25 3D Printing Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2022]

25 3D Printing Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2022]

Are you Interested in starting a 3D printing business in 2022?

Demand for 3D printing will quadruple over the next decade exceeding $50 billion. Thus, starting your own 3D printing business can be worthwhile.

We put together 25 of the best 3D printer business ideas you can start.

For each business idea, we'll show real-world examples of other 3d printing businesses to help you see what it takes.

Here's the full list:

1. 3D printing for marketing & promotional products

3D printing for marketing products gives businesses a unique way to set their brand apart and make a lasting impression. As competition intensifies, businesses in different sectors choose 3D printing as a way to customize and create fantastic designs and products.

Therefore, if you want profitable and high-in-demand 3D printing business ideas, consider starting 3D printing for marketing products.

How Much Can You Make?
$275,000 — $400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$1,030,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Vladimir Gendelman, and I am the Founder and CEO of Company Folders, Inc. We are the ultimate boutique presentation folder company. I founded the company in 2003, and since then, we have won multiple awards, including making Inc.’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America for three consecutive years. We have the largest selection of folders available anywhere, and we serve everyone from the travel agent working at home to schools and universities, government organizations, and large companies such as Google, Chick-fil-A, Sony, MGM, and the NFL.

Our main product lines are presentation folders, 3-ring bindersand envelopes. And our flagship product is a two-pocket presentation folder. We have printed over 20 million products for over 5,000 loyal clients. Our blog and design gallery have seen more than 5.5 million readers. We have hundreds of Google reviews with an average rating of 5 stars, and we’ve been featured in over 500 publications, including Forbes and Time.

i-built-a-multi-million-dollar-presentation-folder-company-from-scratch-from-united-states

2. 3D-printing for product design

The advent of 3D printing has provided designers and engineers with an alternative way to showcase their capabilities. Designers and engineers use transformative technology to create digitally engineered molds for patients. Through 3D printing technology, manufacturers can produce cost-effective short production runs to test the market or to offer customized product versions.

3D printing in design applies during product conception to allow designers to compare, test, and understand structural and visual qualities. At the prototyping stage, designers use 3D printing to create functional prototypes faster compared to when using traditional prototyping.

Therefore, starting a 3D printer business, consider printing for designers and engineers.

How Much Can You Make?
$330,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$65,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Roy Kirchner, an entrepreneur from Odessa, Florida. After years spent in the automobile and marketing and advertising industries, I decided in 2014 to form a new company solely focused on emerging new technology, 3D printing.

I started my company with an initial, out-of-pocket investment of $65,000, and today we are averaging monthly gross sales of $330,000.

how-i-started-a-330k-month-ecommerce-specialized-in-3d-printing

3. Start a 3D-printed pills business

The first 3D-printed pill (Spritam) was approved by the FDA back in 2015. 3D-pill printing uses certain unique materials to create more effective medication that dissolves faster and can be ingested faster than traditional pills.

If you already have a background in pharmaceuticals and looking for a potential 3D printing business idea, you may want to focus on 3D pill printing.

4. Start a customized collectibles business

While some trends tend to go out of style fast, collecting is a trend that will not change any time soon. Many people still love collecting art pieces, images of favorite celebrities, athletes, artists, etc.

With 3D printing, you can start a collectibles business and focus on any niche. One of the benefits of using 3D in printing collectibles is the potential to produce lighter and easy-to-transport collectibles. Thus, 3D printer businesses can reach global customers without worrying about transportation.

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$13,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Adam Torkildson (Tork to my friends). I run Tork Media, which is the umbrella company to several ventures I’m in various stages of running and/or funding.

I’m a partner and founder of 7 very different ventures; ranging from a solar farm in Bakersfield to selling sportscards on eBay (which is the one I like to talk about the most).

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-selling-sports-cards-on-ebay

5. Start a corporate 3D printing service

Are you are interested in starting a 3D printer idea? 3D printing can help businesses with product designing and prototyping. Besides, 3D printers help create marketing and promotional materials, improve existing products, produce detailed models, etc.

Therefore, focusing your 3D printing business on corporate services can be a noble entrepreneurship idea.

