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How to Start a 3D Printing Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • What is the 3D prinitng business?
  • Is 3D printing a profitable business? 
  • Can you make money selling 3D print models? 
  • How much money will it take to get started? 
 

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the 3D Printing Business?

The 3D printing business is one of the most trending industries in the world in the world right now.

3D printing involves the production of three-dimensional objects using computer-aided design (CAD) software to make a digital file used for o creating a physical object by laying down successive layers of material.

There are many potential applications of 3D printing, including prototyping and mass manufacturing. Further, 3D printing solutions offer repair or modification services for existing 3D-printed objects.

Market Insight:

The 3D printing market is a rapidly growing industry, with the global market size for 3D printing expected to reach over $42 billion by 2027, according to a market research report by Grand View Research.

The market has seen significant growth in recent years due to the increasing adoption of 3D printing technology across various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, and automotive.

3D Printing Business

Types of 3D Printing Business Models

1. On-demand manufacturing
On-demand 3D printing manufacturing business model emphasizes the speed of delivery and the ability to produce parts at the point of need.

If a company wants to produce a few dozen or even hundreds of parts, it is easier to achieve this. For traditional manufacturing, a company doesn’t have to wait weeks to manufacture tools like molds.

2. Manufacturing as a service
The manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) model relies on sharing manufacturing infrastructure, equipment, and another manufacturing capacity, networked to enable more efficient production.

With MaaS, the network will dynamically route the order to a given facility based on workload, materials, workforce available, and location.

3D printing has been one of the key pillars supporting the MaaS model.

3. Supply Chain Consolidation
Simplify the supply chain by using 3D printing for manufacturing end-use parts in-house. As a result, what usually would require many features fabricated as separate components can be additively manufactured as a single unit.

Helping to reduce the number of parts that need to be procured lowers the supply chain complexity. Reduced supply chain complexity decreases the risk of supply chain disruption.

4. Mass Customization
The mass customization 3D Printing model entails creating products precisely adjusted to the needs of individual buyers.

Allowing the companies to explore this provides a more viable solution to producing customized products. 3D printing only requires uploading customized digital designs of a product, or it’s part, into a 3D printer.

5. Direct to Consumer Business Model
The Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) 3D Printing Model strategy helps companies create products faster and cheaper than traditional mass-manufacturing techniques.

3D Printing Business

Is the 3D Printing Business the right choice for me?

Pros of a 3D Printing Business

  • Cost Savings
  • Design Freedom
  • Speed
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Personalization
  • Versatility

Cons of a 3D Printing Business
  • Cost
  • Accuracy
  • Limited Materials
  • Time
  • Risk of Injury
  • Limited Uses

Investment required to start a 3D Printing Business

Starting a 3D Printing business have moderate expenses. However, this cost may vary based upon the commercial 3D printer you buy.

In the US, it will cost you nearly $25K – $125K; in the UK, it will be around £20K- £80K.

Some of the significant expenses you may need to consider when starting a 3D printing business include:

1. 3D printing equipment:
This is likely the biggest upfront investment you will need to make.

3D printing equipment can range in price from a few thousand dollars for a basic desktop printer to hundreds of thousands of dollars for industrial-grade equipment.

2. Workspace:
Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to rent or purchase a space to set up your 3D printing equipment and work on projects.

3. Materials:
You will need to purchase the raw materials to create your 3D prints, such as plastic, metal, or resin.

4. Marketing and advertising:
You will need to market your business to attract customers and generate sales.

This may involve creating a website, advertising local media, or participating in trade shows and other events.

5. Insurance:
It is essential to have insurance to protect your business and assets. You may need to purchase liability insurance to cover any accidents or injuries that occur on your property, as well as coverage for your equipment and other assets.

Other Expenses:

- Computer

- Software

- Wages & salaries

- Electricity

- Telephone

- Office Supplies

- Repairs

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3D Printing Business

How much can you make as a 3D Printing business?

In the 3D printing business, you can make money selling 3D prints, materials, and designs or start producing items to sell.

