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3D Printing: 6 things you need to start making money 3d printing.


Are you ready to turn your 3D printing hobby into a profitable business? With the right tools and knowledge, it's easier than you might think! Here are the top 6 things you need to make money with 3D printing:


 

1. 3D printer



There are many popular 3D printers that are suitable for use in a 3D print farm. We've done our best to break down some of the more popular options at different price points.


Low-cost 3D printers:

These printers typically cost less than $1,000 and are a good option for those on a budget or who are just starting out with 3D printing.


Creality Ender 3:

This printer is a step up from the Monoprice Select Mini and Anet A8 in terms of build volume and print quality. It is a kit printer that requires some assembly, but it offers good value for its price and is capable of printing with a wider range of materials.


The Creality Ender 3 is going to cost under $200 currently listed on their official website for $189.00. Coupons can often be found for them even less at retailers such as Micro Center. Purchase Link


Prusa i3 MK3 and Prusa Mini:

Both are popular 3D printers suitable for use in a 3D print farm. Both printers are known for their ease of use, reliability, and high print quality. They are also capable of printing with a wide range of materials and have a relatively large build volume, making them suitable for producing a variety of different parts. Additionally, both printers have advanced features such as automatic bed leveling and filament runout detection, which can help to improve the efficiency and consistency of the printing process.


The Prusa Mini is sold either as a "kit" for $429 or as "Semi-assembled" for $459. (Purchase Link)

The Prusa i3 MK3 is also sold either as a "kit" for $799 or "Assembled" for $1,099. (Purchase Link)


Bambu Labs P1P:

Bambu Labs is a new company that is somewhat taking the 3d printing world by storm. The P1P is the "little brother" of the X1-Carbon (listed in the next tier). Great for beginners, professionals, or others who enjoy the fun of being creative, the P1P has been designed for easy setup and use in minutes. Additionally, it allows upgrading and customizing hardware with mod-friendly features for people to enjoy the fun of making their own one-of-a-kind 3D printer.


The P1P is currently listed for $699 on the Bambu Lab's official website. (Purchase Link)


Mid-range 3D printers:

These printers typically cost between $1,000 and $3,000 and offer a balance of price and performance.


LulzBot:

LulzBot printers are known for their ease of use, reliability, and high print quality, making them a good choice for use in a 3D print farm. They are also capable of printing with a wide range of materials and have a relatively large build volume, allowing them to produce a variety of different parts. Additionally, LulzBot printers are known for their durability and long lifespan, which can help to reduce downtime and maintenance costs in a 3D print farm. Overall, LulzBot printers are a good choice for those looking for a reliable, high-performing 3D printer for a 3D print farm.


At the time of this post, the LulzBot printers range in price from $795-$5,495. (Purchase Link)


Bambu Lab X1-Carbon:


The X1-Carbon Combo that comes with the AMS for color changing is listed for $1,449 on the Offical Bambu Lab site (Purchase Link)


The X1 currently on pre-order is listed for $999. (Purchase Link)


The X1-Carbon currently on pre-order is listed for $1,199. (Purchase Link)


Keep in mind that these price ranges are approximate and may vary depending on the specific model and features of the printer. It's always a good idea to do your own research and compare prices to find the best option for your budget and needs.


 

2. 3D Printing Filament


Filament choice is important in a 3D print farm because it can affect the quality and durability of the final printed object. Different filaments have different properties, such as strength, flexibility, and temperature resistance, which can be suitable for different types of prints. For example, if you are printing functional parts that will be subjected to heavy loads or high temperatures, you will want to choose a filament that is strong and temperature resistant. On the other hand, if you are printing an artistic object that needs to be flexible, you will want to choose a filament that has a high degree of flexibility.


In addition to the physical properties of the filament, you may also want to consider other factors such as the cost of the filament, the availability of different colors and finishes, and any potential environmental impacts of the filament. By carefully selecting the right filament for each job, you can help ensure that your 3D prints are of the highest quality and meet the needs of your customers.


