How to Make Money with 3D Printing | The Definitive Guide

For the budding 3D printing enthusiast, turning a hobby into a profitable business venture can be a daunting task. How to Make Money with 3D Printing ?

However, never fear – just a few examples of ways to make money with 3D printing as a beginner are creating and selling artwork for your own online store, 3D printing services and products for others to sell online, making money yourself with a 3d other, or even creating an online course that teaches people how to 3D print. With just a few initial steps, you just might find yourself on the path to success with your own 3D printing and business model.

Running a 3D printing business can be a lucrative way to make spend money. With a few different ways to use your 3D printer from customizing one-off models and creating spare parts to larger engineering projects, there are plenty of opportunities.

One popular method is to use online marketplaces like Etsy or other creative sites which allow you to showcase and sell your 3D printed items in high demand right now. Additionally, you may wish to partner with interior designers or engineers by creating some custom 3D printing services for a range of projects.

However, before getting started it’s important that you have the right knowledge and skill required to make used printers and produce quality parts. By learning the best practices, proper traditional manufacturing methods, and materials needed, success can be assured.

How to Make Money with 3D Printing

How to Make Money with 3D Printing

1. Design and sell 3D prints

Looking several ways to make money and take your 3D printing from an exciting hobby to a successful business venture? You’ve got options! From utilizing existing or custom designs, or even taking on commissioned work, there’s no limit for creative exploration with 3d printing. It’s time you make the jump and see what this amazing technology can do for you.

For a truly personal use unique shopping experience, personalized items can’t be beat. But if you’re looking to make money or for convenience and efficiency with your orders, pre-designed products are the way to go – they allow you to have an inventory ready in advance so all that’s left is dropping them off at their new home!

If you have a passion for 3D printing, then the world is your oyster! Tap into people selling nearly any market that tickles your fancy and figure out where they like to shop. Create custom products according to their tastes so many customers see that you can offer them more money and exactly what they’re looking for in an ideal destination.

What can I make and sell with a 3D printer?

Whether you are passionate about plants, tech gadgets board games or stylish home décor items- there is something special to 3D print and then sell online! It’s all a matter of finding what your target potential customers will want while also tapping into the things which excite you. Unleash your creativity with products that will charm and delight them – like planters, phone cases or ornamental decorations.

With the ever-growing world of handmade items, now’s your chance to make a mark in the creative space!

Many entrepreneurs are turning their interests and hobbies into lucrative businesses by creating and using online platforms offering lovingly crafted 3d printed gadgets. From jewelry to artwork to home decor, there is no shortage of ideas for those looking several ways to tap into this thriving industry.

  • As the popular tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons continues to surge in popularity, so too does 3D printing for customized miniatures. Perfectly suited for D&D fanatics, these robust and detail-oriented creations allow players to customize their miniature figures with unparalleled precision – from size and shape alterations all the way down to unique paint jobs! Even if a customer wants an unpainted set of characters or finds joy in painting them on their own, resin 3D printers as your go-to tool can ensure that you create something lasting they’ll love.
  • With 3D printing becoming increasingly popular, it’s no wonder that many people are turning to jewelry as a potential source of income. As the demand for these items rises, so does their market value – but with competition from online stores like Etsy driving prices down there’s never been more incentive to invest in advanced resin 3D printers capable of producing professional quality pieces at higher resolution than ever before!
  • If you have a knack for creativity and design, printing cosplay items with a 3D printer can be an incredibly lucrative business. From crafting detailed helmets to making intricate armor pieces or other one-of-a-kind props, your imagination is the only limit!
  • Give your plants the gift of freedom with a self-watering planter. Perfectly designed to take care of all their needs, these attractive and hard-to-find gems can easily be 3D printed from home!
  • 3D printing is revolutionizing the way toys are made! Through FDM printers, creating playful and imaginative playthings has never been easier – no post-processing required.The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating and selling custom items. From key chains and customized shoes, to handmade crafts – you have the opportunity of making something special that is completely unique! Whether reselling designs with permission or designing your own products from scratch – why not get creative and generate some extra income?