How Much Can You Make?
$275,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$60,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Vladimir Gendelman, and I am the Founder and CEO of Company Folders, Inc. We are the ultimate boutique presentation folder company. I founded the company in 2003, and since then, we have won multiple awards, including making Inc.’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America for three consecutive years. We have the largest selection of folders available anywhere, and we serve everyone from the travel agent working at home to schools and universities, government organizations, and large companies such as Google, Chick-fil-A, Sony, MGM, and the NFL.

Our main product lines are presentation folders, 3-ring bindersand envelopes. And our flagship product is a two-pocket presentation folder. We have printed over 20 million products for over 5,000 loyal clients. Our blog and design gallery have seen more than 5.5 million readers. We have hundreds of Google reviews with an average rating of 5 stars, and we’ve been featured in over 500 publications, including Forbes and Time.

i-built-a-multi-million-dollar-presentation-folder-company-from-scratch-from-united-states

6. Start a 3D-printed arts business

Since the invention of 3D printing, technology has given a new meaning to art. With additive manufacturing, artists can deliver more creative art pieces featuring complex geometries and a high level of detail.

If you are an artist or have a passion for art, consider producing 3D prints and selling them in various online art galleries.

How Much Can You Make?
$50,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,000
Skills

Case Study

Hi, my name is Saleh Sokhandan, I am the founder of Vidavin. I am a designer of creative and artistic products that are made based on 3D art and optical illusion techniques.

Our imagination is endless, and we like to accompany others in the joy of new experiences.

i-started-a-600k-year-business-creating-3d-art-optical-illusions-from-iran

7. Start an existing items customization business

3D printing is one of the best tools for the design industry. An excellent application area of 3D printing is improving the existing items. Product customization with 3D printing enables businesses to create a lasting impression amongst their target customers.

For instance, orthopedics relies on customized adaptation to support orthoses and prostheses. With 3D printing, they can achieve custom shapes and material strengths that match the individual patients. Therefore, if you have a background in 3D printing, you can focus on helping manufacturers and designers achieve product customization.

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$500,000
Skills

Case Study

Hello, I’m David, CEO, and Founder of DesignEvo, an easy-to-use logo maker. We've been successfully focusing on graphics design and multimedia software ever since 2006!

DesignEvo logo maker is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs, agencies, website owners, freelancers, and even social media admins looking to create great logos in a breeze. Until now, we have over 29 million users worldwide, bringing us about 1 million dollars each month. Many of them are website owners or bloggers.

i-created-a-12m-year-online-logo-maker-with-29-million-users

8. Start a customized glasses frames business

3D printing is now changing how eyewear manufacturers produce glasses. The glass product manufacturers are adopting layer-by-layer printing technology to deliver unique products and beat the competition by bringing more innovation to glass designs.

The printing technology allows glass companies to create highly complex structures and, in some cases, designs that could be unimaginable. If you are in the glass industry and looking for a great business opportunity, you may consider starting a customized glass frames business.

How Much Can You Make?
$20,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$77,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Mehdi Kajbaf, Co-Founder at Matboard and More ™ , the company that makes framing your art easier than you think. We brought sophistication to one of the oldest industries on earth, picture framing.

However, if you can live the life you want, have financial security for the future and the freedom to enjoy it, you are probably successful.

finding-financial-freedom-through-starting-a-matboard-business

9. Start a customized earbuds business

Tailormade earbuds perform better. However, custom manufacturing is not economical, and collecting personalized consumer data can be complex.

Luckily, 3D printing is changing manufacturing processes and promising greater customer satisfaction. High-quality 3D printers and advanced scanning technology make it possible to manufacture customized audiology products such as earbuds.

Are you interested in designing and developing of audiology application? If yes, starting a 3D earbuds production business can be a great business idea.

How Much Can You Make?
$500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$500,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Janne Kyllönen. I am the founder of QuietOn. We are making active noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping and are bringing relief for people who are struggling to sleep in a noisy environment surrounded by traffic noise or snoring.

we-make-6m-year-selling-earbuds-that-help-you-sleep-better

10. Start a 3D printer selling business

Business research projects that the global 3D printing service market will exceed $5 Billion in the coming decade. 3D printing enables manufacturers to achieve flexible designs, rapid prototyping, and much more.

