Many users wonder if it is possible to turn a profit with a 3D printing business and if so, which businesses are the most profitable to get into. That’s why I wrote this article, to teach people about the 7 most profitable 3D printing businesses.
A very profitable 3D printing business is customized jewelry and accessories such as earrings or pendants. You can design and create your own custom jewelry to sell or take specific requests from users to make. Another profitable 3D printing business is cosplay props and costumes like helmets or full-bodysuits, which can also give you a nice profit margin.
This is the basic answer, keep reading for more information about the 7 most profitable 3D printing businesses.
The 7 Most Profitable 3D Printing Businesses
These are the 7 most profitable 3D printing businesses:
- Customized jewelry and accessories
- Cosplay props and costumes
- Miniatures for gaming
- Airsoft and nerf modding
- Vehicle accessories
- Custom home and kitchen items
- Office accessories
1. Customized Jewelry and Accessories
Customized jewelry and accessories are a very lucrative niche in the 3D printing industry.
The ability to offer personalized and unique items like pendants, bracelets, and keychains has made this business highly profitable.
That’s because customers are willing to pay premium prices for items that resonate with their personal tastes and sentiments.
On platforms like Etsy, which are made for handmade and custom products, entrepreneurs can establish their brands and attract customers seeking one-of-a-kind pieces.
Taking a look at the current online market, we find 3D Printed Bracelets typically priced around $25 each. They are made with PLA filament and take around 1 hour to be fully 3D printed on a machine such as the Ender 3.
The cost for 3D printing, including materials and electricity, is estimated at approximately $3. Assuming a quantity of 10 sold, the revenue projection stands at $250, resulting in a nice profit of $230.
Turning our attention to rings, the prevailing market rate for a 3D Printed Silver Ring is approximately $60.
Metal 3D printing is a lot more difficult to make and can cost more to produce. The positive side is they can go for high prices if you find the right market.
Considering a production cost of around $8 through 3D printing, selling 10 rings will generate $600 in revenue, affording a profit of $520. Exploring earrings, a pair of 3D Printed Plastic Earrings can command a market price of $25.
The 3D printing cost is estimated at $4, and selling 10 pairs results in $250 in revenue, securing a profit of $210. They are made from an eco-friendly filament and can be 3D printed in less than one hour.
One user suggests 3D printing clay cutters, which are basically small cookie cutters for making jewelry as they are easy to make and sell really well on Etsy.
Another user recommends customized jewelry and accessories as they have a high-profit margin and are really easy to sell on platforms such as Etsy.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing customized jewelry and accessories.
2. Cosplay Props and Costumes
Another profitable option for a 3D printing business are cosplay props and costumes.
Cosplay has evolved into a vibrant subculture where fans recreate characters from their favorite movies, video games, and comics. The demand for high-quality props and costumes is high, and 3D printing has become the go-to method for creating detailed cosplay items.
With complex designs and careful marketing, 3D printing businesses can ask a good price for custom-made props and costumes.
Cosplay enthusiasts are known to invest heavily in their passion, and a well-executed 3D printing business can tap into this market by delivering unique, high-quality items that meet the expectations of cosplayers.
Taking a closer look at specific items, a 3D Printed Thor’s Hammer is listed for $130 at time of writing.
It is made in a resin 3D printer and can take up to 6 hours to print and another two hours to cure the resin.
Considering the material and assembly costs of approximately $30, the sale of 10 hammers will make $1,300 in revenue, resulting in a net profit of $1,000, minus shipping costs and other post-processing.
Transitioning to an Iron Man Mk5 Helmet, a sought-after and iconic item within the cosplay community, is priced at $145. The filament used for this model is ABS, which makes it very durable.
The associated 3D printing and assembly cost is estimated at roughly $30. Selling 10 helmets produces $1,450 in revenue, affording a substantial profit of $1,150, minus other costs.
Incorporating a service to do Custom Masks into your shop, valued at $250, with a $50 cost to print, can bring up to $2,500 in revenue with the sale of 10 items, securing a profit of $2000.
The cosplay sector provides not only an outlet for creative expression but also a promising financial prospect, with an initial material investment of $165 potentially bringing in profits ranging from $1,350 to $2,350.
Just be aware that objects such as cosplay props and costumes may need a lot of post-processing to be able to sell for a good amount of money.
One user said he has found great success in 3D printing cosplay and props as he had one product that went viral and that funded his business for a full year.
