The 12 Greatest Methods to Make Cash with a 3D Printer: $1,000+/mo







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

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

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

Listed here are our prime methods to make cash along with your 3D printer.

make money with a 3d printer

1. Promote 3D Printer Designs

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

What sort of designs are individuals shopping for? The preferred classes are:

  • miniatures / fashions
  • recreation items
  • cosplay gadgets
  • instruments
  • spare elements
  • jewellery

When you’ve got 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. A few of the hottest marketplaces are:

  • Cults3D – Set your personal costs and earn 80% of the gross sales worth each time 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 worth for every design, and Pinshape provides 30% to the top buyer.
  • MyMiniFactory – Costs $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 individuals’s designs, simply be sure to have the mandatory copyright licenses in place. That manner you don’t infringe on anybody’s mental property rights.

Usually, this facet hustle includes:

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

Promoting 3D-printer designs is an fascinating passive revenue concept, in that you would be able to create a design as soon as and promote it again and again.

2. Promote 3D-Printed Fashions

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

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

(When you’re furnishing your dollhouse, you’re most likely 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 Facet Hustle Nation neighborhood, runs a 3D printing and design store.

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

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

May you begin the same 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 Enterprise profile that describes your companies, together with a easy web site.

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 normal family equipment, like a dishwasher or microwave. However for now, solely roughly one million houses have 3D printers.

Because the gadgets change into extra frequent, there shall be a rising alternative to resell used printers. When you’ve got a watch for a deal, it may very well be a worthwhile flipping area of interest on eBay or Fb Market.

In truth, pastime merchandise are sometimes a few of the finest gadgets to flip for a revenue, as a result of individuals could lose curiosity and simply need to reclaim the house of their home.

6. Lease Out Your 3D Printer

Another choice is to lease out your 3D printer once you’re not utilizing it; this may be a superb method to earn additional revenue.

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

7. Change into a 3D Printer Content material Creator

When you’ve got a ardour for 3D printing and luxuriate in writing or creating movies about it, that is one in all 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 individuals watch, or that 10 million individuals 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 probably earns a wholesome 6-figure revenue.

My recommendation to new content material creators is to choose two major channels to deal with. The primary ought to be your web site as your home-base. The second may be any social channel like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and so on.

What sort of content material might you create?

A simple method to get began is to create tutorials — particularly when 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 a wide range of various kinds of jewellery. The commonest method 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 inventive customized designs:

3d printed jewelry on etsy

You could even have the ability to begin with a template or sample that already exists, and add your personal distinctive twist or advertising and marketing to it.

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

9. Write a 3D Printing Ebook

Due to self-publishing, anybody with some stage of experience on a subject can write a guide 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 guide gross sales each single month. It’s a enjoyable method to share your concepts and expertise with the world, and receives a commission again and again from work you do as soon as.

Be at liberty to dive into a few of the self-publishing assets we’ve on Facet Hustle Nation to be taught extra.

One other potential concept that includes much less work upfront can be to create a 3D printing venture logbook. It may very well be a easy pocket book the place individuals might log their numerous tasks, print instances, and outcomes.

Try this full podcast episode to be taught extra about the sort of “low content material” publishing.

10. Train a 3D Printing Course or Workshop

You may make cash from a 3D printing course in just a few alternative ways. For instance, your course might deal with a specific software program or design instrument, or it might deal with the kind of tasks you most wish to print.

On-line platforms like Skillshare and Udemy make it straightforward to succeed in a large viewers of potential college students. If you have already got a web based viewers, you may make much more promoting it immediately.

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

Alternatively, you possibly can host an area workshop by your metropolis, library, neighborhood faculty, or different group. When you get 10 individuals to indicate up at $50 apiece, you simply earned $500 for the night.

11. 3D Printing Consulting

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

You might also provide your steerage in Fb teams for inventors or product designers to construct up a useful fame. Some pals of mine have performed this for companies like:

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

They’ve all constructed nice companies!

12. 3D Printer Restore and Upkeep Service

Lastly, you might be able to put your 3D printing expertise to make use of by serving to different printer house owners 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 succeed in out. He fashioned affiliate partnerships. He began incomes promoting income from YouTube. Then he designed a bodily product of his personal and began promoting that.

And it began with serving to individuals repair their bikes. May you comply with the same path in 3D printer restore?

Last Ideas on Making Cash with a 3D Printer

3D printing can be utilized to generate revenue by a wide range of strategies. The perfect path for you depends upon 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 disadvantage is these can take a variety of time to create and should by no means find yourself taking off.

Others desire the private 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 making a living along with your 3D printer.

side hustle show cover art

Massive 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 international locations throughout the globe. 

Steadily Requested Questions

Can You Make Cash with a 3D Printer?

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

You too can provide 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 at the least a level in engineering or software program improvement. As a result of 3D printing is a producing expertise, it usually requires learning matters comparable to computer-aided design (CAD) and additive manufacturing processes.

Can a 3D Printer Pay for Itself?

Sure, a 3D printer pays for itself when you use it to supply gadgets which are in excessive demand and which may be made cheaply.

Nevertheless, in case your 3D printer is used to supply gadgets that aren’t in excessive demand or which may be expensive, it might 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 1000’s of {dollars}, whereas 3D printing and CAD consultants typically cost $50-200 an hour for his or her experience. With creativity and perseverance, anybody can discover methods to monetize their 3D printer.

What Expertise are Wanted for 3D Printing?

To get began with 3D printing, you must be acquainted with 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 all over the world. This expertise is more likely to considerably impression careers sooner or later as increasingly more jobs are being marketed for engineers with 3D printing expertise.

You could be in luck when you have expertise in software program improvement, biomedical expertise, animation design, engineering, or one other subject that makes use of 3D printing expertise.

How Lengthy Does it Take to Study 3D Printing?

It will probably take a while to learn to use a 3D printer, however with some apply, it’s easy. Newbie customers should be acquainted with CAD software program and have some technical know-how to begin rapidly. With time and apply, anybody can learn to use a 3D printer.

How A lot Does a 3D Printer Price?

  1. 3D printers can vary in worth 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 functions. Because of this the expertise will not be ineffective or overhyped, as some could consider.

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 when you comply with the copyright license. The designer’s license overrides if a mannequin incorporates copyrighted or trademarked content material. All the time verify whether or not the objects you 3D print are copyrighted or not.


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