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An Expert Guide To Launching Your 3D Printing Business
 |  Ashley Halsey

An Expert Guide To Launching Your 3D Printing Business

3D printing has been growing for a number of years now, and people began to take notice. It long surpassed the stage when it was used solely for prototyping, and now, you can find 3D printers in almost every industry: jewelry making, entertainment, medicine, and many, many more! If you've been investing your time in learning about 3D printing, it could be your chance to start your own business, and with 3D printing on the rise, there's never been a better time to do so!

Why The Time Has Come For Your 3D Printing Business

As mentioned before, 3D printing is on the rise. Industries such as fashion and even medicine discovered the appeal of 3D printing components, which lead to the rapid growth of its market, which is something you can take advantage of, as the demand is outstripping supply. What's more, the start-up costs for 3D printing are still surprisingly low. Of course, the outlay for materials and a Printer are necessary, but now there's a variety of software, like SelfCAD, which allow you to model and print objects in one application.

Now, let's take a look at some of the promising ideas for your 3D printing business.

Four Great 3D Printing Startup Ideas

As 3D printing continues to develop and more industries implement it in their processes, we experience a constant stream of fresh ideas for improvement. It offers almost boundless possibilities, where the only thing limiting its possibilities is our creativity, and where skills and ideas pave the way for successful endeavors that lead to profits.

So, no matter if you decide to work on something that's already in demand or try to come up with something original, here are some business venues that promise the best chance at success.

1) Spare Parts

3D printing offers opportunities for the production of spare parts for IT and automotive. Because of the speed with which it can meet the demand for parts, 3D printing enables spare parts to be constructed while cars or computers are in production, and then once these models are discontinued, the production of the spare parts ends.

For example, there is a distinct lack of spare parts for vintage cars as the production of these parts have traditionally been too expensive. But now, 3D printing allows companies to work with metals as well as plastic to produce many components that can’t be found anywhere else.

2) Jewelry Making

With 3D printing trying to make a name for itself in almost every niche, jewelry designing is one of them. With so many possibilities in jewelry making, the craze has led to the formation of unique and new designs of earrings, charms, bracelets, and many more. Furthermore, customizing and printing such designs with a 3D printer not only allows you to cut costs, but you can also market such designs to international markets and use online portals to sell them across the globe.

Now, in the beginning stages of launching a jewelry making business, you should consider those things:

  • Prepare a roadmap on how you will operate your business.
  • Know your target audience. (Who will buy your jewelry?)
  • Set up your 3D printer to print out your original designs in a matter of time. Or hire designers to print them for you.
  • Partner with an already-established jewelry outlet. In collaborations, you’ll not only get high returns, but you’ll also get more brand awareness in the local market even. 

3) Customizable Toys

3D printing presents an opportunity for designs to be created in an instant, which means there are no limits to what kind of toys you can design. Indeed, you can start a toy business with almost no outlay, thanks to the prevalence of home printing devices. In such cases, you can even sell your designs without having a printer yourself!

This way, you can establish yourself in the 3D printing market and build a customer base out of those who are interested in your designs. Then, at some point, you can invest in a 3D printer yourself and start the production of your models for sale.


4) Design And Sell 3D Printing Files

If you prefer working in the abstract, you can tap into the growing market for 3D printed objects without producing anything physical at all. You can put your penchant for creativity to design and innovate objects and sell their files to people who can print them at home or in their place of business.

There’s no limit to what you can produce - designing custom tools to fit a variety of niches in the DIY community or for hobbyists who will give you an instant market. It's a cheap way to get your business off the ground - you don’t even need your website as you can become a vendor of software on preexisting sites and forums.

There are a good number of websites where you can upload and sell your designs. For example TurboidSquid, CGTrader, 3D Export, and many others.

5) Print-On-Demand

If you're interested in getting into the 3D printing business but you don't have the time to build your portfolio, you can begin your 3D printing career by offering on-demand printing for other people. All you need to do is invest in the 3D printer, and then you can use vendors like Shapeways or 3D Hubs to set yourself up in the online marketplace.

To get ahead in the print-on-demand business, it’s best to find your niche. Whether you’re interested in printing toys, tools, or car parts, you can strengthen your position in the marketplace by demonstrating your professionalism in one corner of the market before expanding your business.

Skills Needed For 3D Printing

Like in every other job, there are requirements in terms of skill that you must meet to be successful. And with 3D printing now being implemented in almost every niche, the right skills are essential, in order to be successful.

So, what are those skills? Let’s jump right in!

  • Product Knowledge

3D printing is different from inkjet printing. In other words, it’s not just about clicking “Print” to get somewhere out of the printer’s mouth. 3D printing requires a lot of technical knowledge to operate the machinery, and not knowing how to operate a 3D printer can ruin the production. Plus, having a 3D printer is a big investment. Therefore, try to learn as much as you can about 3D printers – from check-ups to material filling and operating machinery to troubleshooting.

  • Software Expertise

Although some jobs only call for basic knowledge of CAD and slicing software, things like prototyping and various other niches require expert knowledge of these two software. With many online courses that will teach you such skills, you’ll better understand them and learn to implement them in real life. Now, when learning about the software and skills, take your time doing so. Start with free versions of software to try out your expertise and learn to create CAD designs.

  • Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

Just printing replicas won’t make you a huge profit, and copying another company’s design can get you into legal trouble. Therefore, getting creative and understanding your work requires analytical and problem-solving skills. It means that you need to look at your work from different perspectives and come up with possible solutions to problems in advance.
 

Wrapping Up

With your skills and understanding of 3D printing, you can easily launch a successful business. Whether you go the software only route and sell your designs or invest in printing hardware, a 3D printing business can be profitable in no time. Put your skills into practice with this guide to launching your 3D printing business and make 2021 a year for success.

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About Author

Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Coursework Writing Services UK and has supported many startups find success. She’s fueled by coffee and lives in New York City - exploring the bustling streets of the city has been a lifelong love affair.