3D printing can cost anywhere from $5 up to thousands of dollars. For an exact cost of a 3D print, one needs a 3D model to look into factors such as material, model complexity, and labor that affect the Price of 3D printing.

There are several different business models that a 3D printing company can use to generate revenue:

1. Print on Demand:
This model involves taking customer orders and producing 3D-printed products per order. The company may offer a range of products or allow customers to upload their designs for printing.

2. Batch Production:
This model involves producing 3D-printed products in large quantities, often using automated processes. The products may be sold directly to consumers or other businesses for resale.

3. Custom Manufacturing:
This model involves working with customers to design and produce custom 3D-printed products for specific applications. This can include prototyping, tooling, and end-use parts.

4. Service Bureau:
In this model, the company offers 3D printing services to customers, including design, prototyping, and production, but does not sell the finished products. Customers may be individuals, businesses, or organizations.

5. Subscription:
This model involves offering 3D printing services on a subscription basis, with customers paying a regular fee for access to the company’s equipment and expertise.

6. Franchising:
This model involves licensing the company’s brand and business model to franchisees who operate their 3D printing businesses using its methods and systems.

3D Printing Business

Commercial Use of 3D Print Model

3D printing technology has been used for various purposes, including prototyping and manufacturing, custom parts, and one-of-a-kind products. 

3D printers can produce a variety of objects, including:

1. Toys and Figurines: 
Many 3D printers are used to create custom toys and figurines and models of characters from movies and television shows.

2. Medical and Dental Prosthetics:
3D printing technology has created custom-fit prosthetics to replace ears, teeth, and face parts.

3. Architectural Models:
3D printing can create detailed models of buildings, bridges, and other structures.

4. Jewelery: 
Many 3D printers are now used to create custom jewelry, such as rings, earrings, and necklaces.

5. Electronics:
3D printing can create parts for electronic devices, such as circuit boards, connectors, and buttons.

6. Full-sized Houses: 
3D printing technology has been used to construct full-sized houses, including walls, floors, and roofs.

7. Other Products:
3D printing can create various products, including furniture, clothing, and medical devices.

 

Some of the top industry vertical uses of 3D printing services:

1. Manufacturing prototypes

2. Creating medical implants

3. Building architectural models

4. Designing and printing jewelery

5. Creating custom figurines

6. Printing replacement parts

7. Home décor

8. Forensic evidence

9. Eyeglasses

10. Real estate models

3D Printing Business

Types of 3D Printing Methods

1. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM): 
FDM is the most common type of 3D printing. It works by heating the thermoplastic filament and extruding it layer by layer to create the desired 3D object. FDM is great for producing strong, reliable, but only sometimes accurate parts.

2. Stereolithography (SLA): 
SLA uses light to cure and harden the liquid resin. This method produces highly accurate parts with smooth surfaces, but the parts tend to be brittle and less intense than those with FDM.

 

3. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS): 
SLS uses a laser to fuse small plastic, metal, or ceramic powder particles. This method produces parts with complex geometries and an excellent surface finish. However, the parts tend to be brittle and less intense than parts produced with FDM.

 

4. Digital Light Processing (DLP): 
DLP uses a projector to cure and harden the liquid resin. This method produces highly accurate parts with smooth surfaces, but the parts tend to be brittle and not as strong as parts produced with FDM.

5. Metal 3D Printing: 
Metal 3D printing uses a laser to fuse small particles of metal powder. This method produces parts with complex geometries and an excellent surface finish. However, the parts tend to be brittle and less intense than parts produced with FDM.

6. PolyJet 3D Printing: 
PolyJet 3D printing uses inkjet technology to jet tiny drops of liquid photopolymer onto a build platform. This method produces highly accurate parts with smooth surfaces, but the parts tend to be brittle and not as strong as parts produced with FDM.