Where to sell 3D prints?

With the rise of at-home 3D printing comes a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs. To maximize your earning potential, it’s recommended to explore selling through multiple channels — both online and in local markets.

Harnessing a variety of platforms can help you reach different audiences, increase brand visibility, and ultimately make more money from your unique creations!

You want to maximize your sales potential, but too much of a good thing is still a bad idea. Sticking with one or two channels can help ensure that you don’t exhaust all your energy without seeing results.


Get the word out about your 3D printed creations with exciting opportunities like craft fairs, trade shows, garage sales and festivals!

Set up shop at any of these events to show off all that you can create – or even better – power on your printer while you’re there to really impress potential customers. Let them see firsthand just how creative and innovative your designs are!

Take your 3D printing to the next level – put your creations in consignment shops and reach a wide, local audience without having to open up shop! Show off what you can do with an eye-catching display at nearby businesses for maximum exposure.


To achieve a truly worldwide reach with your 3D printed items, selling them on the Internet is crucial. But setting up and running an online shop of your own can be time-consuming – so why not take advantage of existing eCommerce platforms to quickly build momentum for launching larger operations? With these services at hand, you’ll have access to markets from all corners of the globe – giving yourself every opportunity for success!Etsy provides a unique platform for creative people to show their work and make money! With an abundance of handmade items, one-of-a-kind products, vintage pieces, art prints – the possibilities are truly endless. There’s something special here waiting for everyone who wishes to explore its offerings.

eBay is an online marketplace that allows users to find a wide variety of items, from the everyday essentials to one-of-a kind collectible pieces. It’s like an entire world of goods at your fingertips – just waiting for you!

Amazon, the leading online retailer known for its extensive selection and convenient delivery options, has revolutionized modern shopping. From tech gadgets to groceries to furniture, customers can find it all on this huge digital marketplace!

Fiverr is the go-to marketplace for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking to make an income. With a wide selection of services, from logo design to web development, it’s easy to find something that fits your needs – or offers you the opportunity create work for others!

2. Start a local 3D printing business

If you’re looking for a simple and swift way to create customers, establishing your own 3D printing business may be the answer. From manufacturing custom parts tailored to other local businesses’ needs, such as cookie cutters for around-the-corner bakeries or trophies perfect for any occasion – with this designing service at your disposal there’s limitless potential! Especially if you call an area near factories and plants home.

If you are looking to make a difference in your local community, then there’s no better way than with 3D printing! With the potential it offers, you’ll be surprised at all of the possibilities that open up and could lead to some lucrative opportunities. So why wait? Get out there today and start exploring what an exciting future lies ahead for yourself!

Starting your own business journey may seem daunting, but with a few simple steps it can be made much more seamless!

Before you get started, reach out to city council and double-check the local ordinances in your area – there might not even be any costly permits or zoning updates needed if you plan on running from home. It all depends upon where exactly you live and how its laws are constructed…

What do you need to start a 3D printing business?

3D printer

For anyone embarking on a 3D printing venture, having the right equipment is essential. Search for a reliable printer you know well and have parts to back it up – that’s how successful projects begin!

Avoid the disappointment of having to cancel customer orders and prepare yourself with troubleshooting skills ahead of time.

Keeping spare parts on hand, as well as knowing how your machine works, are key steps in being able to handle any issues that may arise quickly and efficiently.

Finding the right 3D printer can be challenging, especially if you’re looking to start a service. Yet it’s important not to skimp on quality–while fancy features are nice, what really matters is that your machine runs quickly and reliably. If yours isn’t quite up to par then every moment spent making adjustments becomes an extra expense or a hit in profits – so find something that’ll get the job done with precision!

Need a reliable 3D printer on the cheap? The Prusa i3 MK3S may be your best bet! It’s budget-friendly while still offering all the time savings you need.

