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3D Printing as a Business Model

Introduction

3D printing is now opening the door for people from all walks of life to turn their hobby into a lucrative business. If you’re the sort of person who has all kinds of inspirational ideas of how to improve the world that we live in, then the power to share this with the world at large is closer than ever before thanks to the power of 3D printing.

Why 3D Printing is the Future of Manufacture

When you begin to analyze what 3D printing is capable of achieving, you start to get an idea of the revolutionary impact 3D printing will have on all kinds of businesses and their respective ventures.

3D printing can create new and old products, quickly and efficiently as well as having the capacity to manufacture novel designs that take innovation to a new and higher level.

There are all kinds of industries that remark how much better 3D printing works in comparison to traditional manufacturing methods that have been used for a number of years.

In many cases, 3D printing has yielded better results than expected and continues to open the floodgates of creativity, particularly as people don’t have to get overwhelmed by the fine detail of how to actually make something that they have in mind piece by piece. Where most conventional manufacturing techniques require design compromises, you can make many designs immediately with 3D printing.

A lot of people from a variety of different industries are appreciating how they are able to look at the construction, development, and design of things that have been made for generations, with new eyes and with a newfound sense of possibility. 

Buying a 3D Printer for a Business Startup

There’s such a high demand for 3D printing services that, if you’re interested in getting into this kind of business, you are able to shop around on your own for a 3D printer, that’s used for the kinds of projects and areas of construction that interest you and you can help facilitate.

Thanks to the considerable growth of 3D printing, there are many brands and models to choose from. You can take your time comparing the different capabilities that the many printer models on the market currently have to offer. This is the great thing about 3D printing. You can really focus on the niche that meets your specific product needs and buy a 3D machine that is capable of that task.

There are so many things that 3D printing can accomplish, especially if you invest in one that you take to handling. When you couple this with the ease with which one can put up their goods on the internet, it really is something that many people will approach as an invaluable resource for a number of reasons and ends in the coming years.

Examples of 3D Printing Helping Businesses

To get a good idea about why 3D printing is so appealing, a great place to start looking at is how it helps businesses within the automotive industry- where custom jobs are in high demand.

Automotive

This rings especially true when it comes to valuable models like antiques, as it isn’t uncommon for replacement parts to come from halfway around the world. It is so capable that we’re sure to see an increasing amount of vintage cars on the road as a direct consequence of having 3D printing more available to us.

Jewelry

Another area that is seeing a lot of value in 3D printing is the jewelry business. Custom jewelry is big business, many people desire it, and it substantiates a respectable market. When it is all done by hand, it can take a long time to get the desired product just right. Being able to put a design in a design program simply, it can really change the game.

Bespoke Items

The notion of being able to print anything that you want from the comfort of your home is another great advantage. What’s sure to happen is businesses that incorporate this technology will have the advantage of featuring such personal, highly bespoke products that competitors simply won’t be able to offer.

Sub-contracting

There are so many things that can be made using 3D printing technology, and as a result, subcontracting printing services are on the rise. It will be really interesting to see how it will truly proliferate in the public sphere, to the point that most people who will want to have something 3D printed for them, can simply call or e-mail someone to do it for them. Think along the lines of those businesses that offer to help you spread your brand’s name around, by printing your logo on everything from shirts to coffee mugs, except with 3D printing the possibilities are much broader.

Mass Appeal

3D printing is sure to appeal to masses of people when they start to become aware of the power of 3D printing. After all, who hasn’t wanted to have a decorative piece they’ve had in mind, to put in their living or bedroom, but simply couldn’t find it in any store. While there are sure to be a lot of these kinds of interests, there are also all kinds of professional interests that will be springing up for the foreseeable future. Let’s say that you’re working on a prototype for a new product, but you have no cost-effective way to construct a certain integral component, well perhaps you could hire someone to subcontract their printer to make that one piece that’s been holding you back.

In order to really ensure that it takes off, you’ll need to take the marketing side of things quite seriously, but the good thing is that you can appeal to a very wide demographic and receive orders from a wide array of interested parties. There are even platforms that have emerged to connect those seeking these types of services with the people that have 3D equipment, such as Treatstock, which can do this for you for a fee.

Once you start to draw a considerable number of customers, you can focus on what your operating costs ought to be and what ranges of risk you’d like to assume. 3D printing is a relatively new technology, and you can’t be sure that everything will go according to plan. The versatility that 3D printing is able to accomplish is, of course, a big part of what makes it so attractive for a business model. There’s even a big demand for different post-processing services that one can additionally take on. These include painting, which can involve a degree of artistic input, assembly of different individually printed pieces, and baking, which is in pretty high demand, especially artistically themed projects.

There are more complicated things that you can do with a 3D printer, and although they require considerable skill, they pay quite well as it is hard to do a lot of things without one. For instance, reverse engineering is proving to be a big part of the printing business as all kinds of companies would like to know how to rebuild an existing part, or what it is that makes it work, or not work, and 3D printing software and equipment are very powerful tools to these ends.

3D printers are a great ally for product development as they enable one to make all kinds of changes on the fly, be they big or small. At a time when all kinds of people are finding funding for their inventions online through sites like GoFundMe, 3D printing is growing right alongside it as a resource that makes it a particularly efficient process.

Conclusion

If you’re serious about making your 3D printer work for you, you need to identify the niche that best suits your interests, talents, and of course, the caliber and size of the unit or units that you plan to have at your disposal. You may want to get involved in the designing of models that observe certain aesthetics, or you may prefer to pursue the production of more functional pieces. You can take it to all types of places. For example, designing and printing toys for kids may be something that draws on your sensibilities in a way that makes sense to you.

The 3D printing industry has reached all kinds of successes. It is worth billions of dollars, and it is projected to grow many times over in the next decade, at least. The point is that there are many possibilities, and now is a great time to venture out into the business of 3D printing for others. The bottom line is that there isn’t very much competition, and there’s plenty of room for those who have a pathway in mind.

All signs point to this technology becoming even more popular for the foreseeable future, so why not try your hand at it and see if you can play a part in its developing story?

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