trends.
So you can use your 3D printing skills to design attractive phone cases and make money.
6. Print Cups, Mugs
Another item that you can make using a 3D printer to make money is pottery items such as cups and mugs.
Cups and Mugs are daily household essential articles and the most used ones regularly.
You can create them in pretty designs and make them pleasing for customers to have on their dining tables. You can also design and print according to your customers’ ideas.
7. Flip Broken 3D Printers
As we already mentioned, 3D printers are quite expensive, and you can always take advantage of this point.
You can sell them at a comparatively lower price but still, make profits out of it.
Simple, you can buy damaged 3D printers, repair them with your skills and flip them in the market for some profits. If you have a broken 3D printer at home, you can do the same.
If the printer is too damaged to put together for work, you can fix the spare parts and sell those parts separately.
8. Rent your 3D Printer Out
Not all of us need to know about 3D printing to make money with a 3D printer. Here’s a way to earn money without actually operating your 3D printer.
If you can invest in buying a 3D printer, then buying and renting it out could be a great source of passive income for you.
This is a win-win deal for both parties because those who can’t afford to buy a new one can rent it from you, and you can make money through their requirement.
You can rent it by listing online by attaching all the required terms and conditions. Some online rental platforms for you to list your products are:
Related Articles: 33 Most Profitable Things To Rent Out For Money (2023).
9. Sell Digital 3D Prototypes & Designs
Businesses need a prototype of their product before launching it or producing it bulk. However, this may not be beneficial, especially for start-ups to produce a single in a firm as it costs high.
So they usually look for someone who can help them out with this. You can fill that gap by printing the prototype they need using your 3D printer.
You can also offer to design prototypes and strike deals with companies to launch your line of products with them.
Earning potential is as much as $500 per project.
11. Start a 3D Printing Business
People and businesses need a lot of products in day-to-day life. You can cater to their needs by setting up your own 3D printing business.
You can print anything or as many things as required by your customer and charge them accordingly.
Starting from different tools for businesses to household essentials, you can print and sell anything to make money as per demand.
You may require the following two important things to start your 3D printing business.
- A 3D printer
- A business website
12. Teach 3D Printing To Others
With the 3D printing industry booming, many like you might be interested in making money with a 3D printer.
If you are well versed with the software and the specifics of 3D printers, you can use that knowledge to teach others the same.
You can offer your teaching services in three different ways. They are:
- One to One consultation: Guide them through their doubts about the 3D printing business or equipment usage.
- Offline classes: Offer classes locally on a variety of topics related to 3D printing.
- Online classes: You can gather students to teach 3D printing online through platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, etc., from the comfort of your home.
13. Offer 3D Designing Services
Many businesses or companies might require someone to design a 3D model of their product. You can offer your services to such companies and make some money.
This is similar to offering the 3D printing services we discussed above, but in this case, you will be only offering designing services exclusively.
By offering 3D designing services, you will be making money without technically owning or needing a 3D printer. All you need is a computer and the specific software.
You can also offer freelance 3D designing services by building a portfolio on freelance job boards such as Fiverr.
14. Record 3D Printing Videos & Post Them On YouTube
YouTube is the go-to source for people to know visually about “how to do something.”
A report published in Forbes shows that one-third of 1000 US consumers surveyed would like to buy a 3D printer and 65% of them are interested in creating and printing customized items for their homes.
You can monetize this demand by using YouTube to record and post everything you know about 3D printing starting from basics, one topic, one video at a time to help those interested to learn.
Engaging and straight-to-the-point videos do well, therefore helping you gain traction.
Once you gain traction, you can keep earning passive income through each well-performing video in the following ways:
- Affiliates from 3D printing manufacturers
- Brand Sponsorships, etc.
15. Blog About 3D Printing
Blogging is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make a lucrative income.
If you are somebody who can write well and have an acquaintance with 3D printing, you can start a blog to share your knowledge about the same through your blog posts.
