The 12 Best Ways to Make Money with a 3D Printer: ,000+/mo

Do you need to earn cash with a 3D printer?

Whether or not you’re trying to construct a 3D printing facet hustle or simply offset the prices of your 3D printing pastime, you’re in the correct place.

Regardless that 3D printers can be expensive, the excellent news is there are many methods to show them into cash makers.

Listed here are our high methods to earn cash together with your 3D printer.

The 12 Best Ways to Make Money with a 3D Printer: ,000+/mo

1. Promote 3D Printer Designs

You may promote 3D printer design recordsdata on-line to different 3D printer homeowners. They’re in search of cool stuff to print, and are sometimes prepared to pay for it.

What sort of designs are folks shopping for? The most well-liked classes are:

  • miniatures / fashions
  • sport items
  • cosplay objects
  • instruments
  • spare elements
  • jewellery

You probably have some design expertise and luxuriate in perfecting new tasks, this may very well be a good way to make more money from the work you’re already doing. Among the hottest marketplaces are:

  • Cults3D – Set your personal costs and earn 80% of the gross sales value at any time when your designs promote.
  • CGtrader – Claims to be the world’s largest 3D mannequin market, and designers earn 70-80% royalties on their work.
  • Pinshape – You set your required value for every design, and Pinshape provides 30% to the top buyer.
  • MyMiniFactory – Expenses $24.99 a month to create a storefront. After that, you retain 92% of all gross sales.
  • Turbosquid – Earn 40-60% royalties at this long-running 3D mannequin market.

make money selling 3d printer files on turbosquid

When utilizing different folks’s designs, simply be sure to have the required copyright licenses in place. That approach you don’t infringe on anybody’s intellectual property rights.

Usually, this facet hustle includes:

  • importing an STL, OBJ, or different 3D printing file type
  • creating your itemizing description
  • setting your value
  • and (hopefully) amassing royalties

Promoting 3D-printer designs is an attention-grabbing passive income idea, in which you could create a design as soon as and promote it over and over.

2. Promote 3D-Printed Fashions

Many purchasers don’t but have a 3D printer at residence, however should like to purchase 3D-printed merchandise.

For instance, Marion Russek sells dollhouse miniatures by her Shapeways shop. Most objects are priced between $8 and $40, and my guess is her common order is fairly excessive.

(In the event you’re furnishing your dollhouse, you’re in all probability not simply shopping for one merchandise at a time!)

sell 3d printed products on shapeways

3. Create Product Prototypes

Scott Tarcy, a longtime member of the Aspect Hustle Nation group, runs a 3D printing and design shop.

Inventors and early-stage product entrepreneurs rent him to assist carry their concepts to life. In lots of instances, one of many first steps is making a easy prototype. CAD design and 3D printing may be an reasonably priced approach to get a pattern of their fingers.

When we spoke, Scott was charging $50 an hour for his experience.

May you begin an identical service?

4. Present 3D Printing Companies

Native companies and product builders could not have in-house entry to a 3D printer. In the event that they want a fast mannequin to indicate at a gathering or check the sizing of an element, they might attain out on your assist.

In that case, it is smart to have a Google My Business profile that describes your providers, together with a simple website.

I used to be stunned to see even sure UPS Shops have began to supply this service!

5. Resell Used or Refurbished 3D Printers

There could come a day when 3D printers are a regular family equipment, like a dishwasher or microwave. However for now, solely roughly a million homes have 3D printers.

Because the gadgets turn into extra frequent, there might be a rising alternative to resell used printers. You probably have a watch for a deal, it may very well be a worthwhile flipping area of interest on eBay or Fb Market.

In truth, hobby merchandise are sometimes among the best items to flip for a profit, as a result of folks could lose curiosity and simply need to reclaim the area of their home.

6. Hire Out Your 3D Printer

Another choice is to lease out your 3D printer once you’re not utilizing it; this may be a wonderful approach to earn extra income.

