If you are someone who really wants to buy a 3D printer, but you want to make sure it will actually be a profitable purchase instead of just a huge expense, then I am talking directly to you. Learning how to make money with a 3D printer will guarantee your return on investment if you are willing to put in the work.
Not many people can fork out the cash to purchase a 3D printer. Therefore, they look for others who have one already to do a project for them. This is your opportunity to charge for the service so that you both get what you want.
3D printers are versatile and can handle a variety of projects, making them extremely valuable. Take your time exploring the best printer for you and make money with a 3D printer. Use it as a side hustle or a business and bring your customer’s visions to life.
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What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is the process of printing objects into tangible, three-dimensional products. It’s an “additive manufacturing” process that deposits layers and layers on top of each other to create models right before your eyes. These layers are either liquid or powdered plastic. All of the layers are then fused together to sustain the object.
What Can You Make With a 3D Printer to Sell?
The beauty of 3D printing is that you can make so many things and then turn around and sell them to others. Take a look at some 3D printing ideas to sell:
- Children’s figurines
- 3D ultrasound for visually impaired parents-to-be
- Phone case covers
- Coffee cups
- Wallet for credit cards
- Picture frames
- Costume masks
- Lunch boxes
- Legos and/or large blocks
- Piggy Banks
- Measuring spoons/cups
- Napkin holders
- Bottle openers
- Candle holders
- Board games and board game pieces
- Camera lenses
- Musical instruments
- Tablet and iPad stands
- Decorative hanging light fixtures
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10 Ways to Make Money With a 3D Printer
3D printers can be expensive upfront to purchase. However, it only takes a few solid projects to earn enough to cover that expense. Here are some of the best ways to monetize a 3D printer.
1. Create and Sell Your Miniature Creations
Collectible figurines are fun for others to purchase and display in their homes. Make your own figurine creations and sell them to others.
From mystical creatures, fun action figures, replicas of animals, superheroes, and more, figurines can be a safe money maker. With intricate details in your creations, you can quickly become someone customers flock to for unique designs and gifts.
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2. Start a 3D Printing Blog
Become an expert in the 3D printing world and start a blog around the topic. You can write posts about the best printers and products, step-by-step guides, and even create sponsored posts.
Utilize affiliates and ads to monetize your blog and keep creating content around 3D printing tutorials, reviews, buyer and gift guides, and even the things you should not do with this special printer. There is no shortage of content you can create about 3D printing.
3. Create YouTube Tutorials and Reviews
There are even more ways to monetize 3D printing such as creating a YouTube channel to publish tutorials and reviews. Help beginners in their quest for answers on how to use their printer or show satisfying objects being made right in front of your viewers.
Teach them how to assemble and clean their printer. Also, leave helpful reviews about specific printers and products. Add affiliates to your channel and ads to maximize your earning potential.
4. Offer Print on Demand Services
Make money 3D printing on demand, a service you can offer to friends, family, neighbors, and your community as a whole. Let others pay you to use your printer and recoup the cost of your investment quicker.
Advertise your services on social media, send out flyers to your neighborhood, put your service in the local newspaper, and ask others for referrals. Charge a fair price for each item you print on demand.
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5. Offer 3D Printing Classes Locally or Online
People often wonder, “what can you do with a 3D printer to make money?” The answer can be as simple as offering classes locally or online on how to use the printer itself. Teach others how they can use their investment and show them ways they can also make money with their printer.
Get an in-depth understanding of your machine and teach others all the ins and outs of it so that they use the printer to its full capacity. Your students will pay for the convenience of having someone show them how to assemble it, use it, as well as learn new tricks about their machine.
6. Rent Out Your 3D Printer
Monetize 3D printing by charging a fee for someone to rent out your 3D printer. Let them print their projects and charge for the time it takes them to do so. From simple home décor to party favors, you can rent your printer for their one-time needs.
Consider charging by the hour or by the project. This saves others from having to purchase the printer themselves, especially if they won’t have a need for one after their project.
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7. Sell 3D Printers and Supplies Online
Make 3D printing a side hustle by conveniently starting an ecommerce business on Shopify and sell printers and supplies on your store. Reach customers through advertising on social media, Pinterest, and word-of-mouth. Sell the necessities that 3D printing customers need to successfully print their projects and keep them coming back to you as their one-stop-shop.
