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How To Make Money with a 3D Printer? [10 Ways]

Spencer Hill 3d model
Spencer Hill 16:19 10-31

Is your 3D printing gathering dust in the garage? Then why not monetize the idle machinery? A 3D printer owner will tell you it is fun to print objects and characters of different materials.

However, the printer comes with an underlying motivator to earn money. Here are 10 ways to make money with 3D printer.

Can you make money with a 3D printer?

Yes, you can use your 3D printer to make money. You can print different prototypes, contribute to medical research, or sell custom-made objects at an online store. Other methods offer unique returns on investment. However, it is vital that you must not falsely advertise trademarked 3D printer designs and respect artistic and intellectual properties.

How to make money with a 3D printer -10 ways

Way 1. Sell your 3D models on Creality Cloud
Way 2. Sell pre-made 3D prints on Etsy
Way 3. Sell an online 3D printing course
Way 4. Rent your 3D printer for events
Way 5. Start a 3D Printing Service
Way 6. Start a 3D printing YouTube channel
Way 7. Start a 3D Printing Blog
Way 8. Start a 3D printing TikTok
Way 9. Flip Broken 3D Printers
Way 10. Build 3D Prototypes

Way 1. Sell your 3D models on Creality Cloud

Creality Cloud is a 3D model marketplace, also a best alternative to Thingiverse, offers an innovative solution to make money with 3D printer. It is an all-encompassing platform that offers model downloading, remote printing, and slicing. The uploader can assess the profile’s performance in real time on their android and iOS application.

Sell your 3D models on Creality Cloud

Its Designer Partnership Program provides users with opportunities and tools for 3D designing. Furthermore, the platform offers a nurturing and trustworthy relationship with the designers. The creators have the rights to their creations. In short, Creality Cloud takes copyright infringement very sternly.

Way 2. Sell pre-made 3D prints on Etsy

Did you know you can make money with 3D printer on Etsy too? The online network is home to global 3D printing hobbyists and experts trying to make a living. It is a digital marketplace that has played a significant role in how to make money with a 3D printer. Etsy is well known for selling handcrafted and custom items.

Sell pre-made 3D prints on Etsy

However, one must consider the legality of selling in online marketplaces. Etsy filters the clients and creates a safe space for your small 3D printing business to grow. It will instantly publish the 3D printing designs. Moreover, its advertisement is more inexpensive than Google too. On the other hand, Etsy offers low-profit margins, making it very challenging to build a rapport.

Way 3. Sell an online 3D printing course

If you are professional in 3D printing, you can offer training and printing courses to educate 3D printing enthusiasts. You can teach the students how it works and about the printing industry as an expert.

Sell an online 3D printing course

You can teach the students the basics and divide the courses according to difficulty levels. In addition, you can also provide informative services according to hourly or daily rates. You can also collaborate with different businesses to launch online or physical programs. It will broaden your reach and establish your authority on how to make money with a 3D printer. Another way to promote the course is by offering referrals or group discounts.

Way 4. Rent your 3D printer for events

Thankfully, the pandemic is over, and economic activities are returning to normal. The market shift is an excellent opportunity to make money with 3D printers by renting them. The rental amount varies from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. It will factor in the rental duration and the 3D printer brand.

If you are interested in renting your 3D printer, launch an advertisement on relevant forums and social media platforms. Remember to mention contact details and other relevant information for streamlined communication. Lastly, complete the ad with potential outcomes if the 3D printer is returned broken. You can save rental income to purchase more 3D printers. Thus, expanding the operations.

Way 5. Start a 3D Printing Service

Opening a 3D printer service is another way to make money from 3D printing.

When the business launches, the potential client will send over their design for printing. The company will provide a quote and an estimation of the services. In calculation, the 3D printing cost can vary according to the design and complexity. Other factors include software installation costs, shipment expenses, logistical challenges, and other interferences.

Surprisingly, the expenses of running a 3D printing service are relatively low. You only need to invest in a 3D printer if you are the operator and the owner. In addition, you can further reduce the cost by offering Print on Demand services. This means you only 3D print after confirming a client’s quote. There are no inventory and storage costs.

