How To Make Money With 3D Printing: Is It A Viable Business Idea In 2022?

Yes, 3D printing can be lucrative, but it’s crucial to understand that it’s not an easy task.

It won’t be as simple as purchasing a 3D printer, pumping out designs, and then selling them.

Making money will require a little more effort.

So, I’ve chosen to look into how folks are making money with 3D printing and how you can do the same.

3D printing is a fast-paced sector that can swiftly adapt to changing trends in other fields.

Its key benefit is the capacity to produce a product in a short amount of time.

In less than 30 minutes, some folks can scan an object, tweak the model in CAD software, and load it into their slicer, ready to print. 

Being able to master these talents has tremendous promise and, if done right, may earn you a lot of money.

If you can beat other providers to the market, you will be able to reap huge rewards.

You don’t need a high-end printer to produce high-quality things; inexpensive printers may equal the quality of high-end models.

With that said, let’s explore the massive earning opportunity that is 3D printing! 

What Do You Need To Set Up A Successful 3D Printing Business? 

how to make money with 3d printing

The abilities you’ll need to generate money with 3D printing may vary depending on the sort of work you’re doing. 

However, in general, you should strive to have at least the following tools in your toolbox: 

Understanding How To Utilize A 3D Printer 

Obviously, you can’t make money with a 3D printer if you don’t understand how it works in the first place.

So, please learn how it works so you can start making your products. 

A Knowledge of Licensing Lawes 

This is especially true if you want to sell items based on other folks’ designs or your own. 

In either case, knowing how licensing works and what you (and others) can do with these products is essential for avoiding legal issues down the road.

Know-how with 3D Printer Software 

Knowing how to operate the printer isn’t enough; you also need to know how to utilize the software that goes with it. 

That being said, you may absolutely experiment with this to learn as you make products. 

Marketing Skills 

To generate money with a 3D printer, you don’t have to be a natural salesperson.

However, knowing how marketing works can help you sell your items.

SEO Skills 

Whether you want to sell your work on sites like Etsy or own a brick-and-mortar shop where potential customers may discover you via Google, SEO expertise is essential. 

This involves understanding which keywords to use depending on what people are searching for.

You should use the proper keywords to ensure that you’re one of the first results people see when searching for 3D printing services.

Some Good Old Creativity 

While it is possible to 3D print using other people’s designs, some imagination is required. 

This might be as basic as figuring out the products clients frequently want to be printed for weddings and other events. 

You can then focus your product line on those or expand when a gap in the market appears.

Related Reading: How To Start A Home Based Book Keeping Business – Get To Know Here.

Where Can You Buy Your 3D Printer? 

Where Can You Buy Your 3D Printer 

Many online stores, like Amazon, sell 3D printers, as well as local craft stores.

3D printers are also available at local electronics and hardware stores.

You’ll also need to buy the materials to make your items, in addition to the printer.

There are various types of printers, each of which uses different materials. 

Some of the most prevalent materials are ABS plastic, PLA, nylon, epoxy resins, and polycarbonate.

These materials are available at online retailers or local craft stores.

How Much Will A 3D Printer Set You Back? 

Each 3D printer has its own set of specs that might affect the price and amount of money you can make.

A 3D printer may be purchased for anything from $200 and well over $10,000!

You can save money if you take the time to research the right 3D printer to buy.

It’s also possible to save money if you source more affordable materials.

Factors To Consider When Canvassing For A 3D Printer. 

how to make money with 3d printing - Factors To Consider When Canvassing For A 3D Printer 

Printing Speed 

One of the most crucial cost factors is the printer’s speed.

Printers that print rapidly can be significantly more expensive than ones that take longer. 

You might want to consider buying a speedier printer if you’re going to print larger goods or if you need your items quickly.

Size of Build Area 

If you want to print larger goods, you’ll need to increase the size of your 3D printer.

It’s always better to overestimate your requirements at first so that you may print products that are a little larger than you anticipated.

Multi-colored Capabilities

Some printers have the ability to create products in a variety of colors.

When compared to a single-color printer, this will result in higher prices. 

When printing multicolored structures, your machine will slow down, making a high-speed printer even more critical for some.


When discussing any type of printer, three-dimensional or not, resolution comes up.