Another user stated that while the market is saturated if you find a niche where you can work well, it can help to turn a profit without taking too long. He also sells cosplay and LARP props and has had success in doing so.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing cosplay props and costumes.
3. Miniatures for Gaming
Miniatures for gaming are another popular option when it comes to setting up a 3D printing business. 3D printing enables the creation of customizable, high-quality miniatures that enhance the gaming experience.
As there is such a diversity of games that use miniatures, gamers and collectors alike are willing to pay top dollar for unique, well-crafted pieces that enrich their gameplay and collections.
Similar to cosplay, enthusiasts for miniature gaming show a willingness to spend on premium, custom figurines, which is good for small niche 3D printing businesses.
These are the most popular tabletop games to 3D print and sell miniatures:
- Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)
- Warhammer 40,000
- Star Wars: Legion
For Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer 40,000, and other games, Custom Miniatures are priced at $3 each. The estimated 3D printing cost, including materials, is approximately $1.
Selling 10 miniatures generates $30 in revenue, resulting in a profit of $20.
Miniatures such as these are usually 3D printed by using an 8K UV-cured resin and can take a very small amount of time to be printed.
One miniature can be 3D printed as fast as one hour and takes about 20 minutes to be fully cured.
Engaging in the gaming sector with an initial material investment of $17 could lead to profits ranging from $70 to $420, providing a nice opportunity for entrepreneurs in this niche.
One user stated that you can start to sell your miniatures at art markets and fairs, as he’s seen a lot of sellers making money there by selling dice towers, segmented dragons, and other miniatures for gaming.
Another user stated that the tabletop gaming and Dungeons and Dragons scene has a lot of people who will happily buy a few prints from businesses that are just starting.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D Printing miniatures for gaming.
4. Airsoft and Nerf Modding
Another option that has become popular in recent years is airsoft and nerf modding.
That’s because in the world of recreational combat sports and games, such as Airsoft and Nerf, modding has gained immense popularity. 3D printing plays an important role in allowing enthusiasts to customize and upgrade their equipment for enhanced tactical play.
Custom gun accessories, including suppressors, scopes, and tactical rails, are sought after by players looking to optimize their in-game performance.
Whether for competitive gameplay, collectors, or those seeking an enhanced gaming experience, modders are keen to invest in high-quality accessories that align with their unique preferences and tactical needs.
Custom Tactical Rails for Nerf blasters, priced at $15 each, involve a 3D printing and assembly cost of $5. Selling 10 rails could generate $150 in revenue, resulting in a net profit of $100.
These types of custom tactical rails are usually 3D printed using PLA as a filament and take around 1 – 2 hours to be printed by an Ender 3.
Shifting the focus to 3D Printed Ammunition Counters for airsoft guns, listed at $50 each, with an estimated $15 cost to print and assemble, could accrue $500 in revenue, securing a profit of $350.
Ammunition counters like the one above are usually 3D printed with PETG filament and powered by an internally rechargeable battery.
For Scope Attachments for Nerf Rifles, currently priced at $14 each, the estimated 3D printing cost is $6. Selling 10 scopes could produce $140 in revenue, affording a profit of $80.
ABS is the choice of filament for sellers that focus on scope attachments for Nerf rifles, as it is a durable material that does not take that long to be 3D printed.
There is profit to be made in the niche of airsoft and nerf modding, as one can start with a little investment and end up making a lot of money from selling these items.
One user recommends airsoft and nerf modding as a great niche to create a profitable 3D printing business.
Another user stated that he has a side job designing and selling files and printed parts for Nerf modders. He stated that it helped a lot to find his specific niche and while his business is not highly profitable it covers his nerf hobby expenses.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing airsoft and nerf modding.
5. Vehicle Accessories
Vehicle accessories are another possibility when it comes to profitable 3D printing businesses. A variety of 3D printing vehicle accessories, such as custom steering wheel covers have gained significant popularity.
They offer not only a touch of personalization but also a comfortable grip. 3D printing technology allows for tailor-made designs and material choices, giving customers a wide range of options.
License plate frames present another opportunity for customization. These frames can feature unique designs, patterns, and even personalized text or graphics.
3D printing helps entrepreneurs produce complex and durable license plate frames that cater to car enthusiasts and individuals who want to add a touch of individuality to their vehicles.
A Custom Shift Knob, priced at $30, with an associated 3D printing cost of $5, could potentially generate $3,000 in revenue, resulting in a substantial profit of $2,500.
