Is 3D Printing Profitable? Think Big – Start Small

3D printing is a real solution for model making in many industries. Starting a 3D printing is a treasure hunt process. If you seek in-depth about 3D printing, you may realize the market demand of 3D printing in the future. So have you ever thought this is a really profitable business? So let’s figure out

3D printing is a really profitable industry. One-hour 3D printing will cost $15-$20, including filaments, machines, power consumption, and labor. That model will be worth around $40-$50, which is almost doubled. This can be varied with the material and the printing model.

Start a 3D printing is a potential business. Before you start the 3D printing business, you should do a case study of its demand and profitability. Using a small 3D printer, you can start a profitable 3D printing business and then grow it globally. So don’t miss the train, keep reading on!

3D Printing Market Capacity

Before we discuss the profit of 3D printing, we should understand the market capacity and demand for the real profit generation in a long period. So let’s study it all in detail.

The 3D printing market is growing exponentially. Its demand has been increasing day by day. Modern technology is engaging low cost, high end, and high accuracy outputs. In this situation, many people engaged with this amazing technology.

3D printing is a filament-based technology. The filament is melted by the nozzle after heating (200 °C -250 °C), and then it extrudes onto a layer by layer. Small nozzle sizes (0.4mm) build small layers like walls, and according to the object, supports are also created to further the printing process.

3D printing demand is increased drastically. It is from all over the world. The most demand is from the USA, Canada, and European countries.

3d printing world demand

Most car manufacturers in the aviation industry, medicine, construction are widely used 3D printing profitably. In the past, making mold is really expensive, and its accuracy is a tad bit different. People needed to create many models to get a successful mold. But now, we can 3D print plastic and metals. So its usage is amazing.

3D printing market trend Source:

In 2019, the global 3D printing market was estimated at $12.1B on average (or at a range between $9.9B and $15.0B by different analysts), seeing a 25% year-over-year growth since 2014. This includes revenue from 3D printing systems, software, materials, and services but excludes internal corporate investments in AM technologies.

We can expect by the end of 2024. The market trend will be $34.9B, which is amazing growth considering 2019. Due to this reason, you are not late for starting a 3D printing business.

Considering all factors, you can realize there is a huge market in the world for 3D printing. It will be a huge industry that produces more profit during the process.

Expenses For 3D Printing

Profit is the difference between income and expenses. Before talking about the profit, we should know how much will it cost for the 3D printing process.

We can categorize the expenses for 3D printing into 3 main categories. Those are material cost, Instrument cost, power cost, and labor cost.

Material Cost

In fact, filaments are available in many materials. There are so many materials with different properties. We should select the real material that is 100% compatible with our projects. Some materials can be recycled (PETG, PETT), and some are biodegradable (PLA). These materials will cost around 20$-30$ of 1Kg in the market.

Instrument Cost

3D printing is a widely available machine. We can create a 3D printer domestically. Most people use 3D printing domestically for their projects and fun. Its cost has been reduced as it can be used domestically. You can buy a 3D printer for around $150 – $250 for domestic usage. Due to this reason, its popularity has drastically increased. If you use a 200$ 3D printer for 2 years, 4 hours per weekdays, you will cost $0.41 per hour.

But if this is an industrial 3D printer, it will cost more.

Power Cost

Power consumption is essential for 3D printing. When the filaments are heated more and more, they will require more power. But believe me, there are 3D printers that consume 80W when it is operating. If 1 KWh is $0.1313 and power will cost $0.02. This is for the small bed size 200mm x 150mm. When the power consumption is reduced, its cost is high. That is affordable.

Labor Cost

This is a regional cost. It depends on the area. Suppose you don’t have a 3D model for 3D printing. You have to make the 3D model. Making a 3D model will cost according to the complexity of the object. So you have to pay for that according to the model. So that depends on the 3d designer. You can start 3D modeling at the beginning by using 3D modeling software easily to design 3D models for your business.

In the US, labor costs will be $7.25/hour, and it can be changed according to the experience and region.

Read More About – How Much Does it Cost for 3D Printing per Hour?

How to Profit from 3D Printing?

Making a profit is essential for the 3D printing business. You can start 3D printing domestically using a small 3D printer. It can be expanded drastically when you earn more. Before you earn a profit from 3D printing, you should reduce the cost. You can earn more money in 3D printing with more printing models. So let’s see how to increase profit in 3D printing.

Use Recycled Material

You can use recycled materials for the filaments. It will be low cost and environmental friendly. That is huge sustainability. PETF, PEFG can be used as recycled materials. So better to move those filaments.

Start 3D Printing Service

You can start an online 3D printing service. Start a website and then let the customers upload the models and then let them pay for the model making, printing, and shipping. If you are at home, you can do this easily.

Online Frelancing Site, offers a huge opportunity for freelancers who produce 3D printings. So register today on these sites to maximize your profits.

Print and Sell

You can print toys, key racks, models, and many objects for printing. Then you can sell them on E-bay or any online store.

How to Start 3D printing Business?

Starting a 3D printing business will cost around $500-$1000 domestically. If you start big, it will be more than that. Normally 3D printer will cost $150-$250, and filaments will cost $20-$30$ per 1Kg. You will need few filaments rolls and a 3D printer that will nearly cost 500$ including other expenses.

But large scale printing will need more assets. You have set up all from the beginning. Due to this reason, start small and then make the clients and expand for the growth with your experience. That is the real startup.

Read More About – Quick Start 3D Printing in 05 Steps: Optimized Method!

How Much Competitive the 3D Printing?

3D printing has many competitors. There are CNC, Additive manufacturing, traditional manufacturing, injection mold, etc. Each one is used for a specific task. Most people do not have proper knowledge of the 3D printing process. So they are engaging with conventional methods such as traditional manufacturing.

The best way is to spread the user compatibility of the 3D printing to encourage the peoples to this amazing field.

3D Printing Industry Top Competitors

You can challenge yourself to be the best 3D printing service among these top 08 companies. Think large – start small

1. 3D Systems

2. Protolabs

3. Nano Dimension

4. Materialise

5. Stratasys Ltd. 

6. ExOne

7. Voxeljet

8. Organovo

Read More About –  Largest 3D Printing Companies by Market Cap.


3D printing is a really profitable business. Sometimes you can have 100% profit when you work on it. This is a real hidden gem. Most of the newer companies are become giants in this industry due to this reason. That is really important for the user as well as the environment also. In fact, it is a sustainable industry with amazing profits.

Ricky Louis

Hey.. I am Ricky Louis, A professional graphic designer with years of experience in 3D modeling. I would like to share my knowledge with you.

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