A 3D printer with a higher resolution can generate products that are smoother and more exact.

You may compare it to a regular printer that can print at 300dpi.

You would expect to produce clean and clear results. 

If you want to make intricate products, you need to have a 3D printer with high-quality printing.

Related Reading: Best Print On Demand Sites – Click Here To Get The Complete List.

Does 3D Printing Have To Be Expensive? 

Outside of the printer itself, there are other expenditures associated with a 3D printer.

For example, the resin needed for printing may mount up quickly, especially if you do a lot of it.

You could also accumulate a substantial quantity of waste as a novice, which can be costly.

Your wastage will be reduced as you acquire experience, and your expenditures will decrease.

After all, you have to spend money to make more money.

How To Make Money With 3D Printing 

how to make money with 3d printing

Print Products To Sell On The Internet 

Many folks use a 3D printer to make money by developing and selling products online.

There are a variety of methods to make this work, but the most typical is to sell it on Etsy.

You may establish your own online store on Etsy and sell your items there.

It’s simple to get started and take orders from clients on Etsy, and Etsy just takes a modest percentage of your sales.

Making goods for other Etsy merchants is another possibility.

You may produce things for them or offer a service such as printing patterns into cloth, which they can then sell.

Both of these alternatives are excellent for making money with your printer in the long run.

However, they may also be used to earn money quickly as well. 

Related Reading: Things To Sell On Etsy – Click Here To Open Your Etsy Shop

Product Ideas For 3D Printing Services 

You could create just about anything with a 3D printer.

Customers will ask for all sorts of things from a print-on-demand service.

Think about what 3D printed things are in demand and what people are keen to spend their hard-earned money on if you want to make money. 

Once you have a solid idea, start manufacturing!

Here are some suggestions for products to sell online:

  • Home Decor 
  • Action figures and figurines 
  • Keyholders and keychains 
  • Planters 
  • Bottle openers 
  • Coasters 
  • Measuring spoons and other utensils 
  • Basic tools like screwdrivers 
  • Game pieces 
  • Jewelry
  • Chip clips 
  • Gadget accessories 
  • Combs and hair accessories 
  • Business cardholders 
  • Camera sliders 
  • Desk trays and organizers 
  • Bottles and jugs 

video about selling custom face mask through Printful

Open A Local Physical Store 

If you reside in a big city, it could make sense to start your own local manufacturing store. 

You’ll need regular customers and a sizeable capital.

You’re likely not going to make a lot of money at first.

But if there’s a need for this service locally, your company might become pretty successful!

You could also provide your talents to local businesses as a work-from-home side hustle. 

You collaborate with them on a case-by-case basis in order to profit from 3D printing on demand.

You would then provide consumers with the ease of printing precisely what they want.

This option is ideal for individuals looking for a quick way to earn some passive income. 

You may be as engaged or as uninvolved as you desire, depending only on the number of orders you’re ready to take on. 

How To Generate Money Offline With 3D Printed Objects 

There are several options for selling your 3D-printed things offline.

Your choice will be determined by your degree of commitment, starting capital, time limits, and other considerations.

Yard Sales 

Launching a weekly yard sale of products you’ve 3D printed is perhaps the easiest, most convenient, and cost-effective method to generate money with a 3D printer. 

Place signs throughout the area notifying neighbors of the garage sale.

After you’ve established a customer base, you may begin taking special orders and expand as needed.

Craft Shows and Local Markets 

Craft exhibitions and local markets are excellent places to introduce yourself and begin selling 3D printed goods and services. 

These activities sometimes need initial financial input in the form of a registration fee.

With a large event, there is frequently a large turnout and the possibility of selling out!

Launch A Website For Your 3D Printing Business 

Launch A Website For Your 3D Printing Business 

If you want to make a splash online, the first step is to launch a website for your new 3D printing business. 

This will allow local clients to locate you, see what services you provide, and place orders directly through your website. 

Consulting a professional about the many financial and legal factors to consider when starting a business is also an excellent idea.

This way, you won’t have to wait until all of your financial and legal issues are resolved before registering your domain name and creating your website. 

If you have a certain business name in mind, you should do this as quickly as possible to ensure that no one else grabs it. 

In truth, building a website is a lot easier than you would imagine – and far less expensive if you choose an inexpensive hosting service like Bluehost.

