16 Print On Demand Business Success Stories

Updated: December 9th, 2023
A Print On Demand Business

16 Print On Demand Business Success Stories

A print-on-demand business involves selling customized products without upfront inventory costs.

The business model utilizes dropshipping production and fulfillment services to print custom apparel, home goods, phone cases, and other merchandise one order at a time.

By leveraging online marketplace platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy as virtual storefronts, print-on-demand sellers can focus on designing trendy and unique products while reaching global audiences.

With minimal startup costs and the freedom to run operations from home, launching a print-on-demand model empowers aspiring founders to monetize their creativity and build ascalable business at their own pace.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a print on demand business:

1. 3D Universe, LLC ($3.6M/year)

Jeremy Simon, one of the founders of 3D Universe, discovered the potential of 3D printing when he bought his first printer in 2012. His involvement in the e-NABLE volunteer community, which uses 3D printing to create prosthetic devices, inspired him to start 3D Universe in 2013. With a strong focus on ecommerce, the company now generates $300,000 per month in revenues and has distributed over 8,000 assembly materials kits for e-NABLE devices.

How much they make: $3.6M/year
Current team size: 4

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Starting a 3D Printer Store Online And Growing to $300k/month

3D Universe grew their ecommerce business to generate $300,000 per month in revenues, with a growth of around 300% over the last three years, through selling 3D printers and supplies and working with the e-NABLE volunteer community, as well as developing their own e-NABLE Web Central platform and assembly materials kits.

About
Jeremy started 3D Universe, LLC over 10 years ago
Revenue
Jeremy grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 9,283 founders

2. Robo 3D ($1.8M/year)

Braydon Moreno and his business partner came up with the idea for Robo 3D when they saw the potential of 3D printing in creating a customized and cost-effective prosthetic leg. They launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised a staggering $650,000 in just 35 days. Today, Robo 3D has sold their 3D printers to over 4,505 cities across 101 countries and continues to inspire creativity and innovation with their technology.

How much they make: $1.8M/year
Current team size: 30

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Raising 13x Their Original Kickstarter Goal With a Viral 3D Printer

Robo 3D, a company that designs 3D printers for consumers, launched their first product on Kickstarter which raised $650,000 in just 35 days, and now has sold their products in over 4,505 cities across 101 countries worldwide.

About
Braydon started Robo 3D almost 7 years ago
Revenue
Braydon grew the business to $150K/month
Read by 8,409 founders

Learn more about starting a print on demand business:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a print on demand business?
-> Pros and cons of a print on demand business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established print on demand business
-> Marketing ideas for a print on demand business

Other resources

3. The Cause ($96K/year)

Antoine Taylor, the founder of The Cause International, came up with the idea for his apparel and printing business while in college. Struggling to make ends meet, he started by washing his classmates' clothes before transitioning to selling custom socks with his school's logo. After experiencing success, Antoine decided to give back to those in need and formed The Cause International, a business that donates a percentage of its profits to various causes.

How much they make: $96K/year
Current team size: 3

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How I Started An Apparel Printing Business Focused On Giving Back

Antoine Taylor founded The Cause International, an apparel and printing company that donates a percentage of its profits to those in need, and in the first year gave back 65% of its profits to charities such as The Boy & Girls Club of South Side Chicago, Skid Row, Flint Michigan, and Guatemalan villages without clean water.

About
Antoine started The Cause about 7 years ago
Revenue
Antoine grew the business to $8K/month
Read by 5,160 founders

4. Life and Limb Printing ($960K/year)

Adam Tanaka, founder of Life and Limb Printing, was inspired by his love of music and his experience working in the merch industry to start his own screen printing company. After honing his skills and building relationships with customers, he expanded his business, leading to a record-breaking month in October 2018 with $80,000 in revenue. With a focus on providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service, Tanaka is on track to hit $1 million in revenue by the end of 2019.

How much they make: $960K/year
Current team size: 3

article

From Scrubbing Floors To Running A $1M Screen Printing Business

This case study features an entrepreneur who started a screen printing company with no financing or investors, and despite struggling for the first few years, was able to grow his business to hit $80,000 in revenue in October 2018 and is set to hit $1 million by the end of 2019.