Peer-to-peer rental marketplaces like FatLlama and Loanables may also help you join with potential prospects. There weren’t many listings once I checked, however charges ranged from $25-40 a day. 

7. Grow to be a 3D Printer Content material Creator

You probably have a ardour for 3D printing and luxuriate in writing or creating movies about it, that is considered one of my absolute favourite facet hustles.

Why? As a result of it scales so properly!

It takes the identical quantity of effort to create a video that 10 folks watch, or that 10 million folks watch!

For instance, Uncle Jessy is a well-liked creator within the 3D printing area of interest. His YouTube channel has round 400,000 subscribers (at press time), which doubtless earns a wholesome 6-figure revenue.

My recommendation to new content material creators is to select two major channels to give attention to. The primary must be your website as your home-base. The second may be any social channel like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and so on.

What sort of content material may you create?

A straightforward approach to get began is to create tutorials — particularly in the event you’re good at constructing fashions and know easy methods to use CAD software program.

8. Promote Customized 3D-Printed Jewellery

3D printing can be utilized to make quite a lot of several types of jewellery. The commonest approach to promote 3D-printed jewellery is by customizing items with logos or different designs.

For instance, some Etsy sellers are making a killing with their artistic customized designs:

3d printed jewelry on etsy

It’s possible you’ll even be capable to begin with a template or sample that already exists, and add your personal distinctive twist or advertising and marketing to it.

One other approach to promote 3D-printed jewellery is by mass-producing it with a Mass Portal 3D printer. This course of requires talent and creativity, however the potential rewards are excessive.

9. Write a 3D Printing E-book

Due to self-publishing, anybody with some degree of experience on a subject can write a ebook and put it up on the market on Amazon.

write a book about 3d printing

I nonetheless keep in mind my first writer royalty earnings — it was lower than $50 — however nonetheless thrilling!

Since then I’ve earned cash from my ebook gross sales each single month. It’s a enjoyable approach to share your concepts and expertise with the world, and receives a commission over and over from work you do as soon as.

Be at liberty to dive into among the self-publishing resources we’ve got on Aspect Hustle Nation to study extra.

One other potential concept that includes much less work upfront could be to create a 3D printing mission logbook. It may very well be a easy pocket book the place folks may log their varied tasks, print occasions, and outcomes.

Take a look at this full podcast episode to study extra about one of these “low content” publishing.

10. Train a 3D Printing Course or Workshop

You can also make cash from a 3D printing course in a number of other ways. For instance, your course may give attention to a selected software program or design instrument, or it may give attention to the kind of tasks you most wish to print.

On-line platforms like Skillshare and Udemy make it simple to achieve a large viewers of potential college students. If you have already got an internet viewers, you may make much more promoting it straight.

For instance, my good friend Nikko Mendoza teaches folks easy methods to begin their very own 3D printed toy enterprise at

Alternatively, you may host an area workshop by your metropolis, library, group faculty, or different group. In the event you get 10 folks to indicate up at $50 apiece, you simply earned $500 for the night.

11. 3D Printing Consulting

One other approach to monetize your 3D printing experience is as a marketing consultant. You may create listings on or JustAnswer and earn $60-200 an hour to reply questions.

You might also supply your steering in Fb teams for inventors or product designers to construct up a useful status. Some mates of mine have accomplished this for providers like:

  • Podcast modifying
  • Fb advertisements
  • WordPress help
  • Sleep consulting
  • Digital help

They’ve all constructed nice companies!

12. 3D Printer Restore and Upkeep Service

Lastly, you could possibly put your 3D printing expertise to make use of by serving to different printer homeowners troubleshoot and restore their machines.

Considered one of my favourite examples of this (in a barely totally different area of interest) is Matt Bochnak, a mechanical engineer in Chicago. His unique facet hustle was repairing bikes in his storage. However what Matt did that was actually cool was he began filming himself doing the repairs.