Focus On Personalized Printed Products 

Personalized items are excellent gifts and are among the most popular Etsy items.

You may now create them on demand using your own 3D printer!

Because of how personal these are, you might assume this isn’t the ideal method to generate money with a printer. 

But if you’re not operating large-scale operations, personalized prints can be a lovely little side business.

Custom wedding stuff, such as pieces with the bride and groom’s names or the wedding date, is one of the most popular.

But this isn’t limited to weddings; target items like this for any celebration!

You could also use your 3D printer to manufacture personalized Christmas crafts to sell, such as ornaments with designs such as names, words, handprints, or footprints, and sell them online.

Make 3D Printing Designs To Sell 

Make 3D Printing Designs To Sell

There are several programs available that make it simple to create designs for others to utilize with their own 3D printers. 

These might be aimed at folks looking for something for personal use or a commercial endeavor.

You could, for example, create spacecraft and rocket designs that parents may assemble with their children. 

You may also develop more generic goods like animal models, toys, or even phone cases that are appropriate for both adults and children.

Keep in mind that models of characters from major movie franchises are a great way to generate money with a 3D printer, so keep that in mind while developing designs.

Manage A Blog Centered On 3D Printing 

This is a terrific approach to expressing yourself if you have anything to say about 3D printers.

For example, your blog may be aimed at those who are just getting started with 3D printing and want to learn how to produce items on demand. 

You might even target a particular niche by assisting individuals in making a specific sort of thing more efficiently or with greater variety.

Bloggers earn revenue in a variety of ways, including getting paid by businesses to produce blog entries on their behalf and running sponsored display advertisements. 

You may make even more money if your readers buy things that you advertise on your site. 

You could recommend various types of 3D printers or even your own high quality prints that you’re selling.

Related Reading: How To Start A Blog – Click To Start A Blog On 3D Printing.

Offer An Online Course To Teach Others How To Do 3D Printing. 

Your website may generate money in more ways than just blogging.

Online courses may also be a profitable business venture. 

In order to make the most money feasible, each course must be well-designed and provide students with value for their time and effort.

One such example is an online course that teaches individuals how to profit from 3D printers. 

You could earn money by selling it on your website or teaching people how to develop and sell their own goods on platforms like Teachable.

Consider collaborating with other specialists in the sector to produce something more diverse. 

For example, you could offer classes on how to manufacture plastic toys from scratch using a printer or how to design your own jewelry.

Related Reading: Best Online Course Platforms – Get The List Here For Your 3D Printing Business.

Sell Your Wares At Conventions and Other Events 

Sell Your Wares At Conventions and Other Events

If you’ve made a few products and want to sell them, head over to your local convention!

At these events, you’ll find a lot of folks selling their own creations, so all you need is the perfect product. 

You may also earn revenue by commissioning someone to create personalized items for you to market, such as personalized phone cases or handmade figurines.

You may also gain some additional money by selling printouts of your unique designs, which allow potential customers to see what your own products look like before purchasing them. 

Just keep in mind that this might imply they can copy you, which is OK if you don’t mind any prospective niche rivals.

Manage A YouTube Channel or TikTok Account Around 3D Printing 

YouTube and TikTok are two of the most prominent examples of internet platforms that make it simple to generate money from your hobbies and interests.

Given that you’ve come to learn how to generate money with a 3D printer, it’s likely that others will be interested in viewing videos on the subject as well.

This is where you come in!

You can produce videos to guide those who are interested in 3D printing. 

Conversely, you may target enthusiasts and show them how to get started with 3D printing as a novice.

You can help them develop their 3D printing abilities and provide them with other project ideas.

You may potentially generate money from your channel by running sponsored advertising or by working as an influencer.

Offer Freelance 3D Printing Services. 

Offering your expertise for freelance work is another method to generate money with a 3D printer. 

You’ll typically discover the strongest chances in sectors where there aren’t many people who have your knowledge.

Start by advertising your services on Flexjobs, Upwork and Fiverr.

As a result, you may begin to build a solid portfolio in order to attract more clients in the future.

Remember that pricing per hour or project is how you generate money with freelance work. 

So, make sure your prices are competitive, especially if you’re in an area where there aren’t many individuals with your abilities.

