Start a Business from 3D printing

Hi all,

I’m relatively new to 3D printing and CAD. Would anyone be willing to share how to get started selling there own 3D printed creations?
Once you got a Facebook page, how to outreach and cheaper ways to automate orders, payment, etc?

I’m certain there is a TON of Made-In-Canada potential here that could benefit with one another!



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I mostly do work that has become a more passive income, Using cults3d (high commission charge) to sell STLs, because it’s a passive income (I have a full time job already) this works well because there is not month carrying costs. Order automation and actual store fronts cost money every month. Other sites that sell 3d models have a monthly fee that I won’t commit to.

I do direct sales all through FB. Again promotion for me isn’t key. Some posts to associated groups help kick off people to find you. All my work is specific to 1/10 Scale remote control designs.

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Honestly I’ve thought about it, but it behooves anyone interested in making money at a hobby to practice first. I’d love to start making things and selling them, but I plan on taking my time and enjoying it first before I even attempt to monetize it. You need to make sure there’s a 98% chance of every print succeeding, and that your quality is there before you try and put it out there, so that you can begin, and build on, a good reputation.

But I know what you mean, I’d love to have a hobby pay for itself.

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This can go many ways.

Create and sell on sites like Shapeways.
Build your own site with Shopify, GoDaddy,1and1.
Make a Facebook group for business and use Facebook promotional systems.

A combination of all themnis prob most beneficial.

My site uses the WordPress commerce plugin and when I post new items it automatically posts them to my Facebook group. Same for Instagram (since Facebook owns Instagram).

Build up a trend if you can.

On the flipside…

More and more people are buying printers so selling printed items might be on the decline. Selling STL’s may be another way to go. I do both in my site.

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My RC car hobby and all 3d printing is paid for by the passive income that it generates. It is very nice to have it pay for itself!

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Old thread but something thats getting on my nerves.

Shapeways and similar entities…

They say you can run a business using shapeways and i agree, as long as your items are not too big. Thier pricing used to be fair but in the past few years has become rediculous. I make rc and scale items among other things and little things can work on Shapeways but slightly larger parts are nuts. An example. A custom set of suspension arms for a tamiya clod buster(the truck needs two sets) printed at home with PLA or PETG is cheap and i sell them for about $25 a set. If i upload the same set to shapeways optimized to take the least space possible would cost me $180+. No customers will pay that much for plastic parts when aluminum ones are half that…

How are people sustaining a business using shapeways?

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I guess I don’t understand what shape ways is. Do they sell your parts? Why are you paying them?

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Shapeways is a printing service. They have some pretty cool materials but way over priced for larger items.

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I actually print locally as a direct alternative to something like shapeways.

People either send me the files they have and I’m often well cheaper than shapeways for printing in basic materials.


They just have a sketch or an idea but no idea where to go from there and I build the .STL and print the item for them. I much prefer this route!

It’s actually pretty rare someone just asks for something off thingiverse now :sweat_smile: