Selling 3D Printed Items: Guidelines for Starting a 3D Printing Business

If you are interested in 3D printing or transforming your digital designs into tangible collectibles, starting to sell 3D prints items could be the right choice. This industry allows you to utilize your creative abilities and IT knowledge to bring unique products to life. Understanding what 3D printing entails, how to establish a 3D printing business, and the various reasons for doing so are discussed in detail in this article.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a technological process that utilizes a specialized printer to manufacture products and designs. By programming the printer, it can create items by adding layers of thermoplastics or other materials according to pre-determined shapes. The printer’s nozzle applies heat and melts the fabric to make each layer.

Selling 3D Printed Items Guidelines for Starting a 3D Printing Business

Afterward, the machine remains idle until the material dries completely. Once dried, it combines the layers using either adhesive or ultraviolet light. Object printing time varies depending on design and printer, sometimes taking several hours. Compared to conventional manufacturing techniques, 3D printing is quicker, and each printer tends to be compact compared to other large-scale industrial machinery.

How to start a 3D printing business

Consider the following steps if you intend to start a business selling 3D prints:

1. Educate yourself about 3D technology

Gaining knowledge about the latest advancements in 3D printing technology and its various applications can significantly assist you in making well-informed business choices and delivering high-quality products. Acquiring skills in operating 3D printers and resolving minor issues is crucial to ensure a smooth workflow. Although locating universities that offer degrees specifically in 3D printing might be difficult, there are numerous options available for online courses and certifications that teach how to operate 3D printers and design digital models for reproduction.

2. Decide on a market

After grasping the fundamentals of operating and manufacturing 3D-printed items, analyze how your business can expand. It can be beneficial to investigate local needs, such as whether a budding group of entrepreneurs requires prototypes or if a tabletop gaming community would be interested in purchasing miniature figures. These considerations can assist in attracting customers by targeting established markets. Suppose you intend to appeal to an existing market. In that case, reach out to companies and communities you can collaborate with to gain knowledge and broaden your influence.

3. Plan your strategy

You can sell 3D printed items. Start by deciding whether your business will operate from your home and if you’ll be the sole employee. If you opt for a home-based setup, consider your available workspace and the number of printers you can accommodate. Additionally, explore opportunities to find neutral or online platforms to connect with potential clients or investors. If your strategy involves creating something unique, you can generate extra income by renting out your printers and outsourcing while you develop your product.

4. Choose your 3D printer

When researching to buy 3d printer in every price range for your needs, you must consider that you may only require a partially-fledged industrial printer. Sticking to your budget and looking for printers compatible with the materials you intend to use is crucial. For instance, if you aim to produce small and complex items, a single high-performance 3D printer may suffice. However, if you desire to make larger and less intricate pieces, such as kitchenware, it may be more suitable to utilize multiple mid-range 3D printers.

Searching for 3D printers that offer post-purchase advantages, like warranties or customer support, can also prove advantageous. These added benefits can assist in resolving any potential problems that may arise during your work and guarantee smooth production processes.

5. Research filaments

If you want to know how to sell 3D prints, it’s essential to understand how to choose the suitable filament material for your projects. Different filaments have different applications and require specific printing conditions to avoid warping. It is advisable to research to determine the most appropriate filament for your product. To assist you in beginning your research and gaining insight into what could work well for your product, the following is a compilation of some commonly used filaments, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

  • ABS, known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is an inexpensive and long-lasting material, but it has the drawback of emitting bothersome fumes and necessitates using a heated bed for printing.
  • Polylactic acid (PLA) is an organic material that allows quick printing. However, it is not as strong as ABS and may become distorted when exposed to high temperatures.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PETT) is FDA-approved and requires adjustments to the printer nozzle and heating bed, but it does not deform.
  • Sandstone: This substance has a distinct outer coating and does not need a printing surface, but it is not as long-lasting as other materials.
  • Wood material offers customizable aesthetics and variations in color, but it tends to be more flexible after the printing process than other materials.
  • Metal is a long-lasting substance that does not require a heated surface, although it may require more time to mold into desired shapes.
  • The Flexible TBE material has a stretchy, resilient texture and great overall shape. However, it requires precise adjustments to come out of the nozzle successfully.

6. Decide on a brand and platform

Before launching your product in the market while considering 3D printing copyright laws, the last crucial step involves selecting an appropriate name and branding strategy for your new business. It’s imperative to differentiate your business from competitors and effectively convey its unique value proposition. One way to accomplish this is by creating a distinctive logo or label, which can be instrumental in establishing a robust brand identity across various platforms, including websites and social media channels. Moreover, if you operate a physical storefront, this logo can be the cornerstone of your store’s decor and design. Additionally, numerous websites provide opportunities for creators to set up their shops within their platforms, potentially offering mechanisms to address copyright concerns.

Some Cool Things to 3D Print and Sell

3D printers can produce a diverse array of intricate designs for marketable products. You can manufacture and assemble your project’s multiple moving components separately. Some of the prevalent sectors that benefit from 3D printing enterprises include:

  • On-demand prototypes
  • Customizable eyeglasses
  • Toys are considered valuable and sought after, including collectible items, game accessories, and components needed for toy fixing.
  • Smartphone cases
  • Various home decor items like plates, picture frames, plant holders, and utensils
  • Spare parts

Why start a 3D printing business?

Four possible motives exist for starting a business to sell 3D printed items.


Most 3D printing methods result in minimal or zero waste, as the additive layering technique utilizes almost the entire material. Additionally, a significant number of the filaments employed in 3D printing are either biodegradable or can be recycled. Another advantage of 3D printing is that it requires less energy than industrial production lines, thanks to its speedy production process.


The efficiency of 3D printing makes it easier to meet increasing demands for production. Additionally, it allows clients to place orders for quantities that may be too small for traditional production methods or too large for the production capacity. Further, 3D printers streamline intricate procedures, allowing for efficient operations even with additional steps such as cleaning and sanding needed for the products.


Even if you specialize in a unique product, organizing your business around a system where you produce and sell on demand can prevent you from having excess inventory. By only manufacturing products when a customer orders, you can avoid wasting resources without generating revenue. This strategy enables you to be more financially cautious when starting a business, especially if your 3D printing venture is a secondary occupation.


The convenience of 3D printing depends on the variety of products or services you aim to provide. It enables you to automate specific steps, giving you more time to focus on marketing, improving your expertise in model creation, and handling filament procedures. Additionally, it grants you the flexibility to determine your production hours.


In conclusion, starting a 3D printing business offers excellent potential for success. Follow these expert guidelines to educate yourself, choose your market, plan your strategy, select equipment, and establish a strong brand. Consider the benefits of sustainability, efficiency, profitability, and flexibility as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t forget to be mindful of selling 3D printed items copyright laws to protect your creations. Get started today and turn your digital designs into profitable 3D printed items.