Way 6. Start a 3D printing YouTube channel

Since 3D printing is relevantly new, you can monetize the opportunity by uploading 3D printer-related videos to YouTube. It is a best option to make money using a 3D printer without hefty capital investment. You can teach the views about installing, purchasing, or repairing a 3D printer. 

With regular uploads and engagement in the comment section, your YouTube Channel is likely to grow. As a result, you can collaborate with manufacturers to promote 3D printing. Moreover, you can also build an affiliate income with embedded links and discount codes. The proceeds are transferred to your bank account from each purchase. In other words, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, advertisement, and donations diversify your income. YouTube offers numerous monetization strategies so you can build authority on the subject matter.

Way 7. Start a 3D Printing Blog

You can also make money with 3D printer by starting a blog, like Creality Cloud Blog. The posts can empower the reader about 3D printing in easy-to-understand content. You may not experience traffic immediately. However, like YouTube, a 3D printing blog also requires commitment and regular uploads. You can monetize the call-to-action in the post by mentioning the best place to purchase 3D printers. In addition, affiliate marketing can explore 3D models and other associated products. 

A 3D printing blog approves your skills as an expert printer. Novices will look up to you for inspiration because they trust the content you upload. As a result, it is easier to translate the audience into a revenue-earning stream.

Way 8. Start a 3D printing TikTok

TikTok is a recent addition to the social media platform. However, no one can object to the insane popularity it has experienced. With billions of viewers worldwide, why not use TikTok to make money with 3D printer? TikTok works similarly to YouTube. Unfortunately, the audience takes much longer to realize the 3D printer content on TikTok.

Start a 3D printing TikTok

However, do not let that discourage you. You can upload regular 3D printing content on TikTok, whether informative, promotional, or educative. The short bursts of videos will maintain the focus of the audience. You can teach them about designing, formatting, or installation hiccups too. Once the TikTok audience grows, you can venture into affiliate marketing. As a result, talking about a certain brand will earn you a commission. You can also collaborate with different 3D printing enthusiasts to broaden the audience.

Way 9. Flip Broken 3D Printers

Sometimes a 3D printer has gone beyond repair that it is now unsalvageable. Fortunately, the circumstance is your win. How to make money with a 3D printer involves purchasing broken 3D printers at their residual value and fixing them. Once repaired, you can sell them at a high-profit margin.

The idea is cost-efficient and does not require renting or hiring employees. Moreover, you only have the technical skills and knowledge to fix broken 3D printers. You can create an online store on eBay or Amazon too.

To generate revenue, you would need to invest in high-quality tools. Flipping 3D printers is an excellent idea for supplemental income. As the store grows, so will the experience. You can link 3D printing courses, blogs, TikTok, and YouTube accounts in the social media bio. The call to action will grow your audience.

Way 10. Build 3D Prototypes

Prototyping is the last mention on the list of how to make money with a 3D printer. The process involves trial products and items for local businesses. With time, you can expand the operations to an international audience too. Prototyping involves creating trial products before they are approved for the production line.

3D prototyping involves plastic and metal. Moreover, fuel deposition modeling is also used to print newer designs. Prototyping maintains the interest in 3D printing without making it sound like a chore. In addition, you can diversify the services too.

You can charge differently for clients that wish to hire you for building and designing. You can send your designs to the production line directly if you are your client. In short, 3D printing prototyping is a great chance to grow your network within the community.

FAQs about how to make money with 3D printing

3.1. How much money can you make from 3D printing?

The answer to the question is not definitive. If you are producing quality items and building a reputation among the community, you can earn five to six-figure income through 3D printing. However, according to the industry, you can begin by charging $4 to $20 per hour of printing.

3.2. Is it legal to sell 3D prints?

In short, it is not illegal to sell 3D prints if you download them from an open-source store. However, you need permission from the original creator if you wish to monetize their designs. Furthermore, the artist’s IP must also not infringe to maintain its legality.

3.3. Is 3D printing a good side hustle?

Yes, 3D printing is a great side hustle when done right. You must give yourself some time to learn the basics if you are new to 3D printing. Educating yourself about the settings and troubleshooting will minimize errors when interacting with clients. 


This article offers many 3D printer ideas to make money. The versatility and working remotely are very attractive. Therefore, take the initiative to actualize 3D printer-related business ideas. You are encouraged to study the market to estimate the capital and equipment requirements for cooperative results.

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