Nowadays, starting a blog is as affordable as buying a cup of coffee. So you can easily start blogging to make money with your 3D printer.
You will need the following things to start a blog.
- A niche
- A domain name that stands out
- A web hosting platform such as Bluehost
- Some plugins to make your blog interactive
With everything in place, you can start making money six figure income once your blog gains good reach. Experts proved this goal could be possible in just a few months with good content and strategy.
A few ways you can monetize your blog include:
- Sponsored posts: write guest posts for websites/companies in your niche.
- Affiliate marketing: gain some commission when someone buys a 3D printer of your recommendation.
- Displaying ads: earn through advertisements that run on your page.
- Online Store: direct your readers to purchase your products.
If you still wonder if it is possible, I am a live example, and you can always check out my blog income report here.
16. Make 3D Printing Reels On TikTok & Instagram
As you all know, TikTok videos and Instagram reels are basically short videos of a length of 60 seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes. Such short videos are the most consumed form of content these days.
If you can’t invest your time in shooting a lengthy video, you can create and post short, crisp videos about 3D printing on these platforms.
TikTok and Instagram creators with a good number of followers and reach can earn income through affiliates, sponsored posts, etc., similar to YouTubers.
17. Review 3D Printers
As we mentioned earlier, 3D printers are costly, and many brands and a variety of them are available in the market.
This abundance might create confusion among consumers, such as “which one is the best?”. You can get them out of this ambiguity and help them choose by providing reviews of the 3D printers.
You can do them through your YouTube videos, social media platforms, or blog.
18. Create & Sell Home Décor Items
People love decorating their houses and are ready to spend a good amount of time and money on products that improve the ambiance of their homes.
Hence creating and selling home decor items can be a simple way for you to earn money with your 3D printer.
You can create a lot of products such as plant holders, wooden frames, wall art, hanging flower vases, miniature show pieces, and the list goes on.
Aesthetically pleasing things are usually sold out quickly in the category.
19. Create & Sell Online Courses On 3D Printing
We have already discussed offering 3D printing classes. One more similar option to earn using your 3D printer is to create and sell online courses.
Share your knowledge by fabricating a valuable course on 3D printing that enthusiasts are looking for and make money.
One can make money with online courses these days ranging from $1000 to $100,000 per annum.
Marketing is the key to attracting more buyers to your course. Using words like profitable, earn this much, etc., in your course name can help with reach.
You can sell these courses on your website.
There are platforms that allow you to create and sell online courses, making it easy for you. Some of such best platforms are:
So this is a list of some unique and profitable ways to make money with a 3D printer in 2023. We hope you found one that is suitable for you from this list.
Continue reading further to learn more about 3D printers and 3D printing.
How Much Does A Quality 3D Printer Cost?
If you need a 3D printer for your hobby, you can consider buying one for around $300 to $500. But usually, professional 3D printers start at $1500 and can be around $10,000 or more.
The price of a 3D printer device depends on several factors and increases with all the features it offers.
Some of the important features you need in a 3D printer that also affect its price are:
- Speed: To produce in bulk or any urgent consignments, you will need a printer that prints fast.
- Resolution: To print objects with good detailing and high-quality finishing.
- Multi-colored printing: To print a product with a mix of colors. Usually, multi-color printing slows down the printer, so it requires you again to have a high-speed printer.
- Build Area: The bigger products you want to print, the bigger the printer you need.
Considering all these factors and purchasing a 3D printer with all good features will help you professionally because this is something you can’t keep buying.
Where To Buy A 3D Printer?
3D printers are available anywhere, from local craft stores to online platforms such as Amazon. You can also find them in electronic stores or hardware shops.
Apart from the 3D printer, you will also need the printing materials, which are also available at local and online craft shops.
Some of the most commonly used printing materials are epoxy resins, ABS plastic, nylon, polycarbonate, etc.
