3d printing business ideas: 6 profitable ideas 2020

Hello! In this article we will talk about making money on 3D printer.

With the development of technology every time there are new gadgets that are incomprehensible to ordinary users. Despite its uniqueness and commercial interest, 3D printers are no exception. They are still not actively used for industrial earnings, not to mention homework. In this article we will try to figure out how to start a 3d printing business from home, 3d printing business ideas and how much investment it will take. 

3d printing business ideas

General Information on 3D Printers

3D-printer – a peripheral device that allows you to print volumetric models of various materials.

Unlike conventional printers, 3D analogues create 3D images using computer models. They print the object layer by layer. 3D printer use:

  • For quick prototyping of finished models. For engineering, this is a way to save time and make changes to the object at the stage of its development.
  • For the manufacture of finished parts from materials that are supported by 3D printers.
  • For the manufacture of molds.
  • For small-scale home production of almost any item.
  • To create prostheses and implants.
  • To create weapon components.
  • And even for the construction of buildings.

In China, the government conducted an experiment to create houses with a 3D printer. The business turned out to be quite successful, but it is necessary to check the durability and strength of houses made with this device.


The main material for a 3D printer is plastic. For small-scale production, this is the best option, since for cheap money you can get a quality item. A kilogram of ordinary plastic powder for a 3D printer costs about 7 USD.

For more important production, expensive materials are used. These are imitators of wood, stone and industrial mixtures. They cost several times more, but are not interesting for a home business due to the high cost of the product.

In order to print something on a 3D printer, you need a three-dimensional model of the subject. It is created in special programs – CAD-editors. The first time to work on creating models yourself is completely optional. The network has a lot of different options for goods ranging from covers to miniature figures from computer games.

After you have developed the model, the program parses it into layers. Then, layer by layer, the 3D printer reproduces the object. The main advantage of this printing is accuracy. It allows you to reproduce the object in the smallest detail.

3D printing business ideas : 6 ideas for making money

3D printer is great for small batch production. This is ideal for a home based business. At low financial cost you will get a tool for creating a variety of items. There are several categories of products that sell well.

3D printing business ideas : 6 ideas for making money

Small toys and souvenirs

Plastic toys, interior decorations or small gift souvenirs can be easily printed on a 3D printer.


The business of creating figures from gaming and book universes has always been profitable. I myself have repeatedly seen how character models from the Warhammer universe sold 40000 at a price of 50 USD. The same goes for computer games.

In recent years, real human models are in demand. This is an analogue of portraits that everyone would like to receive as a gift.

Using the 3D model, you can create a mockup of how the characters look and play them. Not a single person who manually makes such figures can compare with you in speed. Selling such models can be much cheaper, about 7 to 15 USD. One difficulty – you have to paint manually.

Architectural Layouts

According to the drawings, you can easily make a model of a house, a summer residence, even a car, with almost minimal effort. If you choose this option, you can go in two ways: sell house models for ordinary people as decoration or work with engineers and construction companies in order to provide them with ready-made models of buildings.

Even as souvenirs, models of buildings and cars sell well. For a small building, you can earn up to 50 to 80 USD. It will look good in the interior.

Molds for soap making

Soap products are developing, they constantly need new forms, but to make them manually is almost impossible. You can sell molds for soap making, for home business. They are not so expensive, up to 2 USD, but if you work with several companies, you can periodically receive good orders.

The profitability of such a production is rather low. Despite the fact that the cost of one form is cheap, but it will be sold inexpensively. The only option when it will be possible to engage in such a business is the presence in the city of a large number of shops and soap makers.

Spare parts

On a 3D printer, you can print almost any small details (up to 35 centimeters). Even spare parts for cars can be made from expensive materials, for example, a door handle, side mirror, etc. And not only for cars. You can put the spare parts issue on stream.

But rather, it’s really a piece of work to order. You can print parts for customer products. But there is a big difficulty – the development of drawings for such details. It can take a lot of time, and your costs over a long distance are unlikely to pay off, but as an option, working on an order can work.


Food industry

On a 3D printer, you can even create edible things. Hydrocolloids or hydrogel is used to print food products. With their help, scientists easily reproduce sugar, cream, chocolate, bananas, bread, etc. Development does not stop and in the future it is likely that even meat can be printed on 3D printers.

