7 Ways to Make Money from Your 3D Printing Hobby

Posted by Trizzy Orozco on

3D printing is an expensive hobby. Just the 3D printer alone is worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars. If you want to sustain your 3D printing hobby and even make a neat profit, here are 7 money-making ideas using your skills and your 3D printer. 

1. Sell your 3D-printed items


Part of the joy in 3D printing is seeing your ideas and designs come to life through your 3D printer. If you’ve gotten good at creating 3D-printed masterpieces and want to share them with the world, you can start selling them on Etsy or social media. Some of the most popular items are vases, Dungeons & Dragons game pieces & models, decors, and jewellery. 


Tip: There are plenty of 3D-print creators online so it can be difficult to stand out. Set yourself apart from your competition by creating high-quality 3D prints that are functional or in demand. As with any business, don’t low-ball your items, provide good customer service, and market your items well. 


2. Offer 3D printing services 


If you want a venture with a lower outlay, you can offer 3D printing services instead. Many individuals and businesses would rather outsource their 3D printing jobs rather than buy 3D prints, making it a more cost-efficient opportunity than selling your 3D prints. 


Tip: Offering your services locally is highly recommended as it removes the need for shipping to distant places and the risk of destroying the items during transit. This idea is also location-dependent as it can only be successful if there’s a high demand for 3D printing in your area. Distinguish yourself from your competitors by offering complimentary services, such as 3D scanning and metal plating.  


3. Provide specialised 3D printing services


Targeting a specific industry or niche has a bigger income opportunity than just being a jack of all trades. It is also an easier route as you can standardise your process and build a consistent income stream from repeat clients. Companies that require specialised services include engineering firms for prototyping, architectural firms, jewellery designers, toymakers, and tabletop game designers. 


Tip: Make sure to do your due diligence by researching the industry that you want to target. Choosing the right industry is crucial to your success. Since you will also be focusing on just one industry, you might also be missing out on other opportunities. 


4. Putting your 3D designs on sale


If you’re talented at creating your 3D designs, then selling them online is your best bet. You can sell them on online marketplaces, such as Cults3D, MyMiniFactory, TurboSquid, and CGTrader. Once you’ve built up a following online, you can set up a Patreon page where your patrons will pay you a set amount of money per month in exchange for new releases. 


Tip: Make sure to have plenty of time to answer buyer inquiries and help solve any printing issues. You’ll also need to do plenty of marketing to get your designs more popular. 


5. Selling your 3D printing designs as NFTs


NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are any unique and non-interchangeable digital art that comes in the form of video clips, drawings, music, or social media posts. If you turn your 3D printing designs into NFTs, they will be treated as one-of-a-kind masterpieces that can be auctioned off to only one person. While they will be the only ones to have an original copy of your work, you can still retain the copyright and reproduction rights just like any other artwork. You can earn thousands and even millions of dollars from a single design. 


Tip: Since most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need to have some knowledge of cryptocurrency to understand how it works. 


6. Become a Youtuber

If you have the gift of gab, you can start a Youtube channel focusing on 3D printing. However, it might take a while for you to earn money and you’ll need to keep releasing new content regularly. But once you get your Youtube channel off the ground, you can earn a lot of money from advertisements, corporate sponsorships, and your viewers. 


Tip: Since it takes a long time to go viral and start earning, you will want to focus on other ventures first and just do this on the side. 


7. Create an online 3D printing course


If you want to mix your love of teaching and 3D printing, you can do that by creating a paid online 3D printing course. Since you will be teaching, you need to have a full grasp of 3D printing to show your students that you’re an authority on the subject. Another challenge is the difficulty in creating video tutorials as it requires video and audio production knowledge and equipment. 


Tip: There are plenty of free tutorials already available online so make sure that your content will be more unique and value-driven. 


Start earning money with your 3D printing hobby!


Do what you love and earn from it with these money-making ideas using your 3D printer. For inquiries or orders, you can call or email us


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