The Secrets to Making Money With a 3D Printer – Money Printing Guide

The Secrets to Making Money With a 3D Printer - Money Printing Guide

Are you looking to make money with a 3d printer?

Some people like to sell the things they create as well as just printing them for their own use.

It would be wise if you sold your creations because it might help offset the cost of buying materials.

Some other ways that one could make money from a printer are by becoming an affiliate marketer for online stores that sell products or services.

One could also become their own seller on sites like eBay, Etsy and Amazon to name a few.

Most importantly you want to know what is trending in the world of design so that you can potentially print it out too.

There are many different things that one can make with a 3d printer.

Learning what to do with a 3d printer and how to make money from it, is what we are going to show you in this article.

Where to Buy a 3D Printer?

It is simple to buy a good quality printer.

eBay, Amazon and Best Buy all have some great deals on printers, so it’s worth having a look around before committing fully to anything specific.

If you are looking to buy a printer, it might be best to start your search on eBay.

With how quickly printers come in and out of production, there’s always going to be great deals for purchasing items such as printers from this site.

Amazon also has some good prices as well, and you might benefit by reading one of many guides that cover best 3d printers.

If you are looking for another option, Amazon also offers refurbished models as well as open box printers at competitive rates so it is worth checking them out to see how they compare with what else is being offered.

How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost

Initially, we have assumed that this content would only be read by people who already own a 3d printer.

However, someone might be interested in finding out how they can make money with a 3d printer before opting to buy one.

The price of a printer is going to depend on how much you can spend.

Printers range in prices from about $100 for an entry level model, all the way up to $5000+.

It really depends on what kind of features you are looking for and how often it will be used.

If this is just a small budget project, it might be best to opt for a cheaper printer with limited features.

If you are looking at something more long-term, and how often the printer will be used is an important factor in your decision making process, then spending $5000+ on a good quality machine could make sense.

However, that’s not always going to be the case.

Some printers come with lower prices if they don’t have as many features or only include a shorter warranty period.

What Can I Make and Sell With a 3d Printer?

You can make anything with a printer, or at least try to.

The limits are only set by what the software you use is capable of designing for you and your own creativity.

Some people will focus on one thing while others might have diverse interests in different things they want to make.

You know yourself best! It’s important that whatever you make, you need to think about how it can be sold (if your goal is making money, of course).

Making something for yourself might not always earn you money so if that is the case, then just consider what your time and materials were worth when calculating your costs.

What are some things people sell with a printer? Here are some cool items:

  • t-shirts
  • mugs
  • sketches/drawings on paper and fabric, framed or unframed
  • “LOMO” prints of the photo you take with your smartphone (with a $500 printer) for example. This can be done by printing out a higher resolution of the photo and then projecting it onto a screen with an LED projector
  • prints of your photos as art for people to hang on their wall
  • greeting cards/invitations or party invitations. This can be done by printing off some pre-designed templates from sites like Etsy, Tiny Prints or even designing your own and printing it off.
  • mobile phone cases
  • customized laptop sleeves, tablet covers or other accessories like a customized case for an iPhone Xs Max (using this as an example).

There are so many possibilities when it comes to what you can make with your 3d printer!

How Profitable Is 3D Printing

There are many ways to make money with 3d printing. 3 ways that stand out most often are:

  • Selling 3D printed products to people who want them (for themselves or as gifts)
  • Selling 3D prints of your photos, sketches, drawings and other artwork. This can be done by setting up an account on sites like Society Six, Etsy and even Amazon
  • Create 3D printed crafts that are sold locally, at craft fairs or online. If you are interested in crafts that make money, make sure you read our guide on it.

However, these are far from only 3 ways to make money with 3d printing (more about that below).

But you might be wondering how profitable each of these are. 

It’s difficult to say how profitable 3d printing is for each person because it varies depending on the 3D printed product they are selling and where they sell them.

Some 3d prints will make more than others so you need to research what kind of 3D printed item would be most profitable in your situation, or try a few 3D printed products and see how they do.

The 3D printing industry is still in its early stages so you might be wondering if it’s worth investing into 3d printers at this point?

It definitely is.

3d printing is booming and it’s definitely not a fad, so being in on it while it’s in the early stages is a fantastic idea.