If you have a project with several smaller chores that might be handled concurrently by someone else, or if you manufacture unique things that could be completed by someone else, it’s also worth considering employing helpers for freelancing work. 

This might be an excellent method for growing your 3D printing company.

3D Food Printing 

3D food printers are a burgeoning market that enables the creation of intricate paste-based designs.  

Anyone with the knowledge and talent for producing 3D models may produce stunning-looking dishes because of the speed and accuracy of 3D printing.

Moreover, 3D-printed food serves as a terrific marketing phrase to draw in audiences seeking something new and exciting.

3D Food Printers range in price from $300 for simple pancake printers to thousands of dollars for professional kitchen-grade printers capable of printing chocolate and other difficult-to-work-with components.

To begin making money with 3D Meal Printers, all you need is a food concept, and the 3D printer will take care of the rest.

How can you profit from it?

Selling sophisticated frozen meals or starting a delivery-only firm with made-to-order dishes is two possible business ideas. 

A 3D food printer, on the other hand, may dramatically increase the marketability of any current restaurant while also allowing for a simple upgrade to more aesthetically beautiful specialty foods.

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Should You Try 3D Printing As A Business? 

3D printing is not for everyone.

However, the few folks who have entered this sector have different perspectives. 

If you see 3D printing as a pastime that can earn you money, it’s a worthwhile industry.

It will satisfy your needs if you have the time, money, and room to take on an extra job. 

You can make money by selling 3D models or prints, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

There are several details to which you must pay great attention.

You may, for example, need to come up with an item, then draft, design, change, and print it. That doesn’t include any post-production yet! 

If you have the patience necessary for this craft, you will undoubtedly reap the benefits of a 3D printing business. 

For full-time artists and innovators specializing in significant areas, the industry is a money mine. 

These individuals learn how to sketch designs using various CAD applications and systems.

As a result, they have almost no complications.

They do not need to invest money in a design for printing because they can do it themselves. 

This also implies that production expenses are appropriately controlled in order to maximize profit when the things are subsequently sold.

For such individuals, 3D printing is a lucrative enterprise that pays out handsomely. 

However, for someone without all of the necessary talents, breaking even in this profession will take years.

Overall, everyone who has tried 3D printing has had a unique experience. It could or might not be a good fit for you.

Will A 3D Printer Be A Good Investment For You?

Today, 3D models and designs are used in a variety of sectors. 3D printing has several advantages, including the ability to create high-quality prototypes, unique parts, and increased creativity.

But, as an investor, maker, or enthusiast, is it a worthwhile investment?

In general, if it’s a necessary component of your firm, it’s a sound investment with long-term rewards. 

The influence on manufacturing processes would be much appreciated.

Nonetheless, it’s critical to ask oneself questions such as:

  • Can you afford the machines and materials necessary for this endeavor? 
  • Are you genuinely interested in this technology? 
  • Can you manage a 3D printing business to the point where the benefits offset your efforts? 

Of course, you’ll want to see how long it takes for 3D printing to start making money for your company.

These questions should offer a clear indication of whether or not you should adopt the skill, particularly for established manufacturing organizations and startups.

It’s worth investing in 3D printing if it can improve the manufacturing process by speeding it up and creating unique goods. 

You may have technology as part of your firm if the market likes your items because they’re distinctive and valuable.

Most significantly, if your analysis finds that the cost of manufacturing is reduced while profits are maximized, the answer is a resounding yes.

If several parts of 3D printing are found to be faulty, stick to your previous production process.

The expense of purchasing a 3D printer for a hobbyist may be prohibitive.

You’ll need to buy ingredients to make the things as well.

Creating a few showcase goods isn’t going to help much. In this scenario, it would be more economical to seek the services of other printers.

However, a hobbyist with the necessary abilities and expertise might benefit from the technology. 

You must be well-versed in and interested in a variety of subjects, including education, gaming, aviation models, toys, and many more.

How High Is The Demand For 3D Printing? 

how to make money with 3d printing - How High Is The Demand For 3D Printing

The major problem for serious entrepreneurs who wish to establish this business is the market for their prints.

Fortunately, there is a market for 3D printing, and it is growing.

From 2021 to 2028, the market for 3D printing is predicted to develop at a pace of 21%.