Regardless that he wasn’t getting paid to do it, he began posting these movies on YouTube. As his channel grew, he began promoting full engine rebuild tutorials as digital downloads. Sponsors began to achieve out. He shaped affiliate partnerships. He began incomes promoting income from YouTube. Then he designed a bodily product of his personal and started selling that.

And it began with serving to folks repair their bikes. May you observe an identical path in 3D printer restore?

Remaining Ideas on Making Cash with a 3D Printer

3D printing can be utilized to generate revenue by quite a lot of strategies. The perfect path for you relies on your distinctive character, pursuits, expertise, and targets.

I’m drawn to the extra “passive revenue” enterprise fashions, the place I can create designs or merchandise and promote them on autopilot. The downside is these can take plenty of time to create and should by no means find yourself taking off.

Others want the non-public interplay of teaching, coaching, or consulting.

I can’t decide for you, however hopefully this submit has given you some actionable concepts on easy methods to begin being profitable together with your 3D printer.

side hustle show cover art

Huge due to Nick Patrocky for his assist in researching and drafting this text. Nick is a UX/UI designer, app reviewer, software program reviewer, and blogger who has labored with over 150 shoppers from nations throughout the globe. 

Steadily Requested Questions

Can You Make Cash with a 3D Printer?

There are numerous methods to generate revenue with a 3D printer. Maybe the most well-liked approach is to promote prints on websites like Etsy or Shapeways.

You may also supply designs for printing by these websites and different marketplaces.

Do You Want a Diploma in 3D Printing?

To work as a 3D printing technician, most employers require that candidates have not less than a level in engineering or software program growth. As a result of 3D printing is a producing expertise, it usually requires learning subjects similar to computer-aided design (CAD) and additive manufacturing processes.

Can a 3D Printer Pay for Itself?

Sure, a 3D printer pays for itself in the event you use it to provide objects which might be in excessive demand and which may be made cheaply.

Nevertheless, in case your 3D printer is used to provide objects that aren’t in excessive demand or which may be expensive, it could not pay for itself inside a brief interval.

How A lot Cash Can You Make With a 3D Printer?

A single hit 3D printing design could make hundreds of {dollars}, whereas 3D printing and CAD consultants usually cost $50-200 an hour for his or her experience. With creativity and perseverance, anybody can discover methods to monetize their 3D printer.

What Abilities are Wanted for 3D Printing?

To get began with 3D printing, you could be conversant in the printer and the software program that works with it. Familiarity with licensing legal guidelines can also be important.

Will 3D Printing Take Away Jobs?

3D printing is a quickly evolving expertise that’s starting to penetrate many industries world wide. This expertise is prone to considerably impression careers sooner or later as increasingly jobs are being marketed for engineers with 3D printing expertise.

It’s possible you’ll be in luck you probably have expertise in software program growth, biomedical expertise, animation design, engineering, or one other discipline that makes use of 3D printing expertise.

How Lengthy Does it Take to Be taught 3D Printing?

It could actually take a while to learn to use a 3D printer, however with some follow, it’s simple. Newbie customers must be conversant in CAD software program and have some technical know-how to start out shortly. With time and follow, anybody can learn to use a 3D printer.

How A lot Does a 3D Printer Value?

  1. 3D printers can vary in value from round $200 to $10,000+.
  2. There are a number of choices for renting a 3D printer or accessing them at native maker areas.

Is 3D Printing Ineffective?

3D printing expertise has been discovered to supply actual worth to totally different manufacturing purposes. Which means that the expertise shouldn’t be ineffective or overhyped, as some could imagine.

3D printing can create prototypes, produce small batches of elements, and even create personalized merchandise. Expertise is continually evolving and turning into extra accessible, making it an more and more engaging choice for companies and people.

Is 3D Printing Authorized?

You may legally promote 3D prints of fashions you create in the event you observe the copyright license. The designer’s license overrides if a mannequin incorporates copyrighted or trademarked content material. At all times verify whether or not the objects you 3D print are copyrighted or not.

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