Start your entrepreneurial journey with the emerging technology of 3D Printing


Those bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and setting out to make a mark on their own often find themselves at odds when finding a promising business niche that’s sustainable and needs low capital investment.

A business set up around emerging/disruptive technologies are worth a try if one is able to execute quickly enough.  And those which can be executed with lesser startup costs are more viable than others which require investing large sums even before you see your first dollar of revenue.

Additive Manufacturing a.k.a. 3D Printing is one such area that offers tremendous potential. In this post, I’ll share some thoughts and business ideas that can leverage this upcoming & emerging trend.


Why 3D Printing

3D Printing is finding application in industries ranging from aerospace to medical to academic sectors.  The possibility to quickly converting designs into physical, usable forms using a choice of materials has opened up incredible opportunities.  Be it making scale models, trying out prototypes, creating bespoke aids/fixtures or end use products; 3D Printing is now helping translate ones ideas into tangible results.

3D Printing is also helping shape up the concept of Manufacturing as a Service wherein parts can be made as and when needed rather than be manufactured in bulk on an assembly line in a factory only to be stored for future use.

Global 3D Printing is growing at a CAGR of over 20% and is expected to reach $ 9 billion by year 2020.


3D Printing Business Ideas

For SME’s and small business, this presents an array of opportunities to sell products and services. To cite a few, one can –

Model and Sell your 3D Designs

For the solo technopreneur this can be the easiest way to get started.  If you have basic  know-how of 3D modelling (which can be self-learned using free to use tools such as Tinkercad or Sketchup), selling ready-made designs is one possibility.  3D design marketplaces such as Shapeways & i.materialise is where one can offer bespoke 3D design services.

Sell Fashion Accessories, Jewelry, etc

If you are the creative kind who dreams of launching your brand of items –jewelry, trinklets, phone covers, etc….now you can do so with a small setup right out of your home! Other proven 3D Printing business ideas include customised footwear, personalised medical aids, education and more.


Offer 3D Printing Services

If you are in a position to make an investment in procuring a few professional grade 3D printers, there’s ample of scope of provide printing services.  Not everyone can afford to buy their own printer or have the expertise to design, print and finish their items.  Scale models, prototypes, figurines, etc can be service offerings that you can offer to customers.

Twindom is one company that provides a platform where you can invest and signup in order to start a small business selling 3D Printer figurines.


Getting Started

For the uninitiated, getting started is not that difficult…there are ample resources available to get you up to speed.  Especially in developed countries like Singapore and many others, learning 3D printing is relatively simple.  As explained in this infographic by 3D Bots.

Frankly speaking, if you’re comfortable with the traditional ink printer, the common FDM 3D printer is not very different….it just has the 3rd dimension (the Z axis) and it uses a filament/resin instead of simple ink!

With maturing technology and lower costs, 3D Printing is all set to go mainstream soon. Hence now is the time to catch the way and get an early mover advantage.  Jump into the exciting field of additive manufacturing soon and get a head start.

About Azhar Katib 4 Articles
Azhar Katib, founder at Websell Solutions