More than 15.3 million 3D printer units are predicted to be deployed by 2028, up from 2.1 million in 2020.

If the information is to be believed, these statistics are enormous.

The car, medical, and aerospace industries – three major playfields – have the largest demand for these prints. 

The key value of this technology to organizations specializing in the mentioned categories is prototyping.

3D printing has been labeled efficient and effective for producing parts due to the speedy turnaround of prototypes.

It’s easy to forget, though, that the car sector is the fastest-growing and has a global market.

If large quantities of vehicle components are required, 3D printing applications may be able to approach the ceiling, as illustrated by the figures above.

There’s no denying that higher-performance trucks and automobiles are in high demand.

That alone is a key motivator of technological advancement.

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How Much Can You Expect To Make With A 3D Printing Business? 

Starting a 3D printing company might be beneficial to you.

To generate a profit, you’ll need to put in your best effort in terms of talents, resources, and time.

So, how much money can this firm make?

A 3D artist may earn up to $53,000 per year on average if they work alone.

However, a variety of things influence whether or not your company is profitable.

The sort of goods you’re offering is the most significant consideration.

Your firm will expand quickly if you have a unique product that solves a need that many customers are experiencing.

Many people are seeking goods that can assist them in addressing their problems.

Aside from finding the right niche and products, appropriate advertising is another important component in growing your print business. 

To advertise your work and generate sales, you need to hook up and connect with the correct marketplace.

Will A 3D Printing Business Be Automatically Profitable These Days?

3D crafts aren’t the most well-known kind of artwork available.

Nonetheless, it is a rising industry. 

3D printing may be a lucrative business if you find the right sector and create fantastic customer-focused items.

According to projections for the future of this industry, there is enormous potential.

Interested buyers are prepared to pay a premium for a solution that completes their most challenging task.

There has been little to no rivalry since the start of 3D printing.

This is because most organizations have avoided this concept because of the precise details it necessitates at times.

Anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset, on the other hand, views now as the ideal time to start a firm and explore the unlimited possibilities it offers.

However, no one should get on this bandwagon without first exercising patience.

It is only lucrative in the long run and getting there might take a long time.

Is A Career In 3D Printing Viable In 2022? 

Today, 3D printing is progressively infiltrating the world’s major industries.

With this progress, a day will come when almost everything will require 3D modeling in some way.

This implies that you can earn a living off of it.

Many businesses are becoming interested in technology.

Engineers with 3D printing abilities are being promoted on employment marketplaces like Upwork.

This indicates that while 3D printing isn’t a stand-alone profession, it may become one in the future.

This is an ideal profession for persons who have a strong interest in emerging technology and have a good eye for detail. 

To help their job, biomedical technologists, engineers, software developers, animation designers, and others may require 3D printing expertise.

What’s The Condition Of 3D Printing Stocks? 

The use of 3D assets is rapidly increasing.

It has applications in a variety of sectors, making the company profitable for investors. 

Stocks for 3D things, in the opinion of optimists, have the potential to increase significantly over the next decade.

Faster printing, owing to more efficient printers, is one of the catalysts for the sector to make tremendous strides forward. 

The printers are also relatively inexpensive these days, making them readily integrated into a mainstream industry that considers cost.

In addition, printers capable of producing metal goods are now accessible.

These printers may be used in factories without the worry of fire. 

As a result, more businesses are adding 3D printers to their production lines rather than using traditional techniques.

With these considerations in mind, there’s every incentive to invest in 3D printing stocks.

The future seems promising.

Related Reading: Which Business Should I Start – Read The Full Post Here.

Final Thoughts 

It’s not difficult to forecast where 3D printing will go based on existing patterns.

This technology has witnessed significant advancements in the industrial area since its inception.

As a result, several industrial businesses’ futures are being shaped by 3D printing.

It provides low-cost manufacturing while maintaining high-quality requirements.

The turnaround time for 3D printing is speedy.

Companies in the automotive, medical, and aerospace sectors are rushing to adopt this technology because of its significant benefits. 

And as predicted, this has already occurred, with additive manufacturing already forming an intrinsic component of established industrial processes.

It’s a good idea if you want to get in on the action and dabble in 3D printing yourself!

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Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.