When it comes to starting your 3D printing business, a printer is only the beginning. 3D printing succeeds or fails based on designs and understanding how those designs can best be printed to get the most out of their performance and their cost.
Printers and print materials are often the most expensive element of a 3D printing business. They need to be maintained and the products need to be properly finished. If you are just starting out in your 3D printing business, a printer may not be workable due to expense or your living situation. There are, however, plenty of options for those who want to start making money off of 3D printing design.
With that in mind, what do you need for your 3D printing business?
There are a lot of 3D printing design software options out there. It’s important to select a software that exports files in the appropriate format (usually STL or VRML). Some design software is easier to use than others, while the level of detail and the built-in tools available can vary. For beginners to 3D modeling, some software provides a library of designs for you to work off of in order to familiarize yourself with the tools and principles of 3D printing design.
You can get limited but effective 3D printing design software for free, such as Blender or Tinkercad. These may be good options for those working with limited budgets or new to 3D printing design. You can also pay to use more elaborate, supported programs like the popular Fusion360, which is free to startups but will require a subscription as your 3D printing business grows.
While tinkering with designs can and will teach you a lot, training is a good choice if you want to perfect your 3D design skills. While there are classes available online and occasionally in person that focus specifically on designing for 3D printing, 3D animation courses are also useful. These classes teach you how to use your design tools to create various effects as well as the fundamentals of good, appealing, and useful design.
With the design software on your computer and the skills in your head, you’ll finally need to set it up so your future customers can find you. Not many of us can run a storefront from our homes, and how many people can you reach that way anyway? With a well-designed website, you will be able to reach people from around the world.
These days, you can easily create a website- for free!- to showcase your design skills and 3D printing business. There’s many platforms such as Wix or WordPress you can use to build your site, or you can hire a web designer to build one for you. Be sure to purchase your own domain, too, as this will help customers find your site and make it clear you run a professional business. Last but not least, create and utilize social media to let people know who you are, what you do, and why they should use your 3D printing design services.
Now, What About a Printer?
If a 3D printer is not really workable for you right now, there’s no need to give up! Services such as ours here at Jawstec are fully staffed and outfitted with hi-tech printers and finishing equipment. By using our service, you have far more options for bringing your designs to life than you would get from a budget printer. We’re passionate about printing and we love to help other startups and designers start out. Contact us today for a 3D print quote to help get your 3D printing business up and running.