Start A 3 D Printing Business - Business Ideas

Updated: September 15th, 2022
Start A 3 D Printing Business

Please note that the data provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on various factors, and should not be considered as perfect or definitive.

3D printing is a process that assembles objects layer by layer and starting a business in this industry can be a very creative venture.

You will need investment in the right equipment and materials, and the acquisition of 3D modeling and design skills. You will also need to regularly calibrate and maintain your 3D printers to deliver consistent results.

Plan how you'll handle shipping and logistics, and leverage technology to find new applications of 3D printing in all industries.

Starting a 3D Printing Business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.

If you're interested in how to sell 3d printing, or selling 3d printing online, you can use this page as a guide for everything you'll need to know.

Want to learn more? You can check out our full guide on how to start a 3D Printing Business ➜

Key Stats

revenue (monthly)
$260K
starting costs
$24.4K
gross margin
40%
avg product price
$1
time to build
240 days
growth
Email marketing
business model
Software
time investment
Full time

Startup Costs

Min Startup Costs Max Startup Costs

Office Space Expenses

$0

$7,000

Employee & Freelancer Expenses

$151

$352

Website Costs

$223

$7,215

Business Formation Fees

$5,600

$20,400

Equipment & Supply Expenses

$63

$200

Inventory Expenses

$300

$5,000

Software Expenses

$162

$3,094

Advertising & Marketing Costs

$75

$5,286

Total Startup Costs

$6,574

$48,547

Successful Businesses

Business URL Rank

Thingiverse

thingiverse.com

1,103

Prusa3D

prusa3d.com

19,244

Shapeways.com

shapeways.com

26,696

3D Hubs

3dhubs.com

60,043

3D Systems

3dsystems.com

64,706

Xometry

xometry.com

74,884

3D Printing Industry

3dprintingindustry.com

77,604

Stratasys

stratasys.com

92,535

3D Printing

3dprinting.com

140,061

Ultimate 3D Printing Store

ultimate3dprintingstore.com

165,539

TPM

tpm.com

193,264

Pros & Cons

Pros Description

Flexibility

You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.

Meaningful business connections

You never know who you will meet as a 3D Printing Business. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!

High customer retention rates

Once a customer invests in your product, they've invested their time and energy to utilize your product/service which is highly valuable to them. Typically, your product or service becomes indispensable to your customer.

Pick & choose the clients you work with

3 D Printing Businesses have the ability to choose the clients they work with. You have the freedom to work with only a few loyal clients or with hundreds of clients!

Unlimited income potential

With starting a 3D Printing Business there is no cap as to how much income you can make. The stronger your business skills and the more energy/time you put into your career, the more you'll make.

Amazing perks and discounts

Working in the 3D Printing Business comes with its perks! As a seller for these products/services, you typically also get to enjoy industry perks and discounts.

Cons Description

Motivation of employees

If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.

Longer Sales Process

A 3D Printing Business can be a big time and money investment for your customer, so it's important you plan and predict a longer conversion funnel and stay in communication with potential customers.

Low margins

The gross margins for your 3D Printing Business are typically around 40%, which can make it more challenging to incur new expenses and maintain profitability.

High employee turnover

In the 3D Printing Business, employee turnover is often high, which can be quite costly and time consuming for your business. It's important to try and avoid this as much as possible by offering competitive pay, benefits, and a positive work environment.

Taxes

As a 3D Printing Business, you typically pay self-employment taxes which can be quite high. It's important to understand what you will be paying in taxes each year so you can determine if the work you're taking on is worth it.

Niche Market

A niche business is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it can be the key to your success. However, it can be more challenging and time consuming to find the perfect niche market and target audience.

Marketing Ideas

  • 1

    Direct Sales

    Direct sales strategy implies a direct contact between a seller and a consumer without the involvement of any third party. Direct selling is popular in sectors where sellers communicate with their clientele personally. The sales technique occurs at non-store locations which include at home, work, or online.

    For direct selling to succeed, hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process. It's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.

    Learn more about direct sales ➜

  • 2

    Word of mouth

    Word of mouth is when a consumers reflects their interest in a company’s product or service in their daily dialogues.

    Therefore, word of mouth advertising is essentially a free advertising triggered by the customers experience.

    According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.

    Therefore, in today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation through a word of mouth can have a huge impact to your business.

    Learn more about word of mouth ➜

  • 3

    Social Media Advertising

    Social media advertising is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience with the objective to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.

    According to Oberlo, approximately 48% of the global population use social media, and the number is ever-growing.

    Therefore, social media allows brands access to cost-effective advertising by enabling them to interact with a large audience.

    Learn more about social media advertising ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
Want to find more ideas that make money?

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