Given the fact that you have an unlimited potential in terms of creating products with a 3D printer, and that not a lot of people still own it, it gives you a unique chance to make good money with it.

If you are thinking about getting one but just aren’t sure, then the answer to that question depends on what your goals for 3d printing are.

Do you want 3D printed items to sell? How often do you think the printer will be used by yourself or other people (family and friends)?

What features does the 3d print offer that might fit in with what your goals are for 3d printing?

Do you have a certain budget allocated for 3d printers?

How To Make Money With a 3D Printer

There are many ways to make money with a printer. As we mentioned, most people focus on the usual – creating products with a printer and then selling it.

However, there are many other ways to make money with a 3d printer, and we are going to cover them all below.

Rent Out a 3d Printer

There are a number of companies that make it easy for someone to make money with their printer by renting it out.

You can list your printer on sites like Craigslist and make some extra cash as you wait for the next person who needs your services (renting out).

Some printers will make more than others so make sure to research the market and see what people want.

This is another way to make money with a printer that’s not just limited to selling items from your own printer (though that’s always an option).

Another good thing about renting out a printer is that if there are clients who have something special they need then you can make that happen for them (for a price).

It’s a little like the old saying “the customer is always right.

Some people will pay more just to make sure their request is fulfilled.

Many companies are using this strategy and it works well because there are so many different types of printers available.

Sell Pre-Made 3d Prints On Etsy

If 3d printing is your hobby and you enjoy creating 3D prints that are just for yourself or as gifts, then this might not be the best way to make money with a printer.

However, if 3d printing is something you do often because it’s profitable and also your passion in life (or maybe even both), then try creating pre-made 3d prints and selling them on Etsy.

Some 3d printed crafts will make more than others so be sure to research the market before you invest in this one.

It’s also important to remember that 3d printers can only print what they are instructed by a computer file, so if you don’t have any design experience then creating and selling pre-made 3d prints might not be the best choice for you.

Start a 3d Printing Service

This is a bit of an advanced technique, but if you know what you’re doing then it can be lucrative.

You’ll need to have the right printer (most likely one that’s a bit expensive), and you also would want to look into buying some 3D print materials in bulk so your costs are more manageable for clients who might want a large amount.

Having a good printer is important for the process of making these items and getting them out quickly, so it would be best if your printer has high quality features – like fast printing speeds and less time between layers.

This is a good way to make money with 3d printing because it’s a service that people will always need – no matter what the future holds in store for us.

Do you want your printer to be used full-time or on an as-needed basis?

This might come into play when deciding whether or not this strategy is best for you.

What features does your 3D printer offer? Is there anything about this feature set that might fit into what you want from your 3d printer?

If your goal is to print large items or work on complex models, then it would be best if you look at more advanced 3D printers (which will likely cost more).

Either way, there are many different features and options that come with 3d printers, so be sure to do some research before investing in one.

There’s also the option of selling your services at cheaper rates if clients don’t mind waiting for their product (this would put less pressure on yourself as someone who’s making the 3d prints).

This is a great way to make money with your printer because it diversifies what you can do and also allows for more time between each job.

It’s important that if this is something you want to try, then research local laws first before starting.

Depending on where you live, there might be some restrictions on how and what you can offer.

You might also be able to use this as a side hustle while still working in the industry if it makes sense for your goals.

Create an Online 3D Printing Course

There are many different ways to make money with a printer, but this is one of the most lucrative options.

If you have any experience or knowledge in creating an online course then it would be easy for you to create an online class on how to use and manipulate a three-dimensional design file that’s been uploaded into your computer (many people refer to these files as STLs).

The good thing about this method is that the marketplace is still not saturated with many different courses on 3d printing.

This is an opportunity for anyone who is a bit of an expert in this field to make money by teaching others how they can too. Here’s a guide that will teach you how to create a successful online course.

Create and Sell a Line of Products

If you have a good idea for what to create and sell, then this is a really lucrative way to make money with your printer.

It’s important that if you do choose to go down this route that the market research should be done beforehand so you have an idea of the type of products that can be profitable.

You can also get a clear picture on how to price your products correctly.

The more research you do, the better chance of making a success out of your business.

