How to make money with 3D printing in 2022

Above: The build size of the 3D printer will determine the size of the print/Source: Manufactur3D

Did you know that to make money with 3D printing in 2022, you don’t need to pursue it full time, but it can also be a side hustle while you pursue other earning opportunities.

In one of our previous articles, we discussed the different 3D printing business opportunities you can proceed. However, these were full-time ventures and the level of expertise, investment, time and effort required for these ideas was prohibitive.

We understand that not everyone wants to run a full-time 3D printing business, and you may be looking for side hustle opportunities. Side hustles are ideal for college students, stay-at-home moms, working professionals, and even small businesses looking to add a new source of income.

So, in this article, we only focus on side business ideas that help you make money from 3D printing.

Can you really make money with a 3D printer?

The direct answer is Yes! You can undoubtedly make money from a 3D printer or operate in the 3D printing industry in 2022.

How much money are you asking for? Well, that will depend on your level of tech knowledge and expertise, as well as how much time you devote to that side hustle.

You can check out our list of popular and not-yet-popular ideas for earning money and decide which one suits your routine.

Guide on how to make money with 3D printing in 2022

Sell ​​educational models to schools

Selling 3D printed educational models is a way to make money with 3D printing in 2022
Above: Educational 3D printed models/Source: ZMorph

One of the best ways to make money with 3D printing in 2022 is to sell educational models to schools. It is now widely accepted that 3D printing is a great learning tool widely used in STEM education. But not all schools have the funds to buy 3D printers or have trained educators who can teach students about 3D printing. Instead of selling them 3D printers – which most companies are already after – you can persuade schools to buy educational models.

All schools use standard medical or scientific models to teach students, and these are mostly outdated and even loosely patched up to avoid falling apart. So, replacing their existing models and, more interestingly, offering them new unique 3D printed models to improve students’ understanding of concepts, ideas and topics, is very interesting for schools.

You will need to develop concept models and either design them yourself or have them designed and 3D printed. Once you have the sample templates, all you need to do is go on a sales spree. If you secure an order, have them made on demand and delivered to the school.

You can create 3D printed models of all the bones in the human body, conceptual models to explain science, math, geography, history, and literally any topic that can be substantially explained with models. Focus on developing products that not only help students, but can also reduce the effort of educators to teach these concepts.

3D printer reviewer

You can become a 3D printer reviewer if you are an expert in handling and using a 3D printer. You can contact the manufacturers to get a 3D printer and write an exciting 3D printer review. This review may be posted on third-party blogs or even on your own YouTube channel. You can make money from the manufacturer who wants their product to be reviewed by a third party or from the blog that will publish your content. This is one of the easiest ways to make money from 3D printing in 2022.

3D printing YouTube channel

This idea is closely related to the previous one concerning the examination of 3D printers. In addition to 3D printers, you can also check out materials and software suites. There’s no doubt that a YouTube channel will take a considerable amount of time to monetize, but since it’s a side hustle, you won’t mind. You only need to post a video every 7-10 days. It might take you a year to generate ad revenue, but this idea definitely has great long-term potential.

Investing in 3D printing stocks

3D printing stock trends
Above: 3D printing stock trends/Source: Motley Fool

If you are a stock trader, you should look into 3D printing stocks. The market is undoubtedly young, but if you like to take risks, you can definitely take a look at stocks. Many companies have gone public in recent years, and if you want to try your luck, consider this option.

(Please keep in mind that this is not investment advice and readers should make their own decision whether or not to invest. We are not responsible for any investment decisions made while reading this article .)


If you are a tech savvy, why not put it to good use. You can start a consulting business. It can easily be a side hustle, but with this idea you can make a lot of money with 3D printing.

Globally, the adoption rate of 3D printing technology remains slow. MSMEs find the capital investment cost prohibitive even to consider the technology. While this is true to some extent, investing in 3D printers will bring benefits across the entire supply chain, unlike traditional machines, which only provide benefits in certain parts of production.

This is where the consultant can help companies make better decisions about adopting 3D printing. As a consultant, you can help answer questions such as the business need for 3D printing technology, whether the business really needs the technology, and if so, how to implement the technology. technology and more. Having someone on their side will certainly help MSMEs deal with technology vendors.

3D scanning

3D scanning of a high-precision part for reverse engineering with a portable scanner
Above: 3D scanning of a high-precision part for reverse engineering with a portable scanner/Source: Manufactur3D

With the introduction of 3D printing, reverse engineering is gaining renewed interest and momentum. Due to the ease with which any type of object can be 3D printed, many industries are now digitizing obsolete or old machine parts and having them 3D printed.

There are several ways to benefit from 3D scanning. All you need is a scanner, which will no doubt be an investment, but you can also purchase smaller portable scanners and provide scanning services.

Finding work through online freelance jobs is the best approach. Several websites list available jobs and you can also inquire directly with companies about contracting out work. Once you’ve identified a few potential customers, you can start scanning and creating digital files.

Rent your 3D printer or 3D pen

In 2022, this is the best way to make money with 3D printing. If you have a 3D printer and/or 3D pen that you don’t use, consider renting it. Connecting with schools can make you a quick buck by renting it from them during their science fairs, lab days, or any other special day. You can also rent it to an engineering student for his academic project or to a local industrialist. Plus, you can even get resourceful and seek out unique customers, such as families who want to have fun on the weekends, parents who homeschool their kids, and more.

Sell ​​3D digital models

You can buy and sell 3D models on sites like Gambody
Above: You can buy and sell 3D models on sites like Gambody/Source: Gambody

It’s a great online business and an easy way to make money with 3D printing. The only prerequisite is that you must be proficient in designing for 3D printing. If so, you can try to find trends and profit from them by creating relevant 3D models.

You can also create unique designs for household or office products like home decor. You can sell them on online 3D model repositories. Some designers also create designs for household parts that regularly break and can be replaced with 3D printed spares. But this must be done carefully to ensure that you are not infringing any copyrighted or trademarked design.

Sell ​​personalized products

The world is approaching a time when people are more inclined to buy personalized products. Most customers are tired of mass-produced products that don’t reflect their individuality. So, for those customers, you can design and 3D print custom unique products that make them feel special. You can consider user feedback on shape, size, texture, color, geometry, and more while creating such a unique product.

Selling such custom products can help you make money from 3D printing, and it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. It’s a great scramble.

How to start?

The answer on how to start will depend on what you want to accomplish. To get started, you will need CAD design software (Read: Best CAD software for 3D printing), a 3D printer to print parts (Read: Factors to consider when buying a 3D printer), 3D scanner, registration on e-commerce sites or your own website to sell online, and intrinsic knowledge of technology. You may not necessarily need all the equipmentIn some cases, you may need all the equipment.

Once you’ve decided on the idea you want to pursue, you can purchase the equipment and begin your stampede immediately.

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine about 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from around the world. Visit our 3D printing education page to read more informative articles. To stay up to date with the latest happenings in the world of 3D printing, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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