If budget is a priority, the Ender 3 V2 offers plenty of cost-effective options to upgrade. With something like the BLtouch leveling sensor installed, you won’t have to fuss over manual bed levelings – and save time while doing it!

Business website

Getting your 3D printing business online is key to success. Invest in a professional web design that looks polished and reputable, so customers can be drawn in and feel confident interacting with your brand. A credible website will go far towards gaining those early adopters who you need for future growth!

For a truly cohesive brand experience, engage in graphic design services. This will ensure that your logo and other branding materials suit the palette of your website design – creating an aesthetically pleasing fusion between both platforms.

To ensure the best results, it’s wise to select a web designer with an established background in branding. Doing this will guarantee that all aspects are covered; from design and development through to marketing strategies.

As you plan out your website’s design, the possibilities are endless! Whether it be a simple space to provide services or decked-out digital storefront with an eCommerce platform – decide what features and functions work best for whatever products and purchases you have in store.

Upgrade your customer experience and give them access to an online store, on-demand quotes, and a streamlined appointment system! These additional tools may require some extra cash upfront for web development—but it’s worth the investment when you see just how much value they add.

3. Design and build prototypes

With your 3D printer, you can turn creative ideas into tangible products and make money doing it! Use the machine for designing and building unique product prototypes — yours or someone else’s. Make a profit by charging people for turning their idea into something real. Turn an innovative concept of your own into reality with production-ready models from your 3D printer, then watch as profits soar once its on shelves everywhere!

4. Rent out your 3D printer

3D printing is an exciting concept, but unfortunately not everyone has access to the technology. Fortunately for those who want a one-off project or don’t have the resources to commit longterm, there are options that make this cutting edge technology accessible and convenient!

With 3D printer rental services, you can turn those moments of downtime into profitable opportunities! By charging customers a fee to print their models on your machine, you’ll be able to maximize the use of your powerful printing technology and make money while doing it.

Print on demand may appear straightforward, but it still poses its own unique complexities. Before getting started with this option, ensure that you are properly rewarded for your valuable time and resources!

Your 3D printer may be convenient, but it comes with a certain price tag. Don’t forget to account for the time and resources needed to keep your machine in tip-top shape as well as its energy consumption – all these factors will determine how much you truly spend on getting those objects printed!

To ensure your 3D printing service stands out from the rest, offer customers a customizable experience. Allow them to choose their own filament colors and types, as well as post-processing services for an added fee – both of which will make it easier for them to see their ideas come alive!

Adding an artist’s touch to digital images, post-processing can truly transform a photo into something unique and beautiful through the use of painting.

You may also be interested: How to paint PLA on one’s own

5. Sell digital 3D models

Are you a talented sculptor, drafter or modeler? Put your skills to work and start earning an additional passive income by selling 3D models online! You don’t even need physical products – just make use of the digital medium. Unleash your creative energies while raking in profits at the same time.

Unlock additional sources of income by capitalizing on existing digital assets to sell them multiple times. From 3D models, printable files and more – you can find hidden value in unused projects while turning a profit with minimal effort!

3D models may not generate huge profits on a single sale, but they can prove to be more profitable in the long run. Unlike physical objects which require significant costs for additional prints and sales, digital files are endlessly duplicable with no extra expense – resulting in steady earnings over time!

Where to sell 3D model files

Make sure your 3D printing business has an online presence! Start by setting up a website to showcase and sell all of the amazing 3D models you’ve been creating. A professional web designer can help turn your vision into reality – get started on finding one now!

While investing in your own eCommerce site can provide a larger share of profits per each sale, it also comes with the obstacle and challenge of building an audience from scratch. Alternatively, third-party platforms offer convenience by providing pre-existing customers to sell to; however you have to pay fees for their services which can cut into earnings. When deciding how best suit your 3D printing business needs look closely at both options and make sure whichever path one takes leads them towards maximum ROI!