Best 3D Printers Available For Beginners
3D printers come in all sizes and shapes. Some of them are enough for homes, while some of them are for professional 3D printing purposes.
For those of you who are looking to start 3D printing, it might be quite a task to choose from these whole lot of options available.
Don’t worry; we have compiled a list of 3D prints that are best for beginners.
1. Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer
Priced at $339, this 3d printer creates quality prints and is easy to use to assemble/dismantle. These features make it a great option for beginners.
Moreover, it is also compatible with different printing materials such as PLA, ABS, and PETG plastics.
- Print speed of 180mm/s
- Removable magnetic print bed
- It can be thorny to deal with the printing bed
2. Da Vinci Nano
This is a lightweight, portable 3D printer that comes preassembled.
It is quite flexible for beginners as it comes with auto leveling software, an auto-feeding filament system, and a making setup. This is available at $230.
- This 3D printer is compatible with both Windows and Mac devices
- Offers a consistent 200-micron printing resolution
- Supports only acrylic filling
3. Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer
Worth $389, this 3D printer is a user-friendly device with a lot of different material compatibility like wood, ABS plastic, steel filling, bronze filling, etc.
It comes with an in-built camera to monitor printing and is also wifi enabled.
- Has a quick-change nozzle
- It can be heated to temperatures up to 60-degree celsius
- A Print speed of 100 mm/s
- Small build volume
4. Flashforge Finder
Flashforge Finder has a full enclosure and offers sound free printing process. It is user-friendly and compatible with Windows and Mac devices. This is available at $499.
- High filament compatibility
- Fully assembled with a removable PEI surface and magnetic platform
- Comparatively heavy
Best 3D Printing Software
Now that we are done discussing all the important things included in 3D printing, let us tell you that without printing software, you will still be at square one.
You will need a 3D modeling program and a slicer program to create 3D model prints and turn the model into lines of code for your printer to the reader, respectively.
Each printer supports a different file type, such as STL, VRML, etc., to produce an item. So you need to check for that compatibility factor before purchasing software for 3D printing.
Make Money With 3D Printer – Conclusion
We hope we have given you a clear idea about 3D printing and its different ways of making money.
Whether it be selling online or in a local store, the success of your business with 3D-printed products depends on the finesse of your work and the demand for the product.
People are making as much as $300 a day to $10K per month or more with their 3D printers at home. We hope this article helps you too to come up with your success stories which we await you to leave in our comments section.
Make Money With 3D Printer – FAQs
Can I Make Money With 3D Printing?
Yes. With a wide variety of methods available to monetize your 3D printer and exceptional designing and marketing skills, you can earn as much as $1000 to $5000 or more per month.
What Can You Do With a 3D Printer To Make Money?
Starting from printing spoons to offering designing and printing services, there are numerous things to do with a 3D printer to make money.
Some of the most popular ones include selling 3D printed home decor, renting out the 3D printer, repairing 3D printers, selling 3D prototypes, etc.
Is 3D Printing Really Expensive?
Though a 3D printer and the filling materials are expensive, the returns on the investment are worth it. You can cut the extra expenses by taking care of your device and its filaments to make it last longer.
Do You Need a License To Own a 3D Printer?
You will not need a license to own a 3D printer. But you may need one if you want to start a printing service.
You will also require to understand the legal terms before printing any ready-made designs available online for commercial purposes.
Is 3D Printing a Profitable Business?
Yes. 3D printing is a profitable and huge money-generating business with a market size of $13.84 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a rate of 20.8% from 2022 to 2030, according to grand view research.
This demand makes your knowledge, skill, and services more valuable, allowing you to earn either full-time through it or generate passive income.
Can I Sell 3D-Printed Products On Amazon?
Yes, you can sell your 3D printed products on amazon, provided those are your designs.
If you want to sell products of others’ designs, you must sort out the licensing and other legal aspects before proceeding.
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.