Although it is still a new concept to many, 3D printing popularity is growing fast and offering numerous moneymaking opportunities. According to Deloitte, sales related to 3D printing will top US$3 billion in 2020. The industry is expected to surpass 35 billion by 2024 (source) making it a lucrative income opportunity for the future.
Can you make money 3D printing? You can make money 3D Printing even if you are a beginner. Some ways you can make money 3D printing include selling 3D printed objects, leasing your 3D printer, offering 3D printing training, or creating 3D printed models. You do not have to have advanced development or design skills to get started.
In this article, we highlight five ways you can make money from 3D printing and provide examples. Learn more about 3D printing for passive income in this guide on the same topic on our site. Let’s get started.
1. Selling 3D Printed Objects
You can make money by selling 3D printed projects both online and physically. If you choose to sell physical products, you have to own a 3D printer and build up your 3D printing skills. If you don’t have the capital to buy your own printer or don’t have any design skills, you can outsource both skills and products, and re-sell the end product.
Owning a printer used to be a costly investment. You used to have to pay thousands of dollars to get a good quality printer, but they are more affordable than ever before! You can get a pretty very printer for between $300 and $500. If you choose to own a printer, you should learn a few basic printing skills at first and save up for a more advanced printing machine. The better the machine, the higher the quality, and versatility of the products you print. You can sell your 3D printed objects on sites like eBay and earn money from them.
If you don’t want to buy a printer, you can outsource services, sell the end product, and make a passive income. Sites like Fiverr can connect you with 3D designers who can do the work for you from as low as $5. You can outsource 3D printing services (including shipping and delivery) on sites like Shapeways, i.materialise, sell the products, and make money from them.
2. Blogging About 3D Printing
If you are passionate about 3D printing and are looking for ways to make passive income from it, blogging can be an excellent way to do so. Choose a niche within the 3D printing space you are interested in and create a website that answers people’s specific questions on the topic. To know what people want to learn, just type in your idea in google and then “A”. You will see suggested searches based on what people are actually looking for.
Learn more about how you can write articles that can generate enough traffic to monetize and how to make a full time income in 24 months from blogging in this article. The article is based on Project 24’s methodologies to generate sustainable, organic traffic. 3D printing is a hot topic, and blogging can be a great way to build a platform to sell products to your audience. You can also generate passive income from your 3D printing blog with ad placement, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce. Learn more about Project 24 and how to make passive income blogging here.
3. Leasing Your 3D Printer
3D printing technology is still a new concept to many people. 3D Printing as a hobby (not industry printing) is still a growing niche and the entry costs may keep some people from getting started (considering that a good 3D printer can cost well over $1,000). If you have the money for it, you can invest in a good 3D printer, lease it to others, and earn a passive income.
Although small, cheaper printers can cost around $300, the print quality is not very good and still, few people can afford them. It is highly possible that there aren’t any 3D printing services in your area. If you invest in a good printer, you can earn passive income by allowing others to use it and pay you accordingly.
4. Offering 3D Printing Training
If you possess any 3D printing skills (including basics), you can earn money by teaching others. 3D printing is still a new concept and many people out there are seeking beginner knowledge and skills. 3D printing serves many industries (hobbyists, medical, manufacturing, architecture, etc.) so you can train people industries or on topics that interest you. Many people are interested in learning 3D printing skills for a variety of projects. So, even if you only possess basic skills, there is an opportunity for you to make money by sharing your knowledge and skills.
If you possess advanced designing skills, you can create and sell courses physically and digitally to earn a passive income doing it. You can sell printing courses online on your website or run a monetized blog, niche site, or YouTube channel, which offers more opportunities to earn more passive income. Learn more about each of the opportunities above by clicking on the links. They will lead you to detailed guides on our site about how to make passive income with each idea.
5. Opening a 3D Printing Service
You can make money by running a 3D printing service. You can choose to offer your service online, offline, or both. If you choose to offer printing services online, you can offer printing services to others at a fee. You can turn you service into a drop-shipping service if you have enough time to take on such a challenge. You would receive orders and print them for others, and them ship them. Though demanding, this is one way to make money from a 3D printer.
If you choose to open an actual printing service, you must be willing to invest a lot of time and money. You can start a 3D printing services business in your area, outsource skills and workforce, and earn a passive income in the end. Whichever printing service idea you choose, you need to be patient and dedicated if you want to earn an income from it. Both ideas will also require some form of monetary and time investment so choose the one you can comfortably and easily do.
6. Selling 3D Print Models (Advanced)
If you are skilled or passionate in 3D printing, you can print 3D models, sell them (online and offline), and earn money doing it. If you are a beginner, there are tutorials online teaching how to create 3D models. As you learn, you can create models and sell them at a profit.
You can sell 3D models as digital products, and Ecwid eCommerce allows you to create your own site to sell online quickly and easily. With a third-party integration, you can also push your products to Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and Facebook to help you sell your 3D printed items across multiple channels. If you are skilled in printing and have money to buy a printer, you can create your own models and sell them physically or online through sites and eCommerce platforms.
As we have seen, there are many ways you can make money through 3D printing. Remember, each idea requires dedication, time and some form of monetary investment to start and run. The most important thing is to focus on the idea you are passionate about and can undertake comfortably. Some ideas like starting a 3D printing service business or printing your own models require a lot of money to start. A good printer alone costs thousands of dollars, so it is important to focus on an idea you can do easily without financial constraints.
How much money can I make from 3D Printing? Depending on the idea you choose and your skillset, you can earn lots of money from 3D printing. There are many ways you can earn income from 3D printing through printing and selling objects to selling prints, leasing your printer or printing for others. 3D Printing Professor talks about how he makes $1,000 per month passive income 3D printing (source).
Which is the best 3D printer for beginners? There are many types of 3D printers available on the market with ranging prices. Every printer comes with specific features that make it ideal for certain purposes. As a beginner, you can start with a cheap printer that is easy to use and allows you to perform easy tasks efficiently. After saving enough, you can sell the small one and get a better option. High-end options come with advanced features that might be challenging for most beginners.
How can I learn 3D printing fast? 3D printing is as complicated as it is easy. Initially, you might find 3D printing difficult but as you learn more, it becomes easier. Moreover, you can use the many videos and written tutorials online to better your skills and understand 3D printing comprehensively. Carry out a quick search online to learn the skills you need.