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20+ 3D Printing Business Ideas You Can Start in 2023

Between 2023 and 2030, the 3D printing market is expected to grow at an impressive rate of 23.3% per year, which means that it will bring in a staggering $23 billion.

This rapid expansion has been sustained over recent years and undoubtedly represents a significant opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

How can you benefit from this technology and start making money? Almost every industry utilizes 3D printers, from engineering to medicine, to accelerate their operations and create previously impossible innovations.

The possibilities are endless since 3D printing creates a wide range of items, including spare parts, tools, and even food.

If you know your way around 3D printers and modeling software, then it’s time to turn your hobby into a moneymaker. Whether you want to go all-in or dip your toes in the water, launching a 3D printing business is the way to go.

This article guides you to the best 3D printing business ideas you can start immediately! I will try my best to provide you with all the juicy details about existing 3D printing businesses and help you kick-start your brainstorming session to create something that’s never been seen.

But first, let’s briefly discuss the benefits of using 3D printers for product development.

Why should you start a 3D printing business?

In the 1980s, 3D printing was introduced as a tool to assist the engineering and product development sectors.

However, innovators pushed the boundaries and expanded their potential to the point where it’s now a game-changer in industries such as tech, aerospace, automotive, medical, agriculture, and many more.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the possibilities of 3D printing!

But what makes it so perfect?

#1 – Speed

3D printers have revolutionalized product development and prototyping. It allows companies to develop and deliver new products quickly.

Gone are the days when producing prototypes was a time-consuming and expensive affair. Thanks to 3D printers, designers and developers can now chum out multiple prototypes in no time!

Additionally, iteration and refinement have become a breeze, making it more accessible and user-friendly than ever before.

You can set up a small manufacturing unit at your home using several 3D printers and start printing thousands of products per month.

#2 – Low cost

The days of time-consuming and expensive manufacturing are long gone. With the advent of 3D printers, bringing your dream product to life has become easier and more affordable.

You don’t need expensive molds and tooling to start your business.

Nowadays, all you need to do is purchase a 3D printer, use CAD or modeling software to design a 3D model of the product, and start printing. Once you print enough inventory, you can start selling it to your ideal customers.

With growing technology, 3D printers accommodate an extensive range of materials. From filaments and resins to metals, ceramics, and beyond.

#3 – Reduced waste

Unlike traditional manufacturing methods that are used to cut excessive materials to create a product, a 3D printer is additive manufacturing that builds a product by layering the materials.

In other words, no waste is produced!

3D printers improve the overall efficiency of your manufacturing unit and help in cost savings.

You can use recycled products such as plastic bottles for creating products. Adidas created a fantastic shoe using a 3D printer and plastic ocean waste back in 2015.

#4 – Customization

3D printers are capable of printing fully customized products within a matter of minutes.

It caters to the specific needs and requirements of the customers and clients.

You can use 3D modeling software to design highly personalized products such as mobile cases, action figures, and even medical products such as prosthetics.

#5 – On-demand production

The flexibility and ease of production is the key advantage of 3D printers. You can create 3D objects in one go instead of relying on molds and cutting for building simple tools and parts required for prototyping.

Many businesses are looking for flexible manufacturers that can provide custom parts on demand in the required quantity.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to sign a contract with such businesses.

#6 – High-quality products

3D printers build smooth and consistent products using the layer-by-layer material deposition method. They are capable of printing products with excellent precision and accuracy.

The technology allows you to decide the inner density of the printed object. In other words, it is capable of printing as robust products as solid objects.

The most beautiful thing about 3D printers is the highly detailed product development. Architects and designers now use 3D printers for visualizing and testing concepts.

Best 3D Printing Business Ideas in 2023

If you are looking to start your own 3D printing business but don’t know where to start, here are some business ideas that others implement and use to establish a reliable source of income.

For convenience, I have divided the business ideas into several categories below so that it will be easier for you to understand and generate your own ideas.

  1. Manufacturing and selling products
  2. B2B business ideas
  3. 3D printing services
  4. Creative printing business ideas
  5. Medical industry business ideas
  6. Food business

Now, without any further ado, let’s ge started.

1. Manufacturing and Selling Products

3D printers are capable of printing any object. If you have any specific product, you can design it using CAD software and print it using 3D printers.

Many people are experimenting with a variety of things on a daily basis. From toys to drone parts and jewelry items, almost everything can be printed using 3D printers.

Some of the 3D printed products that are popular in the market are as below.

#1 – Mobile Cases


Few customers are looking for mobile cases that are unique, personalized, and offer enhanced protection.

Additionally, you can launch a website to collect customer input. Allow them to choose the color and pattern, upload their photos, select the quality of the final design, and more.

Using this information, you can print a fully customized and personalized phone case for your customers using a 3D printer.

#2 – Eyewear

3D printed glasses are the new trend in the eyewear industry because of its uniqueness and customization.