The material and time it takes to 3D print a custom shift knob may vary as it will depend on the model and the design.
For Customized Motorcycle License Plates, currently listed at $24 each, with an estimated $5 3D printing cost, the sale of 10 frames could accrue $240 in revenue, securing a profit of $190.
They are 3D printed with PLA filament and take around 2 – 3 hours to be fully done. Just be aware that vehicle accessories may need a lot of post-processing, depending on the model.
That means that a user getting into the vehicle accessories sector with an initial material investment of $350 could lead to profits ranging from $1,350 to $2,350.
One user recommends this business as he’s been steadily making money from it for a while. He is specialized in 3D printing accessories for old rare vehicles and has found great success in doing so.
He suggests finding your niche and avoiding spending time 3D printing generic items for large groups of people.
Another user, who makes money 3D printing car interior parts, also stated that finding your niche is the best way to make a 3D printing business profitable.
He recommends the vehicle accessories business as the profit margin can be really high depending on the accessories you’re making.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing vehicle accessories.
6. Custom Home and Kitchen Items
Custom home and kitchen items, such as lampshades, vases, kitchen utensils, and artwork, are another great possibility for a profitable 3D printing business.
The appeal of custom-made items lies in their exclusivity and the ability to match a customer’s specific aesthetic preferences.
Entrepreneurs can market their creations on platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, or through their websites to attract customers willing to invest in unique home decor.
This is a great option for a business as 3D printing offers a cost-effective way to create personalized items with relatively low production costs.
3D Printed Table Lamp Desks, for instance, are presently retailing for $75 each. The estimated 3D printing cost is $25.
This type of lamp is usually made with PLA or PETG and can take some time to assemble due to its mechanical components.
Selling 10 lampshades generates $750 in revenue, resulting in a profit of $500.
For Personalized Cookie Cutters, an in-demand item retailing at $20 each, with a 3D printing cost of $3. The sale of 20 cutters accrues $200 in revenue, securing a profit of $170.
They are made from PETG filament, which is eco-friendly and food-safe.
Lastly, Custom Vases, are currently priced at $45 each, with an estimated $10 3D printing cost. Selling 10 vases produces $450 in revenue, affording a profit of $350.
Vases such as these are usually 3D printed with PETG or PLA and can take an estimated of two hours to be done using an Ender 3 printer.
Objects such as custom home and kitchen items don’t have that much post-processing needed.
One user recommends 3D printing cookie cutters as a great way to start a 3D printing business with home and kitchen items as cookie cutters sell really well and cost very little to be made.
Another user, who makes 3D printed lamps, recommends this niche but stated that depending on the item you are printing, there will be a lot of post-processing required.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing custom home decor.
7. Office Accessories
Another option is office accessories. The world of office accessories presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this growing niche.
With 3D printing technology, it’s become increasingly accessible to craft custom office accessories that can stand out against the competition.
Office accessories encompass a wide range of products, from unique desk organizers to personalized pen holders and cable management solutions.
3D printing allows for the creation of intricately designed and durable office accessories, all while keeping production costs relatively low.
Custom Desk Organizers, commanding a market price of $20 each, boast an estimated 3D printing cost of approximately $5.
Envisioning the sale of 10 organizers could make $200 in revenue, resulting in a net profit of $150.
The market for Personalized Pen Holders sees a current listing price of $25 each, with an associated 3D printing cost standing around $3.
Selling 10 pen holders presents a revenue potential of $250, securing a profit of $230.
3D Printed Cable Holders, retailing at $9 each, involve a 3D printing cost, including materials, estimated at $3.
Anticipating the sale of 100 cable holders could generate $900 in revenue, with a profit of $600.
All of these 3D printed office accessories were made with PLA filament, which is an option that is both cheap and easy to print.
PLA is also available in a lot of different colors, allowing sellers to have a colorful collection of desk accessories. This type of object usually does not require that much post-process as well.
One user stated that his business only makes things that people want on their office desks such as business card holders, pen cups, and keychains.
He has found a decent amount of success and profit by doing this business. He recommends this area as most objects require very little to no post-processing.
Another user also recommends office accessories such as upright book bookends as designs that are easy to make, print, and sell.
Check out the video below for more information about 3D printing office accessories.
These 3D printing business have great potential to bring you in some amazing profits. It takes getting an understanding of each niche and building up a name for yourself, as well as learning some good marketing methods to get more sales.