If you want to be successful in selling products on Etsy or another online marketplace then it would be best to make sure that every product has images and detailed descriptions so people know what they are getting before clicking on it.

It’s also important that you be able to respond quickly and professionally if someone has any questions about the product or process of buying it (many people want this level of customer service when they are looking for something).

The best way to find an idea for a product would be to do a lot of research on online marketplaces, blogs and other places where people are blogging about their experiences with products.

We decided to do a bit of research for you and show you some of the ideas we think are good.

3d Printer Products to Sell

Here’s a bunch of ideas that we came up with. We feel these have a good market interest but are not overly saturated.

Robotics Kits

Creating and selling robotic kits using a 3d printer is a great way to make money.

This is a really popular hobby and it’s becoming more accessible as technology advances, so this could be the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to try their hand at entrepreneurship or making something that will have longevity in the marketplace.

It’s important that you know what your goal is when creating these kits (e.g. are you trying to make something for a classroom or do you want to sell it as an individual product in the store).

This will help determine how much time and effort is put into designing these kits so there’s more of a chance that customers would be happy with their purchase.

There are many different options when it comes to designing and building a kit, but it’s important to know that the more complicated kits might not be as popular with customers.

This is because they are less user friendly or require some sort of programming knowledge before they can be used successfully.

The simpler robotic kits will probably sell better than the more complex ones due to this reason.

The best way to get started is by looking at the kit designs on Thingiverse or other sites like this one.

This will give you an idea for what others have done in order to make these kits popular.

The next step would be to try and come up with your own design for a kit that could sell well in the marketplace.

Drone Accessories

With the growing use of drones the last few years, this is a really popular option right now.

It’s important that you do your research and find out what the customer needs are before designing these products because there are many different things they might be looking for (e.g. drone carrying cases, propellers or other parts).

The good thing about designing these accessories is that they are not as expensive to make and they have a better chance of selling than some other products.

This is because most people don’t want to spend too much money on something before purchasing it, so this gives them the opportunity to try out their new drone without breaking the bank at first glance.

Designing drone accessories is a good option because they usually have more than one part and can be broken down into smaller pieces, making it easier to produce them.

The main issue with this is that the parts need to be designed to work together so you might need multiple tools to produce them.

Phone Cases & Accessories

Who doesn’t own a phone today? There are almost as many phone users as there are people in US.

That being said, an accessory or phone case is something that most people purchase at one point.

The best thing about this option is that there are many different things you can do with it:

  • You could sell more expensive cases for people who like the latest trends and want something flashy
  • Or, simpler cases would work better for people who just want something functional
  • You could also sell phone cases in bulk to a company that would like to have them available at their stores.

This is a good way to make money because it’s not too expensive and there are many different ways you can go about designing them.

The most important thing with this type of product would be the design, though.

You want something that looks great but also serves its purpose while still being comfortable for the person using it as well.

Successful business owners know the importance of looking for opportunities to expand their consumer base.

That’s why following trends and industries that are expanding is key to creating designs that will sell well.

Key takeaway:

  • Don’t assume that just because you have a great idea for product it will sell well.
  • Design your products to be user friendly and versatile so they can be purchased by many different people.

How Much Money Can You Make 3D Printing?

An obvious question that we need to answer before summing up this article is how much money can you actually make with a 3d printer.

And since we presented so many different money making options with a 3d printer, it’s practically impossible to have a clear answer to this question.

Making money renting out a 3d printer is way different than creating products you can sell.

It is also little hard to answer because it depends on other factors like where you are located and what type of products you create.

In general, you can make around $15-$30 per hour renting out a printer.

So if you managed to rent it for 12 hours in one day that would be between $180 and  $360.

If your goal is more towards designing products and selling them then the sky is the limit.

Summing Up

3D printing is a hot trend in the world of manufacturing, but it can also be used to make money.

There are many different ways you can use your personal printer to generate income from home or at work – by selling custom-made products like jewelry and apparel items that have been designed with CAD software for example.

You may need some experience either designing these products yourself or learning how to market them on different sites such as Etsy before this will become profitable though.

What do you think about using 3D printers for profit? Let us know what kind of things you would design if given the chance!