How to Make Money with 3D Printing (Even without a Printer)

by Anna Munhin Feb 5, 2023 News
How to Make Money with 3D Printing (Even without a Printer)


3D printing can be used to make money. There are many ways to provide printing services for local businesses. You can sell 3D printing designs if you have a computer-aided design program.

It can be a good fit for anyone with a passion for 3D printing. How can you use your experience with 3D printers to make more money?

The key thing to know is:

  • The cost of a 3D printer can be very high. If you use your 3D printer for a side hustle, you may be able to get back some of your investment.

  • Selling printed models, providing printing services to local businesses, and renting out printing time on your printer are some of the ways to make money with a 3D printer.

  • Sharing your 3D printing concepts, design, and knowledge with others can be done through online courses, websites, and channels.

There are 9 things you need to do before the next recession.

3D printing: Is it worth it?

There are pros and cons.

  • The market is growing fast.

  • There is a wide customer base.

  • You can be creative with a model or design.

  • It's possible that content creation leads to passive income.

  • It can be difficult for beginners to 3D print.

  • 3D printers cost a lot.

  • Competition can affect your returns.

Our decision.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is the process of making a three-dimensional object. Thin layers of a substance are created by the 3D printer.

3D printing can be done with a 3D printer. The price of a 3D printer can range from $300 to $20,000. Industrial printers can be expensive.

Keep in mind

If you've already invested in a 3D printer, you may be able to make some money by turning it into a side hustle.

Text on paper takes less time to print than a 3D object. Depending on the complexity and size of the object, a 3D printing process can take up to 12 hours. If the object is large or detailed, some 3D printers can produce it in days.

3D printing is less wasteful than other manufacturing processes due to the fact that it can make complex shapes with less material.

How much can you earn with a 3D printer?

Depending on your business model, the amount of money you can make with a 3D printer can vary.

Let's say you make and sell 3D-printed toys on eBay. The current items for sale range in price from $6 to $50, with most objects fetching between $10 and 20.

The cost of making those models can be different. If you want to make a profit, you need to list your items at a price that makes sense after accounting for costs and time.

If you take the cost of the 3D printer into account, you will need a lot of sales to break even. It will be easier to turn in a profit once you have done it.

3D printing can be used to make money, but it's not the only way to make money. You can look at many other options.

How to make money with a 3D printer

Three main steps are needed to make money selling 3D-printed objects.

1. Learn how to use your 3D printer

Learning how to use and maintain a 3D printer can be a challenge. The learning process can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right resources and a bit of practice, you can begin to produce successful 3D models.

There are some things to do.

  • Most 3D printers use specific software to design and create the digital models you want to print, so learn how to use it. You can learn the basics of this software and navigate its features.

  • The manual for your 3D printer will give you instructions on how to use it. Scan through the manual to get an idea of the machine's capabilities.

  • If you want to get a feel for the process, start with a simple project. These projects are easy to do and will show you how to use a 3D printer.

  • Try different 3D-printing materials to find out what works best for you. This will give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each material.

2. Buy a design online or create your own

Digital files are needed for your 3D printer to read and produce something. Design files can be bought online. There are some popular markets.

  • The CG Trader is a website.

  • 3D of cults

  • The car is called theTurboSquid.

You can make your own designs. This requires a lot more time, but it allows you to be creative. Make your own design.

  • Computer-aided design software can be used. The size, shape, and other aspects of the design can be adjusted by most software.

  • Prepare the design for printing by using a slicing or print preparation software that converts your 3D model into a language your printer can understand. Adding support structures is possible with this software.

  • Save your design in a format that your 3D printer can understand and send it to start printing.

3. Find a marketplace to sell your items

You can use an online marketplace to sell your 3D-printed models.

There are marketplaces dedicated to 3D models. You can reach customers outside of the 3D printing community by using a marketplace.

It's possible that Amazon is an option. If you learn how to sell on Amazon, you'll be able to sell everything from figurines to game board pieces. You can build a store of your own, but you should think about your target customer, offered products, and earning potential.