Unleash your creativity and cash in on the 3D printing craze by selling your models through some of these top-notch marketplaces. Whether you design jewelry, artwork, decorations or utilitarian objects, there are plenty of outlets to monetize this skill!

  • Etsy is a fantastic way to find one-of-a-kind gifts and unique treasures from all around the world. Whether you’re looking for handmade goods, vintage finds or custom creations – it’s a virtual treasure trove waiting to be explored!
  • MyMiniFactory is a dynamic platform for 3D printing models, empowering designers to create and share the best creations with the world. This innovative hub lets anyone explore exciting own designs from professional creators or even make their own unique pieces!
  • CGTrader is revolutionizing the 3D modeling market, providing users with access to tools that can be used for a variety of projects. This innovative platform enables creators around the world to unleash their imagination and show off their skills in this growing industry. With its intuitive interface and vast library of resources, CGTrader makes creating digital content an enjoyable experience!
  • Cults3D is a platform revolutionizing the 3D printing field. With an expansive inventory of educational models and powerful customization tools, users can create stunning objects with ease – truly bringing their ideas to life in three dimensions!

With the click of a button, 3D models become alive. Through an intricate process involving slicing and dicing, these virtual avatars transform into physical creations that can be brought to life with a modern-day alchemy – 3D printing!

6. Start a YouTube channel

Turn your 3D printing savvy into an online sensation! Create a own youtube channel and show off your impressive design skills by sharing helpful videos on the art of 3D printing. Show viewers how to take their projects from prototyping dreams to reality – with you as their guide.

With a large enough following, you could unlock various avenues of income. Ads and donations are the most obvious options but don’t overlook affiliate programs or brand sponsorships for even more potential profit – not to mention free products from companies!

Launch your brand to new heights with YouTube! From driving traffic and sales on your website or store, to raising awareness of yourself as an expert in the field – YouTube provides powerful tools for building success. While a full-time career from it can take time, growing it alongside other monetization strategies is a surefire way to see results over time.

7. Start a blog

Keep your 3D printing knowledge in the loop by creating a blog! With this platform, you can explore the creative process and benefit from bigger payouts than YouTube pre-roll advertisements. Ads alone provide an extra income stream so why not enhance it further with affiliate programs and paid sponsorships? Show off all of your cool designs to a much wider audience today!

Blogging is an excellent way to attract readers and connect them with your 3D printing products. Show off your expertise in the field by informing, engaging, and entertaining visitors – all while providing a chance to purchase prints or model files right away!

Establishing brand authority gives you the upper hand in a competitive market. Being seen as dependable and credible encourages people to trust your message; this, in turn, makes it easier for them to become customers instead of just audience members!

8. Repair things in your household

Who needs a repairman when you can 3D print yourself out of almost any broken item situation? With just minimal CAD knowledge and free modeling software, you can design custom replacements for household objects like furniture or appliances. A 3D printer unlocks endless possibilities to keep your home in perfect condition!

With a 3D printer, you can give new life to broken belongings – no longer do you have to buy expensive replacement parts from the manufacturer or replace items entirely! You’ll save money in both time and resources by printing your own repairs at home.

9. Repair 3D printers for others

3D printing can be a fraught process; with its many intricate components, even the most experienced user might struggle when things go wrong. For those new to this technology, titanic troubleshooting tasks may await!

Turn a technical skill into an opportunity and use your 3D printer expertise to make some extra money. Give folks the solution they need for their broken machines, letting them spend cash on someone who knows what needs doing rather than attempting it themselves. Not only is this great way of increasing income but it might lead to future business from people that may not have given you (or 3D printing services) another thought before!

10. Flip broken 3D printers

Turn a broken 3D printer into an opportunity! With some know-how and elbow grease, you can restore the damaged machine to its former glory. Then, cash in on your efforts by reselling it for profit or turning it into spare parts for another 3D printer project – giving you one more chance at making a lucrative sale!

