Making Money With a 3D Printer


Making Money With a 3D Printer

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!

Making BikinisThis 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:

continuum blurb

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.

banner 2

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!

Rock on! 

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.

Making a guitar with a 3D printer

Again it’s all about a 3D printing company thinking outside the box and taking ideas one step further. 3D systems website is called 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.


22 comments on “Making Money With a 3D Printer

  1. Great review. Pretty much covers everything and gives the readers what they need to know. I am blown away with the 3D printing technology and I can see where people can make money just buying one and letting people know they have it or using it like these two companies and build products with it. Also saw you can build drones with it which ties into my own interest Drones and other Spy Stuff.

    1. Hi there Jerry!
      I was also surprised at the amount of things that could be created through a 3D Printer – they really are awesome machines. Just the other day I was watching a documentary on a student who made false medical limbs through one of these printers, it was mind blowing 🙂

  2. Hi chris

    Making money from a 3d printer? As its relatively new to myself I found this page quite a fascinating read and would love to see a follow up on this at some point. I must admit I’ve not seen anything similar online as of yet so I wish you the very best.

    Kindest regards


  3. I remember back in the day when a dot matrix printer was a big deal. What a pain they were; so loud, slow and always jamming up. Fast forward to 2015 and now we are dealing with 3-D printers. I want one, but I’m sure, just as you said in your post, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. They do cost a lot and then there is a steep learning curve. I think I’ll wait for them to come down in price first and maybe by then I’ll have some ideas of what I would use it for. I think starting an online business is a better way to go for right now. It’s not very expensive to start and you can get your website up and running fairly quickly. Thanks for sharing this article. I love learning about new technology.

    1. That’s a good idea Val – new technology tends to drop in price rapidly after the initial years of it’s release. Maybe you’ll be able to pick one up for the same price as an Xbox soon!

  4. Hey Chris

    Awesome topic. I could not help but read every single word. This is right down my alley.

    3D printing is such a cool idea for a business.Especially like the N12 Bikini one 😉

    And what better place to advertise it than online…. I noticed the the “Wealthy Affiliate” pictures.

    Would they be able to teach me how to get more clients with my website? Would I need to start with a new website or can I use my existing?

    1. Hi there Marc,
      Yes, the Wealthy Affiliate is the perfect place to end up for FREE education and building an online business. They will teach you everything you need to know about building up a successful website 🙂

  5. Hi Chris One word ‘innovation’ that’s the way of the future and that’s the way to create our future financial destiny and our own economy and whether that be through technology or blogging about it. But whatever you chose to do the advancement of society is always through innovation. Almost every society throughout history became great as a result of innovation or technology often by the development of a better weapon of war but innovation nonetheless. I enjoyed reading this interesting post and what a way to make money using the latest ‘technology’ 3 D printing ha ha. Thanks for bring this to your readers attention. Cheers 🙂

  6. Dude! This is awesome. I had no idea that 3d printing had come this far, and there was actually money to be made in this business model. So freaking cool.

    I’m always on the lookout for new business models, and I’m seeing a future in this one. Like you said, there’s mileage in this one for sure.

    Are you going to pursue this? Let me know, would love to follow your success.

    1. Hi Jim,
      No, I’ll probably not be pursuing this as I don’t have the time due to this website ( and two others! ). There’s certainly mileage in it but it won’t fit into my busy schedule!

  7. This is the first time I’ve heard of making money with a 3D printer. This technology is truly amazing and it’s still in its infancy. Apparently there is no limit to what can be done with a 3D printer. Is it enough just to advertise that you have a printer? You’ll need a website for sure. Also, I love, love, love your #1 recommendation.

  8. Chris,
    My cousins company is using 3-D printing to design their products. Since the products they design are small, about the size of a loaf of bread, it is cheaper to print in 3-D than make one from titanium.
    After looking at some of the products I can see making money with a 3-D printer by making prototypes. You could change the design very easily and just reprint your project.
    I think I will wait until a good printer is under the $1000 price mark.

    1. Yeah that’s the main problem at the moment with these machines John – the price! But everything seems to drop in value after the initial craze calms down a bit ( I hope! ) 🙂

  9. Hi there! Thanks for sharing this article with us, its really interesting how far we have progressed in terms of what we can create now! Who would have believed even just a few years ago that you could possibly contemplate starting up your own business, from home creating plastic creations from your own 3D printer!

    I have a friend that purchased a 3D printer a few months ago. Apart from the wires and motors required, he has actually started to print and build a second 3D printer! How crazy is that?

    Thanks for the information, great article.

  10. I also agree that the key to a successful new business is making a few waves by thinking outside the box. 3D printing is such an innovative idea for most businesses. And if you have to promote, you have the online world to reach millions of people.

    If you can make a website online, you can product any product you want. The opportunities are endless. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Are you saying with a 3D printer I can manufacture designs of any 3D object I have in mind? It’s really unbelievable that you can even produce a guitar made of plastic. Which other materials are compatible with the 3D printer? How big is this printer? It’s a pretty good deal for the toy business. Please let me know how much each costs.

    1. Well as far as cost – they all vary mate! Amazon should be a good starting point for you but I didn’t want to fill this particular article with affiliate links! 🙂

  12. Hey Chris,
    thanks for the article. I never really thought of 3D printers as a great source of income money your post makes me think of the possibilities. I heard about the bikini before but didn’t really think about it too much until you mentioned it. I’ve even seen this car show before where they made the entire car out of 3D printing which I think is awesome. Definitely something I need to start looking more into.
    Best Regards,

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