Without any doubt, mass-produced glasses can not be fit for everyone as they come in specific shapes and sizes. And, so few customers need highly personalized glasses that are designed considering the shape of their eyes and ears.

The 3D printer allows you to produce these fully customized glasses frames within a matter of hours.

#3 – Shoes


Many designers are using 3D-printed parts to create nice-looking shoes.

You can create beautiful and comfortable soles using 3D printer-compatible materials such as TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane).

Adidas’s Ultra 4DFWD and FutureCraft 4D Shoes are great examples of how 3D printing can revolutionalize the footwear industry. Along with Adidas, many small and medium-scale businesses have developed 3D-printed shoes.

#4 – Custom earbuds


Formlabs successfully produced fully personalized earbuds using 3Shape’s Phoenix in-ear scanner and their own SLA 3D printers.

In other words, this means that customers don’t have to sacrifice comfort and sound quality for a good fit.

Popular brands like Sennheiser have already started using this technology to manufacture custom-fit earbuds.

This is an excellent market for you if you understand the problems of avid music listeners and their quest to find the perfect set of earphones.

#5 – Helmets


A 3D printer can build robust products as it allows users to define the inner density of the printed object. You can print various parts or even a complete helmet in one go.

You can print an innovative and highly personalized iron man helmet for yourself and your customers as well!

Bauer Hockey has collaborated with EOS, an additive manufacturing and 3D printing solutions provider, to aid the MyBauer custom equipment program. It aims to produce customized hockey gear like a helmet.

2. B2B 3D Business Ideas

A B2B (Business to Business) enterprise allows you to avoid interactions with end customers and their services. Moreover, conducting transactions directly with other businesses can result in significant orders and prolonged partnerships, leading to increased revenue possibilities.

Here is how you can use 3D printing technology to start a B2B business.

#1 – Rapid prototyping solutions


Prototyping is a complex task and involves lots of trials and errors. Many organizations rely on flexible manufacturers that can provide custom parts and tools required for prototyping.

You can tie up with the businesses and provide them with the custom parts they may require for both short-term and long-term periods.

It’s important to note that the order quantity can vary significantly, as businesses may request production runs ranging from as little as 10 units to well over 1000 units.

#2 – Custom tools and spare parts


Few businesses employ unique tools that may not have been designed and used before throughout their production process.

Such businesses are looking for flexible and affordable solutions that can help them reduce their tooling investment. As 3D printing doesn’t require any expensive molds and specialized tools for creating products and tools, you can use it to offer an affordable, highly customizable, and fast production service.

Vehicle customization companies often face issues with the availability of spare parts for old and used cars. You can use a 3D printer to recreate the spare parts that car companies no longer manufacture.

3. 3D printing services

The following section discusses the most straightforward business ideas that can be started with 3D printing.

#1 – Sell 3D printers

You can find a manufacturer and apply for their distributorship program to sell 3D printers.

Also, purchasing 3D printers from third-party suppliers and manufacturers and selling them under your brand name would be a good idea. But note that you need a solid knowledge of the market demand.

I would suggest you set up your website and launch state-of-the-art online marketing campaigns to attract customers.

#2 – Educate others

You can start a blog or online course to share your knowledge. Starting a blogging website or creating online courses is not difficult these days and doesn’t involve much capital.

It will help you build followers and get in touch with like-minded people.

Additionally, you can make a lot of money by sharing your thoughts about the best printers, software, and accessories through blogs and videos.

#3 – Become a 3D designer

If you are adept at modeling or CAD software, you can become a 3D designer and offer services to others.

Having a solid portfolio to showcase your skills and expertise would be best. Share this portfolio with potential clients and ask them if they require a 3D designer for their organization.

You can build 3D models from scratch or modify the existing models. Also, with enough experience, you can offer consulting services as well. You have the opportunity to become an excellent 3D fashion designer if you are a creative person. Several dedicated software for 3D fashion designers includes CLO 3D and Romans CAD.

You can create 3D models and sell them in your free time on third-party websites like TurboSquid and Shapeways.

#4 – 3D scanning services

You can start a separate 3D scanning business that allows users to recreate the existing object. You only need the best 3D scanner and separate apps to get started.

3D scanning is popular in automotive, aerospace, medical and more relevant industries. Few people are building their own 3D selfie studios to print their customers’ figurines and statues.

However, one thing to note here is the initial investment.

You can also offer your clients modelling and printing services and scanning services.

4. Creative printing business ideas


To stand out from the crowd, you can use 3D printing technology to start printing creative things and improving existing products.

3D printers can apply different colors to the object while printing. These multicolor 3D printers are beneficial while printing figurines and other similar creative things.

Here is the list of things you can print and sell to the creative community!

#1 – Stylish vase

Gardening tools are gaining traction over the last few years as people started to spend more time at their residences during and after the pandemic.

A stylish vase is an excellent addition to your customers’ home decor. Don’t forget to think and add an artistic feel to your design.

With a 3D printer, you can print complex designs with unique textures.