11. Offer 3D printing courses

Become an expert 3D printing teacher! With your advanced experience and understanding, share the secrets of this craft with novice users by creating an engaging series of instructional online courses. Guide newcomers on their journey as they discover all that three-dimensional printing has to offer.

While creating an online course may seem intimidating due to the considerable initial time investment, it can be a rewarding experience with ongoing benefits. With proper planning and execution steps such as filming, editing, assembling and marketing your project upfront, you have the potential to reap rewards for years without any additional maintenance required.

Looking to expand your knowledge? Unlock educational opportunities with an online learning platform, perfect for hosting courses in the comfort of your own home!

  • Skillshare is the perfect platform for unlocking and maximizing your creative potential. With an array of courses taught by experienced professionals, this educational resource provides all you need to take your talents to a new level!
  • Udemy is the go-to destination for those seeking to stay ahead of their learning curve. With its wide range of courses and tutorials, it offers something new for everyone looking to expand their knowledge base. From business skills development and technical training to creative classes in photography or music production – there’s no limit when it comes to exploring ideas on Udemy!
  • Domestika is a vibrant community of creative professionals connecting and collaborating on amazing projects. From graphic designers to photographers, here people can access premium courses, share their knowledge with others, ask questions in forums or start inspiring conversations – all while enhancing their skills!
  • Teachable is an innovative platform that enables anyone to become a teacher, spreading knowledge and inspiring others!

If you have a website, why not use it to show off your event? Use your blog as the perfect tool for marketing and draw in those all-important spectators.

Can I make money from 3D printing?

With the power of technology, it’s now easier than ever before to get into 3D printing! You could start by offering custom designs and models for sale, or create a channel dedicated entirely to showcasing your work. And don’t forget about CAD software – that’ll help you make some serious cash with those amazing 3D prints!

Is 3D printing business profitable?

Yes, 3D printing can prove profitable due to the rapid growth that the business has experienced in this field. It is growing popularity, which leads to a demand to provide 3d-printed materials.

What is the most profitable thing to make with a 3D printer?

Cosplay accessories and figurines represented a large number of sales. Popularity varies depending on how you sell. On Etsy, for example, 80% of consumers are interested in trendy, stylish products. Beautiful plants and ornaments will also have a great popularity.

Can 3D printing be a side hustle?

How do we get rich from 3D printed items? 3D printing technology has been in use since the 1980’s, but it can make incredibly good cash. You can start multiple business opportunities by designing 3D printedouts for yourself or selling the printer as a whole or parts you might need.

Final thoughts on making money with a 3D printer

As you can see, making money with a 3D printer can be done in any number of ways, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re prepared and have the right skills before taking this on.

In particular, sites like Etsy make it easy to make money with a 3D printer by allowing you to sell the products you make there to a huge pool of potential customers.

Alternatively, you could try offering sell prints through sites such as Shapeways that allow anyone in the world to submit their designs. The site takes care of customer service and delivery, so it can turn into a really effective form of passive income.

Making money with 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular way to capitalize on the technological advances in manufacturing. It can be done from the comfort of one’s own home or wherever you have access to a 3D printer and the supplies necessary for each project. The potential to make money from 3D printing comes from creating and selling your own products to customers, as opposed to traditional methods of manufacturing.

Creating an online presence also helps build your customer base by going viral on video streaming sites like YouTube, where you can create and own your own channel that promotes your products. Other sources of supplemental income include offering 3D printing services such as model repair, sculpting, custom design work, and any other special skill that strikes a chord in customers when it comes to their need for a unique product or idea. The possibilities are endless; all it takes is some creativity and a bit of marketing savvy!

While there is a learning curve, make sure you make it your goal to learn the skills needed to produce really quality work with your 3D printer and there’s no reason why you can’t turn this into a fun side hustle – or your entire business.

Read more: How to Smooth PLA Prints: A Step-by-Step Guide

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