Are you interested in making money with a 3D printer? You’d be surprised at the incredible ways people have made this type of printing business work and work BIG!
This is one of the wackiest entrepreneur options we have covered so far but I have to admit – there’s mileage in it! So let’s think outside the box and take a look at a few successful ideas people have come up with for making money with a 3D printer…
It’s The Bikini Line!
This one REALLY shocked me but one company has apparently had MASSIVE success with it – creating bikinis!
The company is called Continuum and they have rocked the fashion world with the N12 bikini. It’s created out of a polymer called Nylon 12 which allows it to have no seams or sewing – it’s a pretty awesome invention!
This Nylon 12 material is said to be completely waterproof and comfortable when worn in swimming situations. Check out the blurb from their site below:
It’s all about thinking outside the box again – the key to successful new business ventures! A mind blowing idea that was probably laughed out of many a boardroom before they made it big.
A 3D Printing Service
The obvious choice of course but maybe not as simple as one might think! First off you need the money to purchase a printer – do you have a grand spare in cash? Hopefully you do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article today 🙂
- Getting hold of the printer is the easy part – standing in front of it wondering what the heck to do with it is the next natural step! You will need to spend dedicated time getting to know the printer and it’s parameters – what is layer height? What is extrusion temperature? What is travel speed?
- Software is going to play a big part in the outcome of quality of work – does your printer actually come with software included? What is this software like? If you are struggling with the software provided you can always try the open source option named Replicator G – an awesome and powerful program with a steep enough learning curve ( unfortunately! )
- When ( and only when ) you are comfortable using your printer you can sign up with one of the fast growing 3D printing networks. These are awesome turnkey solutions that handle invoicing and difficult newbie business factors like shipping. You will basically list your printer as it’s own business and then receive various orders through the network for designs. One such network is called 3D Hubs – currently the largest and most lucrative option out there!
I just had to include this option due to the fact I am a qualified musician – ever fancied trying out a plastic guitar!
Yeah you read it correctly – a company named 3D Systems has actually managed to produce a ( high quality ) guitar using 3D printing back in 2012. For personal reasons I LOVE this idea but unfortunately I am yet to try one out.
Again it’s all about a 3D printing company thinking outside the box and taking ideas one step further. 3D systems website is called Cubify.com and can be located HERE. They have a lot of awesome products and services they offer through 3D printing so it’ll be well worth you checking them out for a little inspiration!
Creating Designs…Then Flogging Them!
This seems to be the most popular choice in making money with a 3D printer due to it being the simplest to ‘get into’.
- This is a VERY affordable area of 3D printing to start off in
- Make use of CAD tools and get used to their parameters – Trimble Sketchup is a free CAD tool I was introduced to a few months back. It’s relatively easy to get around the site/system and find what you are looking for. There is a learning curve but it’s not as hard as one might think to get to grips with
- Make use of the online forums and communities relating to this subject – you will be surprised at the amount of free info and tutorials that are available
- Once your design is complete don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are good to go. First you must check it to make sure it is 3D print worthy and there are no mistakes. Netfabb is a free tool that is set up to locate mistakes within your 3D design and correct them for you – make use of it!
- Once your design is free from all mistakes you can take it to outlet sites that sell designs. One such option is CG Trader – a site that acts as a marketplace for 3D designs. Visitors to the site can purchase your design and then mass produce it through their own 3D printer.
Outside The Box
As I mentioned earlier in the article – the key to a successful new business is making a few waves by thinking outside the box.
There must be millions of options for making money with a 3D printer that are yet to be tapped into – what can you come up with?
Please leave any suggestions in the comment section below.