About
Adam started Life and Limb Printing almost 14 years ago
Revenue
Adam grew the business to $80K/month
Read by 15,877 founders

5. The Canvas Works ($420K/year)

Patrick Ryan, the founder of The Canvas Works, came up with the idea for his business during the beginning of the digital photography revolution. With a background in advertising, Ryan saw the potential for personalized print products and started the company to cater to the growing demand. Despite facing challenges in scalability and competition, The Canvas Works has grown steadily and is now expanding internationally.

How much they make: $420K/year
Current team size: 5

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$35K Per Month Selling Photo Prints and Expanding International

The Canvas Works, a small, independent photo printing website based in County Cork that specialises in canvas and framed prints, has launched sites in the UK and US and will soon roll out native apps on iOS and Android; founder Patrick Ryan says the Irish company, which has focused exclusively on the domestic market until now, is earning a monthly income of up to $50,000, with "great potential" for growth.

About
Patrick started The Canvas Works about 17 years ago
Revenue
Patrick grew the business to $35K/month
Read by 5,808 founders

6. Underground Printing ($36M/year)

UGP co-founders Rishi Narayan and Ryan Gregg started their business in 2001 as a t-shirt company called A-1 Screenprinting. They focused on providing exceptional customer service to college students and quickly expanded their production capabilities by acquiring another screen printer, which led to a name change to Underground Printing. They opened their first retail storefront in 2008 and have since grown to 35+ locations nationwide, generating over $1 million in revenue in their first year. Their commitment to customer service and investment in manufacturing and technology has propelled their success.

How much they make: $36M/year
Current team size: 250

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How I Started A $3M/Month Custom Printed Apparel Company

National custom printing apparel and promotional products provider, Underground Printing, shares their start-up success story which has led them to be ranked amongst Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest-growing companies for three years running, with a customer-centric business model driving strong word-of-mouth promotion.

About
Rishi started Underground Printing about 23 years ago
Revenue
Rishi grew the business to $3M/month
Read by 8,431 founders

7. Toybox ($2.4M/year)

Ben Baltes, the co-founder and CEO of Toybox, came up with the idea for their 3D printer and creativity platform when he and his friends realized the potential of bringing 3D printing capabilities into kids' homes. They saw that kids could not only print their favorite toys but also have the ability to modify or design their own custom toys. Despite facing setbacks and challenges, Toybox has grown from selling only 2 units in its first 2 months to generating millions of dollars in revenue annually.

How much they make: $2.4M/year
How much did it cost to start: $10K
Current team size: 3

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On Creating A 3D Printer And Creativity Platform For Kids

Toybox Labs co-founder and CEO Ben Baltes shares his journey of creating a 3D printer and creativity platform for kids, including brutal setbacks and incredible successes, resulting in millions of dollars of revenue a year, and offers a discount for those interested in purchasing.

About
Ben started Toybox over 6 years ago
Revenue
Ben grew the business to $200K/month
Costs
It cost Ben $10000 to start the business
Read by 8,978 founders

8. Astrography ($1.08M/year)

Artur Kurasinski and Adam Jesionkiewicz co-created Astrography, a company that prints and sells fine arts related to space. Adam, an experienced astrophotographer, decided to print his own pictures and found that people were willing to pay for them. With a zero marketing budget, they managed to print $160K worth of fine art in 12 months and have since become a profitable business.

How much they make: $1.08M/year
Current team size: 4

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How We Started A $12K/Month Business Selling Cosmos-Inspired Fine Prints

Astrography is a small family business offering high-quality, limited edition fine art prints related to space; in the first 12 months of operation, they managed to print the fine art for $160k, largely thanks to social media without any loans or investors.

About
Adam started Astrography about 5 years ago
Revenue
Adam grew the business to $90K/month
Read by 6,882 founders

9. Raghaus ($300K/year)

Markus Hartel, the founder of Raghaus Studios, came up with the idea for his business after moving to a new town and wanting to get back into the printing industry. He purchased vintage letterpress machines and started creating unique stationery products, such as custom wedding invitations and artist's books. Through word-of-mouth and organic growth, his business has steadily grown, allowing him to expand his product line and attract new customers.

How much they make: $300K/year
How much did it cost to start: $25K
Current team size: 2

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How I Started A $15K/Month Business Making Bold Stationery

A specialized letterpress printing business started by Markus Hartel, whose micro-batches have caused his monthly sales to soar above $15k, discusses his experience creating custom invites and expanding his product line.