You can turn a profit by creating appealing listings with high-quality photographs, high-quality product descriptions, and fair prices that match market rates.


Processing payments, shipping items, and dealing with return requests should be considered when pricing your items.

6 ideas to make money from 3D printing

3D printing can be used to make money, but it isn't the only way to make money. You can turn your enthusiasm for 3D printing into a source of income.

1. Offer a custom 3D printing service

A custom 3D printing business is one of the ways to make money with 3D printing.

Potential customers looking for 3D printing in your area can be found by creating a website. Local organizations could also be interested. Science classrooms may want to use models of landforms or helices to teach the concepts.

2. Create prototypes for products

If you want to make prototypes for inventors, you can use 3D printing. You can help entrepreneurs bring their product ideas to life by turning them into physical objects.

You can use a business website, a freelancer marketplace, or social media to promote your services.

3. Sell your 3D designs

If you have design skills, you can use them to create and sell your designs.

Tools, spare parts, jewelry, or game pieces are some of the niches that can be found. 3D printer designs are sold on several marketplaces.


Most marketplaces will take a cut of your sales.

4. Start a blog or YouTube channel

You can make money by becoming a content creator. Sharing reviews and advice about 3D printing can help you gain a following, even if you don't have a website.

If you monetize your following through affiliate marketing, ads, or sponsored posts, it can be a good side hustle.

5. Teach a 3D printing course

There is an online course about 3D printing. You can earn an income online while teaching others the ins and outs of this technology if you market and sell your course.

You can turn your content into a course and market it to your audience if you have already built a website.

6. Rent out your 3D printer

Rent time on your 3D printer to people in your area who need it for printing. FatLlama and Loanables can connect you with people who rent.

There is a range of rental rates. Many people prefer to buy their own 3D printers, so this approach probably won't be your most profitable idea.

How to get started with 3D printing

You will first need:

  • The 3D printer itself, as well as any additional accessories you need, are included in the equipment.

  • This is the materials you use to print.

  • You can use software to turn your designs into a language your printer can comprehend.

It may take some work to put the final pieces together for a successful print. Creativity and design skills are required to learn the ins and outs of the process.

Alternatives to 3D printing

3D printing is a good way to make money, but not for everyone. If you don't want to learn how to start a business with 3D printing or a side hustle with lower start-up costs, there are other ways to earn money.

If you have a skill that can be monetized, freelancing online can be a better option. Content writing, website design, and social media management are some of the popular free services. If you want to connect with clients, you can use a platform.

In our review, you can get more information.

If you want to make money from your work, you can sell it online. Jewelry designers, furniture makers, and other artisans can be found on marketplaces like Etsy. The opportunity to turn your passion into a profitable business is provided by this platform.

You can learn how to start a business.

FAQs about 3D printing

How much does a 3D printer cost?

A high-end 3D printer can cost as much as $20,000, while a personal 3D printer can cost as little as $300. Industrial or enterprise 3D printers are more expensive to operate.

Is 3D printing a cheap hobby?

The costs of materials, software, and the printer itself make 3D printing an expensive hobby. You will need to stock up on materials as you use them, which can range in price depending on which material you choose. A post-processing machine can be purchased for up to $60.

You can get a low-end 3D printer for a few hundred dollars if you choose to. Setting up a printer and materials can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

Is 3D printing easy to learn?

If you purchase a machine with clear instructions, you can easily learn how to use it. It may take more time and effort to figure out how to maintain the machine and how to get comfortable with the software.

3D printing: Bottom line

3D printing can be a fulfilling hobby if you enjoy playing with new technologies and are creative. By selling your 3D prints or designs, renting out your printer, or exploring other ways of making money, you could turn your 3D printing skills into a side gig.

Purchasing a 3D printer requires some investment upfront and you will need to purchase materials and software to bring your creations to life. If you want a low-cost side hustle, look at our list of the best side hustles or check out the easy side hustles you can start to earn extra cash.

Finance Buzz has more.

The article "How to make money with 3D printing even without a printer" was first published on FinanceBuzz.

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