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3D Printing Business

Trends and Challenges in a 3D Printing Business 

Trends in a 3D printing business:

1. Increased Automation

2. Multi-Material Printing

3. Industrial-Grade Printing

4. Low-Cost Printers

5. Enhanced Printing Speeds


Challenges in a 3D Printing Business:

1. High Cost 

2. Limited Size and Speed 

3. Accuracy and Resolution 

4. Time-consuming process

5. It can be Dangerous 

Risks of 3D Printing Business:

1. Fire Hazard

2. Inhalation Hazards

3. Toxic Materials

4. Interference with other electronics

5. Mechanical Failure

3D Printing Business

What can you print and not print in a 3D Printing business?

What you can print in a 3D printing business:

  • Prototypes
  • Toys 
  • Furniture 
  • Artwork 
  • Jewelery 
  • Home Decor 
  • Medical Components 
  • Dental components 
  • Architectural models
  • Machine parts 
 

What you cannot print in a 3D printing business:

  • Explosives 
  • Hazardous materials 
  • Weapons 
  • Copyrighted material 
  • Illegal items 
  • Human organs 
  • Live tissue  
  • Bodily fluids

Conclusion

Driven by advances in 3D technology and industry adoption, the 3D printing industry has experienced booming growth in recent years. 

 

3D printing is the future of manufacturing, & mass scale personalized Product printing.

 

You can start a 3D printing business and turn your vision into a reality.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

The 3D printing revolution | DW Documentary – YT Channel ‘DW Documentary’

3D Printing Is Changing the World – YT Channel ‘VICE News’

Revised: 3D Printing – 13 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Started – YT Channel ‘The 3D Printing Zone’

A. Ultimaker S3:

This mid-range 3D printer has a build volume of 8.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches and is suitable for producing prototypes and small batch production.

Approx. Price $5,000


Stratasys F370:

This professional-grade 3D printer has a build volume of 14.5 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches and is capable of producing high-quality parts and prototypes.

Approx. Price $50,000


EOS M 400:

This high-end 3D printer has a build volume of 14.6 x 14.6 x 16.5 inches and is suitable for producing large, complex parts and prototypes.

Approx. Price $100,000

A. The step by step way to thoroughly plan for your business: 
1. Conduct market research
2. Purchase or lease equipment
3. Obtain materials and supplies
4. Set up a workspace
5. Hire staff or contractors or upgrade your skills
6. Promote your 3d print business
7. Begin 3d print production
8. Fulfill 3d print orders

A.
1. Custom product design and prototyping
2. On-demand manufacturing
3. 3D printing services for product designers
4. Medical device manufacturing
5. Toy & Custom Merchandise
6. Educational & Govt Projects
7. 3D printing for Architecture and Construction
8. Parts Repair and replacements

A.
3D printing can cost anywhere from $5 up to thousands of dollars.
For an exact cost of a 3D print, one needs a 3D model to look into factors such as material, model complexity, and labor that affect the Price of 3D printing.

A.

It varies depending on your business model. Usually, you work as a solopreneur from your home or a cheap rented location.

In that case, the significant cost is – The 3D printing printer, ranging from 5000 dollars for a basic desktop model to 100,000 dollars for a professional-grade machine.

A.

Yes, the 3D printing business is profitable. However, you must efficiently manage the marketing and reduce the cost of materials and labor.

A.

No license is required as for now.
But, starting a business typically requires obtaining a business registration or license with your local body and obtaining a sales tax license and additional permits.

A.

The 3D printing business is one of the most trending industries in the world in the world right now.

3D printing involves the production of three-dimensional objects using computer-aided design (CAD) software to make a digital file used for o creating a physical object by laying down successive layers of material.

There are many potential applications of 3D printing, including prototyping and mass manufacturing. Further, 3D printing solutions offer repair or modification services for existing 3D-printed objects.

A.

Yes, 3D printing is the future of manufacturing, & mass scale personalized Product printing.

Driven by advances in 3D technology and industry adoption, the 3D printing industry has experienced booming growth in recent years.

You can start a 3D printing business and turn your vision into a reality.

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