About
Markus started Raghaus about 9 years ago
Revenue
Markus grew the business to $25K/month
Costs
It cost Markus $25000 to start the business
Read by 7,699 founders

10. Sheedo Paper ($480K/year)

Gonzalo and Gala, founders of Sheedo, came up with the idea for their sustainable paper business while researching plantable tags for an espadrilles brand. They realized that no one was producing printable plantable paper in Spain, so they took it upon themselves to create it. Now, Sheedo has grown into a successful business, generating around 40K€ per month and working with big brands like Coca-Cola and Sony.

How much they make: $480K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 5

article

How Our Sustainable Corporate Merchandising Became a $40K/Month Business

Spanish-based startup Sheedo is making waves in the traditional merchandising industry with its seed-infused, tree-free and non-toxic paper concept and pulling in €40k in monthly revenue, supplying customers including Coca-Cola, Inditex, Sony, Deloitte, and Air France.

About
Gonzalo started Sheedo Paper over 6 years ago
Revenue
Gonzalo grew the business to $40K/month
Read by 5,564 founders

11. Ultimate 3D Printing Store ($3.96M/year)

Roy Kirchner, founder of Ultimate 3D Printing Store, came up with the idea for his business after experiencing a failed product partnership. Inspired by the potential of 3D printing to revolutionize manufacturing, Kirchner took a leap of faith and started his own 3D printing company. With an initial investment of $65,000, the business has now grown to average monthly gross sales of $330,000 and represents products from as many as 30 international manufacturers.

How much they make: $3.96M/year
How much did it cost to start: $65K
Current team size: 4

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How I Started A $330K/Month Ecommerce Specialized In 3D Printing

Founder Roy Kirchner shares how he started an eCommerce business specializing in 3D printing with an initial investment of $65,000, which now averages monthly gross sales of $330,000 and has partnered with international manufacturers and local businesses while offering technical support and education.

About
Roy started Ultimate 3D Printing Store over 8 years ago
Revenue
Roy grew the business to $330K/month
Costs
It cost Roy $65000 to start the business
Read by 28,661 founders

12. Front Signs ($9.6M/year)

Gevorg Hambardzumyan and his friends started Front Signs in 2016 after successfully running a sign-making business in Armenia. They invested $2 million to launch the company in Los Angeles and have since grown their team to 42 employees, with average monthly revenue of $800,000. Through strategic marketing and leveraging the power of the internet, they have attracted over 500,000 customers, including big names like Coca-Cola and Disney. The future looks promising for Front Signs as they plan to expand their team and work with more distinguished companies. Gevorg emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes and investing in marketing for business success.

How much they make: $9.6M/year
How much did it cost to start: $2M
Current team size: 42

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From Small Print-House To A $800K/Month Sign-Making Company

Front Signs is a B2B sign-making company that started with four friends and grew to a team of 42 employees, generating an average monthly revenue of $800,000 from over 500,000 nationwide customers, including Coca-Cola, Six Flags, and Armani Exchange.

About
Gevorg started Front Signs about 7 years ago
Revenue
Gevorg grew the business to $800K/month
Costs
It cost Gevorg $2000000 to start the business
Read by 12,435 founders

13. CATSIVERSE ($2.4K/year)

Timm, the founder of CATSIVERSE, came up with the idea for his business after building a niche community on Instagram. Seeing the opportunity to monetize his cat fan page, he created a cat portrait service and premium sustainable artwear, with a portion of every sale going towards supporting causes his community cares about. In just the first week, the business raked in around $100 in profit.

How much they make: $2.4K/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 0

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On Starting A Niche Cat Lovers Community On Instagram
About
Timm started CATSIVERSE almost 2 years ago
Revenue
Timm grew the business to $200/month
Costs
It cost Timm $1000 to start the business
Read by 2,009 founders

14. JetPrint ($8.4M/year)

How much they make: $8.4M/year
How much did it cost to start: $750K
Current team size: 169

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How I Started A $8.4M/Year Print On Demand Company [From China]

JetPrint is a Chinese print-on-demand company that offers customizable products to global e-commerce sellers, with watches and balls being their featured products. In a short amount of time, they went from starting with a few thousand US dollars in monthly income to making $700,000, and their app was approved by Shopify and recommended in the Shopify App Store. They attribute their success to service quality, innovation, and accurate audience targeting.

About
Mark started JetPrint about 6 years ago
Revenue
Mark grew the business to $700K/month
Costs
It cost Mark $750000 to start the business
Read by 767 founders