How to Start Your 3D Printing Business

3D Printing technology is supposedly new but technically it can be dated back to 1984 when the technology was actually patented by Charles Hull, an American Engineer, who invented Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA). The technology first hit the manufacturing roadblock. Even after the patent was conferred, it took another 6 years to actually manufacture the machine. It was built in 1992. By the same time, a start-up named DTM Corp, invented the world’s first Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Machine.

This time the technology hit a commercial roadblock. It was far from commercially viable and after years of struggle, it struck gold in the year 2000 when the world’s first 3D printed organ was implanted in a human body. 3D printing technology shook the world for good and from then onwards it never looked back. Scientists and researchers noticed the potential and future prospects and suddenly a two-decade old technology seemed to be the newest craze in the world.

The world saw regular innovations, new applications, its viability and even commercial usage on a large scale. Investments started pouring in and people thought it was a safe bet. A technology like every other, which starts slow but ends up being the most sought after, 3D printing is here to stay and make lives more easy and desirable.

3D Printing has vast applications ranging from plastic products to footwear, from automotive to aerospace, from prototyping products to jewelry and to the latest being Food Printing. But the most interesting application relates to the Healthcare Industry. This has grown from one of the applications to being a completely separate industry. According to a survey carried out by Visiongain, it is estimated that by the year 2018, the 3D healthcare industry will be worth $4 billion. Let’s explore the current scenario and also look at the future expectations and prospects in the healthcare industry. While the healthcare industry has grown, it has specifically grown exponentially in 2 major categories as mentioned below. The major advantage of 3D printing is its capability to customize the products.

This gives it the flexibility to manufacture parts accurately to perfection in terms of shape & dimensions. This capability is fully exploited in the field of Prosthetics and as a result, the prosthetics parts can be tailor-made as per the individual. The common 3D printed prosthetic parts are Knee & hip joints, bones, prosthetic limbs, etc. Some non-intrusive medical equipment like dental implants, hearing aids are already being 3D printed right now. The advantage being the ability to customize according to the individual patient, every patient has different ear or dental orientation and this makes the industry unsuitable for mass production. 3D printing addresses and eliminates this problem with perfection.

The process of manufacturing too is simple and fast compared to the traditional method of casting a mold of the ear, which takes more than a week. It is said that 3D printing technology will grow only as much as the imagination power of the inventor. Going by this, the future holds something which is not yet imaginable. One of the future innovations, which we will see in the near future, is Tissue Engineering. Researchers are baffled by the thought of 3D printing live tissues or organs such as kidneys, livers right in the lab.

Imagine a situation where a patient with a failed kidney is admitted to the hospital and instead of waiting for a donor, a perfectly compatible kidney is 3D printed in the hospitals ‘Bionic 3D Printing Lab’. We may see such a magical possibility in the near future. Such 3D printed organs will obviously lower the risk of transplants and the body will readily accept the printed organs. Though it may seem a bit far-fetched, maybe the airplane too seemed far-fetched till the Wright Brothers invented one in 1903. Another important role that the 3D printed organs and tissues can play is in drug testing.

These printed organs can be the perfect Guinea Pigs for such harmful testing. 3D printing will go where the imagination takes it. Researchers, scientists, investors, and businessmen have struck gold with this technology and they are now confident about the results it will provide. It is only time that the benefits will be fully reaped. A small category has grown into a full-blown industry which will continue to grow further as the year’s pass. The world now understands the benefits this technology can bring to society.

3D printing has not only grown from within as an industry but also affected other market aspects as the divisions of a producer and consumer. This has led to the category of “Prosumer”, bringing the two parties closer. The other noticeable benefit about this type of production is that it is easy to start, offering an opportunity for novice users who are just starting to create products in their homes. With this industry based on customization, you have options that can go a long way in helping you start and grow your own business. Here are some ideas you may find useful in establishing your business.

If well equipped with style and skills, you can make a great business from creating and selling 3D printed products. Among other things, you can find a market for custom-made jewelry decorates and accessories that are cheap, marketable and beautiful too.  Gamers are not only seeking to experience the thrill, but most of them also invest in buying high-quality figures. If you are a gaming enthusiast and honed your 3D printing skills, you could turn this into a business, and start selling gaming icons.

With a 3D printed selfie service, you can scan consumer’s photos, capturing their natural and special look and printing them into fun figures. You have room for creativity and expansion. Since 3D printed food is slowly becoming popular in the dining sector, you can start by making candy, chocolate, and bringing your creativity to advance the industry. 3D printing of maps is very useful in depicting certain features in landscape typography, particularly with the Z-axis onboard. You can start with this style and adjust to future styles since 3D printing is an always-growing industry.

You do not have to be an expert in 3D printing to maintain a thriving business in this industry. You can start slowly by selling accessories and supplies for 3D printers, and this could become your skill. The dawn of the 3D printing industry has taken personalized gifts a notch higher. They are more available, cost-effective and genuine. You can go straight to the source and start producing what many people are doing with their 3D printers in the market. Just buy a 3D printer, the ideal one for the size you want for your business, and start making money. Talk of 3D printed glasses, shoes, garments and other accessories, there is a lot you can do with this tech and earn a steady income.

If you can start your 3D printed fashion brand, you can be more than just a trendsetter, but also make real money in a high demand industry. With the global demand for prosthetics on the rise, you jump into the opportunity and establish a business from scratch. The need for these lightweight and affordable products can be your chance for a thriving business. Since there are many people out there who are perfecting their 3D printing skills, coming up with designs and models could be a challenge for them. This could be an opportunity for you to start making plans for them and creating models for their project. Although the advertising industry is thriving, advertisers are constantly in search for creative ways to get their message across.

If you start creating products that can be appealing to the audience and communicate effectively, you could have customers at your doorstep in no time. Offer courses or tutors on 3D printing are yet another available opportunity for a 3D technology pro. You can kick-start your business with tutorials and courses to the novice who are seeking to learn the art of 3D printing. If you are an engineering enthusiast, printing may not be so interesting for you, but you can still find something to do. What about if you started offering these services to 3D printer owners and assembling new ones for those seeking to acquire one?  There are numerous opportunities in 3D printing; just find the right niche that interests you.

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