3D printing is conquering the world year by year. It has changed the process of manufacture dramatically. It became easier and more accessible not only for industrial purposes but for personal usage as well. Who could imagine five years ago that an ordinary 13-years boy will be able to design a toy for himself and make it using a home 3D printer? While 3D printing is developing, there is opening a wide range of business ideas based on it. Let’s view 3 main ways of making business basing on 3D printing technology.
- Create and sell designs.
You don’t have investment for your startup but you like to design objects, do you? Also you are computer literate. If “Yes” then you can design objects for 3D printing and sell them on CG Trader, Shapeways or i.Materialise platforms.
Firstly, you should learn free CAD tools like Trimble Sketchup or TinkerCAD. That can be easier than you think. Using the available online tutorials you can learn and then design by yourself quite complex and professional models to be printed. Secondly, your design is over make sure that it is printable. Such free tools like netfabb or the Solid Inspector plugin for Sketchup will help you in this purpose. Finally when you have a fully completed design choose a design marketplace that was mentioned above and sell your creation to people who would like to print it at their homes.
- Buy a 3D printer and offer a 3D printing service.
If you have finance and are ready to spend it on a buying of a 3D printer (from $ 200 to $ 5, 000), then the following advices can be for you.
First of all, choose the right printer that will be optimal in cost, effectiveness and simplicity in use. Secondly, experiment and learn your new machine in its action. It can be a hard work you should know all the peculiarities of the printing process, for instance, variables like layer height, extrusion temperature, and travel speed. When you are already master in 3D printing, go ahead and join one of the emerging 3D printing networks, for example, 3D Hubs. The platform will help you to find the orders and support you with invoicing and shipping.
- Think out a new idea of 3D printing usage and implement it.
It’s the most creative, money and time-consuming way. But you can make much more profit for your bright idea! Try to think of usual things and processes from the 3D printing point of view. In what way 3D printer can facilitate, improve or simplify this or that process. For instance, there were launched Fetus Figurines by the US Company 3D Babies, as souvenirs for expectant mothers. The Company uses data from 3D ultrasound images to 3D print four-inch figurines.
Just be creative and the right idea will find you! Then you should find investment, make a site and promote your business to success.