#2 – Plant holders


This is another trending home decor product that can be 3D printed with ease. You can print highly customized plant holders in various shapes, sizes, and designs.

You can offer eco-friendly plant holders to your customers simply by using recycled products while 3D printing. Additionally, you are preventing waste generated while manufacturing plant holders by traditional methods.

Use the modeling software to customize the plant holders as per the customer’s requirements.

I would suggest you launch your website and start selling these products. However, don’t forget to leverage platforms like Etsy and Amazon during the initial days.

#3 – Collectibles


From the beginning, 3D printers have been used for printing various collectibles due to their precise and detailed printing.

Tiny and complex products are tough to manufacture using traditional methods. But with 3D printing, it is quick and easy!

Right from jewelry items to action figures based on popular characters from movies, you can print anything with more details compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

3D printers are famous for printing miniature models of buildings and vehicles.

#4 – Promotional products for branding

Many brands seek innovative products to emboss their logos and send to customers as a gift. Giveaway is the best example here.

You can approach any company with your fantastic design and convenience them of how they can use it for branding.

It is a huge market with lots of potential, but you might need client prospecting skills. The best way is to contact ad agencies with your innovative designs.

#5 – Pen holders


Plenty of 3D pen holder designs are available online. You can download them for free and customize them as per your needs.

The Pen holder is a perfect product for office decor and a gift for loved ones.

The 3D printer allows you to print a fully customized intricate and artistic pen holder within a matter of minutes.

5. Medical industry business ideas

3D printing technologies have brought a revolution to the medical industry. Many business owners use this technology to create customized and highly personalized medical equipment for patients.

From the fast production of highly detailed anatomical structures for education to models for surgical planning, 3D printers are becoming an integral part of the medical industry.

#1 – Pill production

If you are interested in the healthcare industry, the good news is that the FDA already approved the 3D printed pills in 2015.

In contrast to traditional pills, 3D-printed pills are proven to dissolve more quickly and be effective at the same time.

You can create pills in special shapes so patients with difficulty swallowing traditional pills can easily consume the 3D-printed pills.

Note that success depends upon the material you will use for 3D printing. So try to conduct in-depth research before starting this business.

#2 – Customized implants

One of the major benefits of 3D printing technology is customization. In the medical industry, customization is crucial because patients are looking for medical implants that are specifically designed and precisely created for them.

You can quickly create highly personalized and complex implants using a professional 3D printer. Additionally, you can choose from various materials, including metal, ceramic, and plastic, to print medical implants.

3D printed implants are employed in a wide range of medical treatments, including but not limited to dental, knee, hip, spinal, and more.

#3 – Customized prosthetics


3D printing technology allows you to print affordable and highly customized prosthetics resulting in a better fit and improved comfort. You can use this technology to create prosthetics for humans as well as animals.

In contrast to the traditionally manufactured prosthetics, 3D printed prosthetics are manufactured quickly and made available to customers within a short time.

The technology allows you to build prosthetics for hands, arms, legs, feet, and much more.

There are a few organizations like E-nable that aims at offering free prosthetic hands and arms for children and adults using 3D printers.

You can start this business but should focus on producing lightweight, comfortable, fully functional prosthetics with long-term benefits.

#4 – Bioprinting


Imagine if we could simply produce a kidney through 3D printing technology for transplantation instead of finding a donor and spending a massive amount of money.

Studies are underway to utilize 3D printing technology to manufacture living tissues and even complete organs to aid in the transplantation of kidneys and hearts for patients in need.

Scientists are using highly specialized 3D printers and bio-ink to create organs. Additive manufacturing is expected to allow scientists to print blood vessels, bladder, heart, bone, cartilage, and more.

Note that the 3D bioprinting technology has grown significantly over the last few years, but still, there is much to explore and implement.

Steve Verze, a citizen of the United Kingdom, has made history as the first individual to receive a 3D printed eye implant.

6. Food business


Yes, you heard it right; printing food items using 3D printers is possible.

Few food-tech startups like Redefine Meat and Novameat are investing their time and money in printing artificial meat with the same flavor and appearance.

For now, 3D printers are used in several restaurants for preparing food items such as pizzas, cakes, pancakes, and more. It should be noted that 3D printers cannot cook food but can dispense purées, mousses, and other similar dense ingredients in a layer-by-layer fashion.

The Beehex company had demonstrated the making of a 12-inch pizza in under five minutes.


As I said earlier, there are endless possibilities for using a 3D printer. With growing technology, the number of materials compatible with 3D printers is increasing, and so does the application areas of this technology.

If you have the proper knowledge and spirit of starting a business, you can indeed begin to learn 3D printing technology and develop a business strategy.

While proficiency in 3D printing technology is crucial for success, it’s essential to remember that running a business entails securing adequate physical space, handling legal documentation, demonstrating strong management skills, and assembling a capable marketing team, among other factors.

We have discussed almost all of the possible use cases of 3D printers and the technology’s benefits. If you have something on your mind, please do not hesitate to comment below.