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How Desktop 3D Printing Can Help Your Small Business

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“How can I make money with my 3D printer?” is probably the most common 3D printing question asked on the web after “how do I level my bed?” 3D printing is a popular and accessible form of additive manufacturing, so it’s no surprise people want to capitalize on it while there’s still territory left to claim. What if you don’t want to start a business around 3D printing, but already have a small business or side hustle and you want to know how 3D printing can benefit you.

Here are just a few specific use cases for how desktop 3D printing can improve your small business.

3D Printing for Real Estate/Property Management

Landlords. Nobody likes them, but we’ve all got to deal with them. There’s a simple way to make yourself standout among all the nightmare landlords of the world: 3D printing! Taking a little pride in your property is a great way to make a great impression on prospective renters and earn you a good reputation around town.

An FDM printer can easily and quickly create brackets for shelving, custom light switch covers or cabinet handles. One day soon we might all be living in 3D printed homes, but until then there are plenty of ways desktop 3D printers can make our home environments more convenient.

A key holder is a simple print that lets your future tenants know that you remember they are humans too. By Dinozzo on Printables.

Plant Nurseries

It seems like everybody knows somebody who became a “plant parent” during the corona virus lockdowns. And plenty of individuals took advantage of people’s desire for houseplants. The internet exploded with sales of plant cuttings and seedlings. Designers in the 3D printing space took notice. Printed planters are some of the most popular 3D printed items on Etsy and other online marketplaces. And while it may seem a bit counterintuitive, 3D printing and botany actually go way back.

With spring putting down its roots, if you run a nursery or have a side hustle doing plant sales, some 3D printed vases or containers for seedlings might be just what you need to clinch some sales and move this season’s stock.

3D printed Voronoi planters by Spike Mix

Vintage Gaming

The market for vintage games and consoles absolutely exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps you started a small business buying and selling retro cartridges and are looking for ways to supplement your business as the prices on classic gaming accessories have started to come down. A surefire way to do that is to make sure you’re a one-stop shop for anything vintage gaming fans might want.

3D printing has been used to enhance controllers and shells for old systems, displays, and storage for classic games. You might even be able to get in on creating custom RetroPi consoles.

These 3D printed trays are a perfect way to organize your inventory of Nintendo 64 games. By GermanDarknes on Printables.

Dentistry

If you work in a dentist’s office that doesn’t make dentures in house, here’s a story that’s probably familiar to you: You take casts of a patients teeth, send them off to the lab and it takes more than a month for your patient to finally get a finished set of dentures. What if you could cut that time down to a few days and eliminate the outsourcing?

Dentures, night guards, surgical guides and models are just a few things that dental technicians have begun making in their own offices as higher-end desktop resin printers have become more affordable. While what I know about 3D printed dentistry could fill a small envelope, thankfully there are lots of dental techs sharing their workflows all over social media. New innovations in 3D printed dentistry are coming down the pipeline everyday. Now is the perfect time to expand your office’s offerings with 3D printing.

@chelseahomireefda

Tuesday morning mess #thedigitaldentalassistant #danthedentist #sprintray #dentaltechnology #womenindentistry #sprintrayassistants #digitaldentistry #dentalassistantlife

♬ Powerful Women – Pitbull & Dolly Parton

Drag Queens & Burlesque Performers

I’ve never been accused of being a fashionista, but even I know that the best way to stand out on a stage is to wow the crowd with something they’ve never seen before. Headgear? Earrings? Chainmail Bikinis? A 3D printer opens up all those options and more.

@gallucks

YES or NO? 🗡️ 3D Printed helmet ny @XTENDED iDENTiTY ✨ #3dprinted #digitalfashion #3dprintedfashion #fashion #innovation #innovate #futurefashion #futuristicfashion #FashionDesign #fyp #uniquefashion

♬ moth to a flame x after hours – lvstfm メ’𝟶

This list is far from exhaustive. If you’ve got more ideas for how small businesses can boost their businesses with 3D printing, reach out to us at digest@3dprint.com or comment on social media!

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