Through additive manufacturing, businesses are achieving revolutionary benefits. Therefore, the demand for 3D printers will continue increasing rapidly over the coming years.

Are you looking for 3D printing business ideas? Maybe you should consider selling 3D printers. To start, find 3D printer manufacturers and apply to become their distributorship programs. Alternatively, you can create a 3D printer website and start selling printers and accessories.

How Much Can You Make?
$330,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$65,000
Skills

Case Study

My name is Roy Kirchner, an entrepreneur from Odessa, Florida. After years spent in the automobile and marketing and advertising industries, I decided in 2014 to form a new company solely focused on emerging new technology, 3D printing.

I started my company with an initial, out-of-pocket investment of $65,000, and today we are averaging monthly gross sales of $330,000.

how-i-started-a-330k-month-ecommerce-specialized-in-3d-printing

11. Start a children's toys business

Are you interested in toy production? Using 3D technology, you can achieve better toy design. The tooling technology alleviates the pain points of toy designing and production and enables toy manufacturers to achieve personalized molds.

In today’s competitive business landscape, 3D printing can help you achieve faster time to market, more excellent toy designs and customization, and enable the creation of new business models. Therefore, if you are interested in a potential 3D printing business, you may consider a 3D toys printing business.

How Much Can You Make?
$400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$15,000
Skills

Case Study

Hey, y’all! I’m Hagan Walker - one of the co-founders of Glo! We make liquid-activated products under two different brands - Glo Cubes, which are light up drink cubes - and Glo Pals, light-up sensory toys for children. Both incorporate the same patented liquid activation circuitry.

Hold on to your seats. I believe telling a story should be real - it should include the highs and lows, tell you about how the path isn’t always straightforward, and detail how some things work out for a reason, so let’s start from the beginning.

how-we-built-a-1-2mm-year-business-selling-light-up-ice-cubes

12. Start a 3D modelling business

3D modeling is critical in product design, helping businesses achieve greater customer satisfaction. Several industries like film, medicine, gaming, and manufacturing are already making the best use of 3D modeling.

If you have 3D modeling expertise and are looking for a profitable 3D printing business idea, starting a 3D modeling business in 2022 can be worthwhile. To start, identify a niche, and identify potential customers within the niche.

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$100
Skills

Case Study

Hello, my name is Marco, founder of MazingXR (alongside my two co-founders). I’m 27 years old, born and raised in Austria – no kangaroos – it is a small country in the center of Europe. You might know Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is Austrian.

we-developed-a-120k-year-augmented-reality-solution-for-e-commerce

13. Start a 3D robotics engineering business

Just as manufacturing uses 3D printing, so can engineering leverage the power of 3D in designing and prototyping robotics projects. According to experts, the global 3D printing robots market will reach approximately 4.9 billion in the next few years, achieving a CAGR growth rate of 15%.

The consistent growth of 3D printing in the robotics industry depicts the potential of 3D printing business ideas.

Most engineering companies use 3D printing technologies to develop customized robotic solutions for clients in the manufacturing, construction, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and defense industries.
Therefore, if you have some background in robotics engineering and are interested in starting a 3D printing business, you may consider the application of 3D printing technology in developing robotic solutions.

14. Start a medical implants business

One of the benefits of 3D printing healthcare is helping doctors and researchers reconstruct various human body parts. Thus, additive manufacturing has helped save lives by enabling doctors to achieve successful implants.

For example, additive manufacturing (3D printing) has made jaw reconstruction possible. Also, 3D-printed knee implant companies like Conformis applied 3D printing to create implants, an initiative that has given new hope to patients.

Therefore, if you are in the medical industry, you may consider starting a 3D medical implant printing business.

How Much Can You Make?
$258,333/month
Skills

Case Study

Unlimited Tomorrow, a medical equipment manufacturing company, was founded in 2014 by Easton LaChappelle.

TrueLimb is their main product: an affordable, lightweight, and intuitive bionic arm.

In 2018, the company raised $1.6 million in less than a month. They put this toward funding a full-scale production line for TrueLimb.

