Kirsty Pargeter - 123RF

5 Businesses to Start with Your 3D Printer

  • 26 November 2016
  • Disruptor Daily

As 3D printing continues to go mainstream and 3D printer prices continue to drop, savvy entrepreneurs are starting ingenious businesses to capitalize on this lucrative new technology. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, keep reading to learn 5 cool businesses you can start with your 3D printer.

Offer a 3D Printing Service

Though prices of 3D printers have dropped, that still doesn’t mean everyone and their uncle has the budget to spend $3,000 – $5,000 on a quality printer. This is where you come in. You can buy just one printer, or five or ten printers, and offer a 3D printing service in your local community. You can either provide this service at your home, doing small 3D print jobs on the side or set up an entire dedicated 3D printing service bureau in a commercial retail space.

While there are different variables to consider, ie what level of 3D printing you’re capable of and what kinds of printers and materials you’ll offer customers, demand for 3D printing is huge, so whichever way you choose to take your business, it will most likely be very profitable.

3D Printed Jewelry and Decor

Are you an entrepreneur with a sense of style? Do you like design? Are you always helping friends and family dress or decorate their homes? If so, you may want to consider selling your own unique 3D printed creations. These can come in the form of 3D printed jewelry, accessories, and home décor such as wall art. If you’re creative, the options are endless for what you can make and sell, either through a traditional brick and mortar shop or online through websites like eBay, Etsy, and 3D printing-specific markets like i.Materialise.

Customized Video Game Characters

You know that the gaming industry is big, but what you may not know is that gamers are really into creating their own video game characters, and they invest a lot of time doing so. It goes without saying that they would be willing to pay top dollar to someone who could create their characters using a 3D printer. Don’t think a business that revolves around 3D printing customized gaming characters could be lucrative? Consider Whispering Gibbon, a company that recently received six-figure funding for their RenderFab 3D software that turns video game content into 3D printable characters.

Custom Prosthetics

The best business ideas are the ones that solve real-world problems. One problem thousands of people all over the world experience is a lack of access to lightweight and affordable prosthetics. But 3D printing is changing that.

We’ve already seen stories where 3D printers have been used to create prosthetic hands, but the possibilities are endless. Other 3D prosthetics are in the works, as are 3D printed items like wheelchairs and custom printed prosthetic covers. This is a great business opportunity to earn fantastic revenue while helping others live a better quality of life.

3D Printed Food

Yes, you read that subheader correctly – 3D printers are now creating a variety of foods.  If you are a foodie this may be the business opportunity you have been looking for. To date, the most successful startups have focused on selling 3D printed chocolate and candy. But you can also get creative. Why not open a 3D printed bakery? And for those who love food but aren’t the best cooks in the world, you can also sell 3D printed cooking accessories like cookie cutters and pancake molds.

With each new technological advance come more business opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur. 3D printing technology is here to stay and will no doubt make many people wealthy.

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