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  1. #1

    Earn money with printer

    Hi,

    I have been looking at printers for a while now, but can't compel myself to get one unless I can earn back some of the printer (and filament) cost. How easy is it to earn money using a 3D printer nowadays? My thought was to find free models, print and sell in my vicinity. Maybe printing vases, decorations, etc. Would it take years to earn back an original Prusa i3 MK3S?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Would it take years to earn back an original Prusa i3 MK3S?
    yes :-)

    The only way to make money is to find a niche product that nobody else has spotted and then DO NOT TELL ANYONE !
    So don't expect us to tell you how - if at all - we make money from 3d printing.
    lol

    But basically you just won't make money with a standard fdm printer by downloading stuff on thingiverse and printing it.

    Although there is a way, it involves extensive post processing.
    You can find models of weapons and armour/costumes from films, video games and tv series online.
    Print them, sand them, paint them and make sure they look GOOD. And those you can sell for decent money to the cosplay crowd.

  3. #3
    Look at it this way, if you want to play golf, (it's a hobby) you gota buy the clubs, and pay the greens fees.. how much does that cost and when do you make money with golf.. or any hobby.. I have found a market within other hobbies where I can manufacture something that others want to buy.. I designed it, but after a year, I would not say I am "Making Money" I say I get money for some of the things I make.. there is a difference.. It's a hobby, I want to do it and if I can bring in some money for another roll of filament that is all good but not why I bought the printer! Oh and the other thing to realize.. that $25 I got, may have taken me 4 hours of my time.. so not really making money.. One last thing, I commend you for your choice of printer, if you do dive in that is a very good choice.

  4. #4
    Student Govard45's Avatar
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    Hey. Very helpful post. Thanks for the info.

  5. #5
    Student Grazuncle's Avatar
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    Further to the points made..It can be a hobby.. nothing wrong with that. Similarly there are many photographers out there who take photos just for themselves and spend a fortune on lenses etc etc. A few make a pin money doing the odd job. However as someone further up said you need to make a good job of something if you are getting paid for it. What is your time worth to you? I only ended up with an Ender 5 because my brother had it delivered to my door for me to learn how to use it (supposedly to then teach him: hasn't happened) but mainly to make prototypes prior to tooling. It is this that has saved him a fortune.. so I'd say for most people it is a manufacturers godsend in cost saving rather than 'making' money.Good luck
    Last edited by Grazuncle; 05-30-2020 at 05:33 AM. Reason: grammar

  6. #6
    Wow, this is a really good post. I really liked it a lot and will use the steps you mentioned to earn money.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    yes :-)

    The only way to make money is to find a niche product that nobody else has spotted and then DO NOT TELL ANYONE !
    So don't expect us to tell you how - if at all - we make money from 3d printing.
    lol

    But basically you just won't make money with a standard fdm printer by downloading stuff on thingiverse and printing it.

    Although there is a way, it involves extensive post processing.
    You can find models of weapons and armour/costumes from films, video games and tv series online.
    Print them, sand them, paint them and make sure they look GOOD. And those you can sell for decent money to the cosplay crowd.
    I solely agreed with you and would like to respect your ideas and recommendations. Also you explained the matter very polished way. Yeah, good quality of any niche can help to draw the attention of the interested guys and cam make the growing possibility. Thanks Super Moderator.

  8. #8
    Student Tambre's Avatar
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    It seems to me that today it is difficult to find a niche product that will be new. I would say almost impossible.

  9. #9
    Of course, you can make money on it, many people do it.But you need to choose the right niche for it to be in demand. Do you have any ideas? Often people start a business because they once needed something, but they could not find a suitable option, so they decided to do it themselves.Maybe you had this situation too.Of course, the better printer you have, the more opportunities you will have to monetize your hobby.

  10. #10
    Of course, you can make money with your 3D printer! It mainly depends on how invested you are and if you're treating it as a hobby (there is nothing wrong with that!) or as a business.


    There are different ways you can use a 3D printer and create a steady income. You can generally find a niche and create and sell your own products, sell out the design files on Etsy, Amazon or Ebay. There are a lot of people who own a printer and would be happy to purchase a file and use it. However, if you choose this method you should make sure to license your files and allow only personal use for the created items. And last but not least you can create resources and courses and teach beginner the 3D printing basics, share your knowledge and tips.

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