8. Become a 3D Printing Consultant
Being a consultant means you are an expert who can help someone else learn the trade. 3D printing consultants teach others how to use their devices and consult them on the services they offer, refer them to the best products, and notify clients of new or improved machinery that may be beneficial to them.
You can also be someone who consults them on troubleshooting needs. Consultants can charge by the hour or by the month depending on the clients’ needs.
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9. Buy and Sell Used 3D Printers
3D printing can sound like an exciting thing to do, but some people may have been too hasty in their decision making process. After realizing 3D printing isn’t for them, you can often find these printers for sale online or at local marketplaces.
Additionally, some sellers may want to sell their printer so that they can buy the newest upgraded version on the market. Buy the used printers, ensure they are in good working condition, clean them up a bit, and then sell them to others for a profit.
10. Offer Paid Demos
A 3D printer might look nice, but if you don’t know how to use it, it could quickly become a large, expensive paperweight. Offer paid demos to customers who purchased a 3D printer and help them understand the potential they have to create some grand projects.
Don’t let them leave the printer collecting dust. Provide weekly or monthly demos to educate others frequently on the potential they have.
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5 Highly-Rated and Affordable 3D Printers for Beginners
Make money with a 3D printer from this list of highly-rated printers available on Amazon. It will take some practice and close attention to the instructions manual to master your new printer.
ANYCUBIC Photon Mono 3D Printer
This printer is less than $300 and has a global rating of 4.5 stars. It is a resin finish printer producing projects with strong stability. It includes off-line printing and is great for beginners due to its ease of use.
This printer is not useful for large projects, but has been highly mentioned by other purchasers to print detailed, quick, and leveled smaller products.
This 3D printer features:
- 2.5x faster resin finish
- Transparent cover to block UV rays
- LCD screen
- Stability and high precision
Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
This option is an affordable 3D printer that includes a ‘resume printing’ function, perfect for needing to pause a project due to power outages or any lapses that may occur. It includes a safety protected power supply and moves noiselessly.
Out of over 3,100+ reviews, this printer still ranks 4.6 stars. Buyers describe this printer as one for beginners or experienced users. It is easy to use, takes some time to set up, and prints smoothly. This 3D printer features:
- Advanced extruder technology
- Strict testing on key components
- Quick hot bed
- V-shape with upgraded wheels
Official Creality Ender 3 V2 Upgraded 3D Printer
For less than $300, this printer offers a silent motherboard, resume printing function, and quick hotbed heat. It rates 4.5 stars out of 2,200+ reviews. It is great for beginners as it offers easy assembling, simple-to-use features, and prints good quality finishes.
The instructions for use can be a little confusing at first, but there are plenty of tutorials to walk you through it and the customer support it comes with is outstanding. This 3D printer features:
- Upgraded extruder design
- Meanwell power supply
- Semi-assembled kit
- Removable build surface plate
Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer With Removable Build Surface Plate
This printer easily sells for less than $300 and is highly rated with nearly 6,000 reviews, rating 4.5 stars. There is a learning curve as you adjust to this printer, but overall it is easy to assemble and prints great quality projects. YouTube videos can show you step-by-step how to use this printer. It has exceeded many buyers’ expectations.
This 3D printer features:
- Resume printing
- Lifetime technical assistance
- Ability to heat up to 110 degrees Celsius in just five minutes
- Easy set-up kit
- Removable surface plate
ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer
This printer is less than $300 and is low maintenance. With a 4.7 rating from over 2,600+ buyers globally, this printer has blown away buyers. It has ultra accuracy, sturdy build quality, and a multi language interface. It is easy to use, prints high quality, and has a learning curve that technical support can help with.
This 3D printer features:
- UV photocuring
- UV integrated light
- 12 languages including Turkish, Dutch, English, Spanish, and more
- Fast printing
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Can a 3D Printing Side Hustle Be Profitable?
3D printers can make some incredible products and can quickly turn from a hobby into a business opportunity. However, 3D printing takes work and not everyone will be able to learn how to make money with a 3D printer. It takes practice, education, and intensive research.
If you are someone who is willing to put in the time to learn and use these unique printers, then there are many opportunities to get paid to 3D print. From the list above, choose the best method and machine for you in which you can make money with a 3D printer.
Start it out as a hobby and eventually turn it into a profitable side hustle. Learn as much as you can about 3D printing to set yourself as an expert others will pay to learn from. 3D printing is more than just making fun things for your home; take advantage of the skills you acquire using this printer and make money from home.