It is easy to print sugar figures, cakes, sweets, pasta on a simple printer. People love delicious food that looks good, and you can make good money on it. The main problem is print media. They are quite expensive.

The most interesting product, in my opinion, are personalized figures. They are expensive because they are custom-made, but they look attractive. In the West, such figures are very popular, and the echoes of this trend are gradually getting to us. This is still an undeveloped, but very promising niche that should be occupied.

How much to invest to earn money on 3D printing business

How much to invest to earn money on 3D printing business

First we need a 3D printer. You can go in three ways:

  • Order in China. The quality of such printers is rather unstable. Both a good model and a defective one may come. The cost of a normal model from a trusted company is from 1000 USD.
  • Buy local 3D printer. The quality is better, there are practically no risks, but the minimum price is 500 USD, you will have to pay about 700 for a good model.
  • Do it yourself. This is quite difficult, but if you get confused, you can assemble an excellent model for 400USD.

Large costs for the first time will be on advertising . It will be very difficult for a novice businessman who is unfamiliar with ways to attract customers to establish a flow of sales of his own goods. That is why you need to invest in advertising or study promotion.

The best start for a beginner is social networks. Creating a Social Media group in which you will sell materials will be the best option. You have to spend money on a good targetologist who will attract customers. All this will cost about 300 to 700 USD.

Since we are talking about a home business, we will not need a room. Therefore, there is no rental cost. The materials required to create products using a 3D printer usually cost about 20% of the final cost of the product. Therefore, the cost of them will be in the region of 150 to 200 USD.

Total  A printer of at least 500 + 400 USD advertising + 200 materials = 1100 USD of initial costs.

How to run a 3D printing business plan

When working with a 3D printer, you can earn in 2 ways:

  • To produce goods in bulk.
  • Work to order.

Mass production is a pretty interesting business. You define the categories of products that will be printed on a 3D printer, then sell them through your sales channels. It can be an online store , a bulletin board, a social network or a real store in your city.

The advantage of this approach in work is flexibility. You do what you want, but if you see that your goods are not very well sold out, you can always do something else. In addition, buyers see your goods, which means they will be more willing to buy them, especially if prices really do not bite.

Work on order is a more piecewise option. Customers are contacting you with their projects, and you are implementing them. They take a higher fee for such work, but there are much more headaches with such orders. However, the final profit covers all costs.

The main disadvantage of custom work with 3D printing is a small number of customers. You cannot put such work on stream. The lack of customers cannot be offset by a high mark-up on work. Then no one will turn to you.

Therefore, when you do not have work to order, you can safely make goods for sale. As soon as a client comes to you with his project, you make it, make a profit and again switch to conveyor production.

This approach allows you to get maximum profit at minimum cost. You get most of the money from mass production, and custom-made work will generate more money from time to time.

How much can you earn with a 3D printer Business

Experts say that revenue from one printer per month is about 700 USD. Making more money is unrealistic, because even with a large flow of customers, we run into the technical limit of the device. And if the piece of work, then you have to add to the time for printing the creation of 3D models.

Experts do not recommend buying multi-colored printers for doing home business. They cost several times more expensive, but in fact, they do not differ much from their one-color counterparts in terms of technical characteristics. It will be much more cost-effective to simply create products in one color, and after that to tint them.

The biggest difficulty in this work is the low recognition of printed products. Buyers simply will not understand that they are made on a 3D printer. On the one hand, this is not bad, because you can sell some things, such as figurines, handmade goods, but on the other hand, it is very difficult to talk about your own business and get a good flow of customers.

For a month of continuous work, we can get a net income of up to 700 USD with active loading and a good flow of customers. For beginners, a good indicator would be a yield of 250 to 350 USD of net profit in the first months of work.


Despite the fact that the first 3D printers appeared a long time ago, this is still a peculiar exotic technology that has not fully entered into everyday life. It is ideal for home 3d printing business ideas and small batch production. There are several more niches that are still not occupied in world. Earnings with a 3D printer can be a great option for a family business. I recommend a closer look.

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