Introduction on How to Start a 3D Printing Business
Hi friends, today we are here to let you know about an interesting topic known as the 3D printing business. To start a 3D printing business, you don’t need a huge budget. You need a decent 3D printer and materials for this for printing. You don’t have to invest in software because you can find free professional 3D modeling suites like SketchUp.
Before launching any business, you should have enough knowledge about the product or service you are going to offer through it. So if you want your new business to be centered around 3D printing, you ought to know as much as possible about it.
A guide to Starting a 3D Printing Business
3D printing represents the next step in the printing industry. Instead of printing custom banners, pamphlets, and other nicknacks, printing companies today can print anything from a custom part to a full-fledged prosthetic limb.
When it comes to materials, the global 3D printing market includes polymers, metals, and ceramics. One of the main advantages of 3D printing is that it offers a wide array of applications in various industries. These include healthcare, education, consumer products, industrial products, defense, aerospace, and automotive industry, just to name a few.
In this article, we will let you know the steps involved in starting a 3D printing business, and some common 3D printing problems. Let’s get started!
Proceed by following the steps briefly discussed below to start your 3D printing business:
Step 1: Select your Niche
At first, it is important to figure out what kind of work or business venture you are interested in. Then list down all the ideas you and your potential business partners can think of. This will help you to pinpoint the target industry.
Step 2: Business Plan
Make a feasible plan on how to achieve your goals in the most effective way.
This will require detailed information like your target customers, investment capability, required 3D printing technologies, start-up costs, end goals, and similar core attributes.
Step 3: Research your Market
Research the current market of your chosen ideas thoroughly. Dig deep to find out informative researches already conducted by similar business entities. Observe the latest and the most sustainable trends in this area. You can then draft effective surveys and assess their feedback from focus groups to guide in the later stages.
Step 4: Plan your Budget
You can choose to budget your project through various crowdfunding websites or seek help from the financial institutions concerning loans.
The budget will entirely depend on how small or big you want to start with.
If you are looking to start a 3D printing business from home with one or two 3D printers, you may not need much funding if you have some savings.
Otherwise, to start a full-fledged manufacturing unit, you must look for financers and funding options. You can still use 3D printers to make money at home at first then expand as you go.
Step 5: Business Entity
Get ready to officially register your brand new company. But before that, you will need to carefully specify its category as an entity since this will impact your taxation and personal liabilities in the future.
Among the options of partnership, corporation, and sole proprietorship, the last one is the riskiest. So going for either of the previous two will make it less stressful for you. Most of the successful 3D printing companies have chosen LLCs and DBAs for this matter.
Step 6: Choose the Right 3D Printing Technology
Depending on your business goals and budget, research for the right 3D printer that will tick all your needs. It does not have to be the best in all of its functional areas, but it must serve the purpose in the best way possible.
Look for the right ingredient and place your order. Also, check for the customer support and other assistants that the company offers once the printer is sold to its customers. Buying from companies that offer support later is a huge time and money saver.
Step 7: Permits and Licenses
The market research must have concluded which permits and licenses you will need to start the 3D printing business. Now it’s time to get your hands on them!
Apply for these documents and make sure you succeed in obtaining each one, otherwise, your company can shut down anytime.
Step 8: Tax Registration
Next, you have to file for tax registration on federal and state levels. The tax amount will vary according to the areas your business reaches, its size, niche, and similar relevant details.
This is an important step since ignorance in this part can result in fees and penalties in the future. Just apply for an EIN or get one through IRS (Indian Revenue Service) digitally.
Step 9: Business Insurance
Regardless of their size or category, every business needs to get good insurance schemes to save them in times of trouble.
If you plan to hire employees for the new 3D printing company, you may also need to apply for workers’ compensation insurance to meet the legal requirements of the state.
Step 10: Open up a Business Bank Account
Open up a bank account for your business and issue a credit card for it. This will help you to keep track of company finances, encourage investments and conduct smooth digital transactions.
Skipping this step and mixing corporate finances with personal ones could risk your assets including house and cars.
Step 11: Business Accounting
Make sure you have the right people and processes in place to keep an eye on the income flow and expenses of your company.
Maintaining infallible financial records guarantees an accurate analysis of where your company is heading next. Additionally, it makes annual tax filing easier to calculate.
Step 12: Brand Identity
Each new brand needs to establish its unique identity early in the game.
This will help you to leave a lasting impression on the target customer groups and thus motivate them to engage with your brand.
Make your objectives clear with a catchy tagline and arrange for promotions on relevant channels.
Step 13: Web Presence
Web presence is crucial in the age of the internet. Every business of this era must have an official website with all the standard information present.
This will help to attract potential customers, investors, and partners for your business to thrive. It will also ensure a global reach for your growing brand of 3D printed products.
Common 3D Printing Problems
Below are the common 3D printing problems:
- 3d model starts to bend from the edges
- Clearing a blocked nozzle
- If your print shows signs of oozing or stringing, then there is a chance that your printer is over extruding
- Layer shifting occurs when the layers of your 3d model are misaligned
- Printer stops extruding mid-print
- Weak infill patterns
- Inconsistently in extrusion
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Starting a 3D printing business is a good idea. The prospects are only going to rise to look at what the technology is capable of providing.
Governments of various countries are trying to figure out ways to make 3D printing more accessible to local businesses and help grow their economy.
3D printing has given faster and cheaper solutions to businesses and is being utilized to save lives during natural calamities. Today, we can print edibles through 3D printing which once was only limited for printing prototypes.
Starting your own 3D printing business doesn’t have to be that hard. You need business plans, and with the help of an online 3D printing service, you are good to go!
Some commonly asked questions about 3D Printing Business
Is 3d Printing a Profitable Business?
3D printing business is very profitable and generates huge money and it is the whole sector in the industry, even though it’s still young and new on the market. 3D business has a high probability of bringing you wealth and a lot of income because market trends for 3D printing are very positive.
What are the Disadvantages of 3d Printing?
10 disadvantages of 3D printing technology are:
- High energy consumption
- 3D printing technology is expensive
- Limited materials
- 3D printers aren’t that user-friendly
- Harmful emissions
- Too much reliance on plastic
- 3D printers are slow
- Production of dangerous weaponry
How Much Does it Cost to 3D Print?
If you are looking for a 3D printer for professional purposes, expect the cost of your 3D printer to start from about 2lacs. You might wonder what justifies such a price gap.
Is 3D Printing Expensive?
Generally, 3D printing small objects is cheap and 3D printing large objects is expensive. Prices go up exponentially as the object size increases.
What is Required for 3D Printing?
The two materials required for 3D printing are Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). Both are thermoplastics that will become soft and malleable when heated, frozen when cooled.
What Materials Cannot be 3d Printed?
Not all materials that can be printed. Most of these materials are low-temperature metals, melting plastics, and several types of pastes. Beyond that, very few materials can be used.
What are the Limits of 3d Printing?
3D printing limitations at a glance:
- Surface texture is generally too rough
- Materials have low heat deflection temperatures
- Materials generally have low strengths
- Material prices are high restricting the growth of the market
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