$1,000/Month Passive Income
3D Printing [Beginner Guide]
3D printing is still a new concept to many, but for those who know exactly what it is all about know that they can earn thousands of dollars of passive income every month from it. After you design, download, scan or outsource your work, you can proceed with printing and make some passive income in the long run.
How to make passive income through 3D printing? There are many ways of making passive income through 3D printing. You can make extra income by designing and selling 3D printed objects (jewellery & fashion accessories, motion picture props, and electronic or electric device casings), opening a printing service, providing 3D printing training or leasing your printer.
Where Can I Get 3D Designs?
Printing Existing Designs
You don’t need to be a 3D modeler to be able to print things with a 3D printer. There are thousands of designs and patterns that already exist! You can download the from sites like Thingiverse and send them to your 3D printer.
Designing Your Own Prints
Actually designing your own models requires advanced 3D modeling skills. However, as a beginner you probably don’t have any 3D Graphic design skills. That’s not a problem to be able to get started printing 3D items. You can scan items around your home, adjust right in the app, and print them out with the 3D Catch App. You can also use low-cost services like Fiverr where 3D model designers can create the print you need for you. Check it out, you can get it done for only $5 depending on who you choose to do it.
1. Selling 3D Printed Objects
Printing From Your Own Printer
If you have the money and interest they could be a great idea to invest in your own 3D printer. If you have your own 3D printers can print out whatever you want within the comfort of your own home. However, 3D printers can be a costly investment. A basic 3D printer costs around $350, and top of the line 3D printers are around $2,000 to $3,000.
The cheaper printers are usually smaller and therefore limit the size of items you can actually print. Cheaper printers also provide less quality, whereas printers in the thousand Dollar range render higher quality items. If you are planning on going pro, it would be better to invest in a higher quality printer.
You can sell your prints in various places online. The lighter and smaller the item the better because it will be easy to ship. Learn how to sell your items on eBay in our passive income guide for beginners here.
Shapeways is one of the most popular online 3D printing service in the world. The service offers a diverse range of 22 materials (one of the largest services available) ranging from ceramics, plastics, gold, platinum etc. The tool is extremely easy to use, making it the ideal tool for beginners. Uploading & viewing your design, choosing and printing it is easy and fast. The service boasts printing millions of objects and efficient customer service when you encounter technical issues.
This is a Belgian 3D printing service that offers over 17 materials including ceramics and precious metals. With over 20 years’ experience, i.Materialise offers high-quality 3D printing services with over 70 material combinations. It is easy to use in terms of designing, uploading, adjusting, and purchasing your models. Although it comes with higher shipping costs and extended shipping time, the service is a high-quality option ideal for all skill levels.
This is a France based 3D printing service with a wide variety of materials and designs. Sculpteo is easy to use, is fast, affordable and high quality. It also offers a wide range of printing and incorporating design apps, making it ideal for different skill levels.
This is the consumer division of 3D systems. Cubify sells home 3D printers and offers print-on-demand service with a few select materials. To access the service, you only need to register on the site by navigating to the MyCubify section. The site is appealing, easy to use and high-quality making it ideal for beginners and other skill levels in 3D printing.
This is a New Zealand based printing service, and one of the initial services offering on-demand manufacturing and distributed manufacturing as a business model. Ponoko offers 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC cutting by accessing fabrication machines across the globe. This makes it highly efficient and versatile, which might pose a challenge for many beginners. However, once you are accustomed to how it works, Ponoko is easy to use and highly practical.
2. Leasing Your 3D Printer
3D printing is a new technology that is still developing. That alone clearly indicates there’s a high possibility that only a few people currently own 3D printing machines. Moreover, not all people can afford to buy and own a 3D printer considering that a good one costs more than $1,000. And, although there are excellent 3D printers under $1,000 still few people can afford them.
Therefore, you can easily monetize your 3D printer by allowing others to use it for a duration and pay you accordingly. Considering 3D printers are not common, you can make passive income easily and consistently.
3. Offering 3D Printing Training
3D technology is still developing and only a few people possess the skills to create, design, and print 3D objects. Moreover, many people continue showing interest in designing and printing such objects. If you know more than someone else, you can easily teach how to use 3D printers and monetize your new skills.
As a beginner, you may feel as if you don’t know much about training others. But, even training people on 3D printing basics can earn you money passively. You can also sell them your 3D materials and other relevant information for their learning experience. Better yet, you can extend your services online, capture more interested clients, and make more income passively.
4. Open a Printing Service
5. Selling 3D Print Models [Advanced]
If you get far enough into 3D printing you may be interested in learning how to create models and sell the prints as digital products. There are tutorials online teaching how to create 3D models if you are interested. In order to seamlessly sell your digital products, we highly recommend Ecwid eCommerce. This platform facilitates the sales of digital goods! And Ecwid integrates Amazon, eBay, Instagram and Facebook so you can sell in multiple places across the web. We have an awesome passive income resource on eCommerce for beginners, check it out.
What Should I 3D Print?
Let’s take my scooter example from earlier. When I enter the name of my scooter into Google Trends I can see a strong upward search trend. That means that there are thousands of people doing research on this product online. And if you’re looking for the Xiaomi Mijia M365, you will see the accessories available for it. I watched a ton of YouTube videos talking about the scooter before I purchased it. I knew that I would need 3D printed objects to ensure its longevity.
Knowing that there are people searching for a specific product will help you choose a profitable niche. Also make sure it’s something that you’re interested in. If you know that there are things that people need within that niche, that can easily be 3D printed, then you may be onto something. It becomes easier for you to fill demand if you are part of the niche and know the need well. And if you are the only 3D printing service provider, chances are people who will search, find and buy from you!
How Passive is 3D Printing?
3D printing is generally a passive way of making money but the degree of passiveness it offers varies depending on the type of service. Designing and printing 3D objects, for example, requires more of your attention compared to leasing your 3D printer. If you choose to run a printing service or train newbies, you will require more hours to run the idea until it can run on its own.
In the beginning, you might have to spend over 10 hours a day creating, designing, printing and selling your 3D objects. This should not discourage you. It will take a couple of years to become fully passive but if you stick to it, you will be able to make lots of money passively. Make sure to always build your business to be passive, or it will remain active.
This is the main stumbling block to offering 3D printing services. This idea comes with a high starting capital considering that printers are expensive. A good 3D printer costs hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the quality of the printer. You also need a good quality computer/laptop, internet connectivity and other equipment used in 3D printing.
Consider that a basic 3D printer costs around $350, and top of the line 3D printers are around $2,000 to $3,000. The cheaper printers are usually smaller and therefore limit the size of the item you can actually print. Cheaper printers also render less quality, whereas printers in the thousand dollar range provide higher quality items. If you are planning on going pro, it would be better to invest in a higher quality printer. If you don’t I want to invest in a printer, you can always use a 3D printing service.
Return on Investment
Which is the best 3D printer for beginners? There are many types of 3D printers available on the market. Every product comes with specific features that makes it ideal for certain purposes. As a beginner, it is prudent to start with a cheap printer that is easy to use and allows you to perform your tasks efficiently. 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 video and written tutorials online to better your skills and understand 3D printing comprehensively.
How much passive income can I make from 3D Printing? There is a variety of ways you can make passive income from 3D printing. From 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).