TrueLimb costs $7,995, and if a child outgrows the piece, they upcycle the components and replace it for about $4,000.

article

Read the full article on forbes.com ➜

15. Start a prosthetics 3D printing business

Approximately 2 million people are living with limb loss in the US alone.

Fortunately, 3D printing makes an incredible difference in the medical industry and saves millions of lives. Today, patients can request 3D-enabled knee replacements and prosthetic arms. The 3D printing technology can also improve the lives of those reliant on prosthetic limbs.

According to the American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association, the average prosthetic costs between $1,500 and $8,000. By contrast, 3D-printed prosthetic costs as little as $50. Therefore, given that over 2 million people could be suffering limb loss, starting 3D prosthetics printing can be a great business idea.

How Much Can You Make?
$258,333/month
Skills

Case Study

Unlimited Tomorrow, a medical equipment manufacturing company, was founded in 2014 by Easton LaChappelle.

TrueLimb is their main product: an affordable, lightweight, and intuitive bionic arm.

In 2018, the company raised $1.6 million in less than a month. They put this toward funding a full-scale production line for TrueLimb.

TrueLimb costs $7,995, and if a child outgrows the piece, they upcycle the components and replace it for about $4,000.

article

Read the full article on forbes.com ➜

16. Start a jewelry and ornaments production business

Until recently, jewelry was done by hand, with machines used to facilitate metalwork and fabrication. However, jewelry making is set to change as jewelers turn to 3D printing.

3D printing enables jewelers to conceptualize and prototype rings, necklaces, and other jewelry products. Digital technologies help to personalize creations while a customer waits. Apart from enabling faster production of jewelry, the technology has helped in the delivery of personalized designs.

Therefore, if you are in the jewelry industry or interested in venturing into the industry but not sure where to start, you may factor in 3D jewelry and ornaments printing.

How Much Can You Make?
$83,000/month
Skills

Case Study
  • PupRing is a company run by Parth Kukreja and Alex Djordjevic that sells pet jewelry online.
  • This company is a startup in the custom jewelry industry that is expanding quickly. They produced more than 70% of their overall income online.
  • PupRing transform the pawprints, names, and priceless memories of your pet into pieces of wearable jewelry that you can use to carry them with you wherever you go.
  • Since opening their TikTok account in November 2020, they have gathered more than 135,000 followers and 35,000,000 views.

article

Listen to the full podcast on podcasts.apple.com ➜

17. Start a 3D food printing business

Some application areas of 3D printing in the food industry include producing customized food designs, personalized and digitalized nutrition, a simplified supply chain, and broadened source of available food materials.

3D printing has enabled researchers in the food industry to provide suitable alternatives for meat. Startups are working to ensure the appearance, taste, texture, and flavor of 3D-printed meat matches closely with the current meat-eating experience. Other applications of 3D printing in the food industry include 3D baking decoration equipment, 3D food design platform, and 3D printing desserts.

Research shows that 3D food printing is expected to reach approximately $873 million over the next few years.

Therefore, starting a 3D food printing business will be a noble idea.

18. Start a 3D-printed custom-made tools business

3D printed tools convey the usefulness of 3D printing technology in various areas today. Applying 3D in printing tools will benefit farmers, farriers, engineers, and other 3D printing enthusiasts needing handy tools. Examples of tools you can produce using 3d printing technology include functional hammers, wire cutters, saws, and other tools.

To start a 3d tools production business, ensure you understand how different tools work so that you can meet the design specifications.

19. Start a 3D selfie studio

While 3D printing has been used widely in construction, medicine, and engineering industries, it is now expanding to personal space. Today, we see graphic designers and artists turning into 3D selfie studios.

A 3D selfie studio provides a more elaborate process of scanning and printing images. The 3D selfie images can be made using plastic and other materials.

With the 3D technology finally starting to catch on, starting a 3D selfie printing business can be rewarding. You will need a full-body 3D scanner, 3D digital retouching software, and a full-color 3D printer.

How Much Can You Make?
$6,250,000/month
Skills

Case Study

Richard Moross started MOO, an online printing & designing business that manufactures and sells premium print and branded stuff for corporate customers worldwide.

MOO was founded in 2006 to disrupt the trillion-dollar global print business by merging the ideals of professional design with the web’s affordability and reach.