Low-price tier:

Hatchbox

This brand is known for producing reliable and affordable filaments that are suitable for a variety of 3D printing applications. (Purchase Link)

Overture

This brand is known for producing a wide range of filament options, including both standard and specialty materials. (Purchase Link)


Mid-price tier:

ColorFabb

This brand is known for producing high-quality filaments that are made from sustainable materials, such as its WoodFill and CorkFill filaments. (Purchase Link)

Polymaker

This brand is known for its focus on developing innovative filament materials, such as its Polysher support material and PolyCast resin-like filament. (Purchase Link)


High-price tier:

Proto-pasta

This brand is known for producing high-quality specialty filaments, including metal-infused and carbon fiber-reinforced options. (Purchase Link)


It's worth noting that this is just a rough estimate and prices may vary depending on the specific product and supplier. It's always a good idea to shop around and compare prices from different suppliers before making a purchase.


 

3. A Design / Model


Many users getting into 3d printing for profit oftentimes already have an idea or a model ready to be printed and sold. Sometimes that's not the case though. If you want to find 3D models that you can sell, there are a few websites where you can find models that are available for commercial use. Some popular options include:


Patreon

Using Patreon to sell commercial licenses for 3D prints can be a convenient and effective way for creators to reach their customers. With Patreon, creators can set up subscription tiers for their supporters, allowing them to purchase commercial licenses on a recurring basis. Patreon also provides a platform for creators to share exclusive content with their supporters, which can be a good way to provide additional value to customers.


3D Design Bros is a great example of a creator using Patreon to allow users to purchase a commercial license to sell their catalog of models. (https://www.patreon.com/3ddesignbros)


There are also many model depository sites where users can purchase models to download. Some of the most popular ones are:


Cults3d

Printables

Thangs


Before purchasing or downloading a model for commercial use, make sure to carefully read and understand the terms of use for the model. Some models may have certain restrictions on how they can be used, such as prohibitions on resale or the requirement to give credit to the creator.


 

4. Slicer Software


There are many 3D slicer software programs available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Here are five popular options:

PrusaSlicer:

PrusaSlicer is a free slicer developed by the team behind the popular Prusa 3D printers. It offers a range of advanced features, including support for multi-extruder printing and the ability to customize the support structure (https://www.prusa3d.com/page/prusaslicer_424/)

Cura:

Cura is a free, open-source slicer that is popular among users of 3D printers. It offers a wide range of advanced features, including support for multi-part printing and the ability to customize the infill pattern. (https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura)

Simplify3D:

Simplify3D is a paid slicer that is known for its fast slicing speeds and precise control over the printing process. It offers a wide range of advanced features, including the ability to fine-tune the print temperature and print speed for different parts of the model. (https://www.simplify3d.com/)


 

5. Sales Channel


There are many places where you can sell 3D prints. Here are a few options:


E-commerce platforms:

You can set up your own online store and sell 3D prints through platforms like Etsy, eBay, or Shopify. This allows you to have complete control over your pricing and branding.

Your own website:

Another option is to create your own website to sell 3D prints. This allows you to have complete control over the customer experience and gives you the opportunity to build your own brand.

Craft Fairs:

Craft fairs can be a great way to showcase your unique and handmade products to a market of potential customers who are interested in such items. By participating, you have the opportunity to display your products in a physical space and interact with customers in person. This can be a valuable way to get feedback on your products and build relationships with your customers. It is important to do your research and prepare properly in order to make the most of this opportunity.


Ultimately, the best platform for selling your 3D prints will depend on your specific needs and goals. It's worth considering a few different options to see what works best for you.


 

6. Cost / Profitability Calculators


Ok, so this is where we get into a bit of self-promotion. No matter what printers, with what filament you end up 3D printing and selling one thing is for sure. If you don’t know your cost when selling on sites like Etsy, Shopify, or Amazon you are setting yourself up for failure. 3D Print Farm Sheets is the only spreadsheet created for 3D printing creators by 3D printing creators to assist them in making sure they are PROFITABLE when selling online.


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