The company started as a business card printer, and its product range has expanded to include, postcards, greeting cards, stationery, drinkware, accessories, and other custom products.

This technology-focused manufacturing company has become one of the world’s fastest-growing print firms, with over 400 workers in the UK and US, including London, Boston, Lincoln, RI, and Denver, CO.

The founder has been working in the design industry for an extended period and wanted to have something of his own where he can make the design more accessible for people by integrating design with technology. This led to him starting his company.

MOO acquired big-level investors in their institutional Series A round to expand the business. Index and Atlas are the investors who saw potential in the business and decided to join with MOO to take it to the next level.

The founder was named to the Times Newspaper’s '40 Under 40’ list, the Telegraph Newspaper’s '100 Most Influential People in Technology, and the 1,000 ‘Most Powerful People in British Business.’

In addition to his daily work, he has served as an FTSE 250 NED, a board member of the Young President’s Organization, and an active mentor to early-stage entrepreneurs and firms in the UK startup ecosystem.

Today, MOO has hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 190 countries.

article

20. Start a 3D-printed shoes business

3D printing is a technology that has revolutionized various industries, including fashion. 3D printed shoes are an interesting trend you may want to get into.

3D printing technology is used to prototype and try new shoe manufacturing processes. The technology enables designers to go further with the shoe designing process to create organic structures through additive manufacturing other than the traditional processes.

A 3D printing and footwear market study revealed that the industry will generate more than $8 billion in profits in the next few years. Therefore, starting a 3D shoe printing business can be rewarding.

To start a 3D shoe printing business, choose a niche, and buy the needed 3D printing equipment.

21. Start a 3D Scanning business

3D scanning business analyzes a real-world object or environment and collects data on its shape and appearance before creating its image digitally. Thus, 3D scanning is a faster and easier technique for creating 3D models when you want to recreate an existing object.

There are different 3D scanning techniques you can use today. Examples are Laser 3D scanning, photogrammetry, and structured light scanning.

To start a 3D scanning business, select the best 3D scanners and great 3D scanning apps. If you already have a smartphone, you can download a 3D scanning app and use it for 3D scanning.

22. Start a 3D-printed spare parts business

3D printing is revolutionizing the spare parts industry. The technology is helping the spare parts manufacturers and suppliers to strike a balance between the cost of spare parts production and the lead time.

The digital printing technology enables spare parts storage in the virtual inventory, a move that minimizes the need for storage spaces. The automobile industry can use 3D printing technology to produce spare parts. The additive technology is also perfect for manufacturing aircraft spare parts.

If you are interested in producing spare parts, you may consider starting your 3D printed spare parts business.

23. Start a 3D printing course

The 3D printing industry is snowballing thanks to its ability to create a wide range of versatile products quickly and cost-effectively. Owing to the increased demand, there is a rising interest among job-seekers who want to learn the skill to stand out in interviews, while others want to establish a 3-D printing business.

If you have 3D printing experience and are passionate about technology, you can start a 3D printing course.

24. Start a 3D architecture business

3D printing technology has helped bring architects’ dreams to life. The technology uses architectural illustrations and other reference materials to produce photo-realistic 3D images or animations of proposed buildings and developments.

Starting a 3D architecture business is well worth it. The profession is in high demand, and the profit margins tend to be higher than average. If you plan to start a 3D architecture business, you can specialize in interior design, architecture, science, medicine, fashion, etc.

25. Start a 3D fashion designer business

3D fashion design is transforming how creatives in the fashion and luxury industry approach product development, pattern making, fittings, and much more.

The application of 3D printing technology is growing rapidly among fashion companies and designers willing to reduce their environment’s impact and make fashion design more straightforward.

Therefore, starting a 3D fashion design business could be rewarding.

To start a 3D fashion design business, consider registering for the fashion design certificate program and taking a 3D design course.

Article Sources:

  1. 3D Printing Industry Analysis at Grand View Research
  2. With 24.3% CAGR, 3D Printing Market Size Worth USD 83.90 Billion in 2029 at Globe News Wire
  3. Three Areas Holding Back The $10.6B 3D Printing Industry at Forbes
  4. Global 3D printing products and services market size from 2020 to 2026 at Statista
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.