In many ways, stay-at-home moms are business managers. They organize the workforce, make sure schedules are followed and stay within budget each month. When moms really want to expand their horizons, an at-home business is a clever concept. Enter, 3D printing.
By using a specialized printer, these machines take a two-dimensional concept and build it into a tangible item. Working moms are already trying this process out with 3D printers of their own at home.
Explore these business ideas associated with 3D printing and you may find yourself instantly intrigued:
SET UP AN E-COMMERCE SHOP AND SELL UNIQUE PRODUCTS
There’s no need to set up a physical storefront and fill those shelves. Set up your own e-commerce site so that your 3D printing can be enjoyed by anyone in the world.
Carefully plan your business strategy before starting your own 3D printing business. You should set up a professional-looking website, making sure to refine all of the pages and links across the site before opening up for business. After all, your first impression is critical to new customers.
Ideally, focus on selling small items at your shop – at least to begin with. These products might include jewelry, decorations, or home decor. Keeping the size of the products on the smaller side allows you to own and operate a smaller 3D printer, which reduces your initial costs. Creating small items also reduces your storage costs. If your inventory isn’t too vast, everything should fit neatly into an organized and easy to manage storage area in your home or garage.
If you’re hoping to work certain events, such as weddings, try to keep your items free of any customized details. Adding names, dates, and other refinements to a 3D item can increase the cost on your end. Maintain a basic inventory to keep things easy, and you’ll see the difference in your profits.
CREATE 3D PRINTED PROMOTIONAL ITEMS
Promotional items are everywhere these days, from sweatshirts to witty mugs. These simple items almost always have a brand or logo attached to them. With a 3D printer, you can be the manufacturer of this type of promotional item. From creating your own branded products to being paid to create them for a client, the possibilities are endless.
Be aware though, that by their individually branded nature, this sort of promotional item will be customized, so you’ll need to put in more effort and they will have a higher production cost to you. To offset some of these drawbacks, you can contract with one or two different companies that need a lot of promotional products at once.
Cruise lines, hotels, and local businesses often require attractive items for their visitor areas. These companies normally pay a lot of money for their promotional items. Because of their unique shape or design, their manufacturers have to set up specialized machinery to get the job done. This situation isn’t the case with your 3D printer. Today’s models can create almost any shape without the need for extra parts or expensive alterations.
3D printing can easily supplement your day’s tasks, rather than taking over your entire world, especially if you plan accordingly. A simple thing like organizing an order-based system so that you can create your promotional items in batches will save you lots of time, leaving the rest of your day open for your business, your family, or yourself.
MAKE PROTOTYPES FOR COMPANIES
Most products begin with a prototype. A prototype is a life-size replica of a product that’s meant to be mass produced. Research the companies that manufacture items close to your home. Contact a few of these businesses, and inquire about their prototype needs. They may need a prototype to test their new invention or even make design improvements to their existing products.
Offer your services to these companies, because their current contacts may be far more expensive. Your 3D printer can produce a high-quality prototype that’s cost effective for everyone.
To begin, the designer normally gives you a sketch of the product that can be read by your 3D printer. The prototype process will probably take a few hours, so be aware of your workload. During this time, the machine takes the design’s dimensions and transfers them into a three-dimensional item.
Start by working with one company, which gives you a stepping-stone to branch out from. Refine your prototype process so that future projects are more streamlined. You might even cut this client a deal because it’s your first project.
Future clients can look at your previous prototyping work, and instantly see that quality is part of the equation. You can then raise your prices as you gain more experience, savvy, and industry knowledge.
TEACH KIDS HOW TO 3D PRINT
Today’s kids are incredibly comfortable with technology and how to manipulate it. Exposing your kids to any sort of advanced technology is important, because the tech world continues to advance and does so quickly.
If they’re not excited by the 3D printer on its own, give them some background on its value and explain what it can do. Tell them it’s increasingly being used to produce their favorite movies, cartoons, and TV shows. 3D technology is used to make items to fit into scenes, or to enhance a video game.
Consider the simplest projects for your kids. You might make dinosaur parts that snap together into a figurine. You could also create windows and doors that fit into a cereal box. This sort of makeshift house for your dolls is definitely a unique project that offers endless entertainment.
Don’t limit your teaching experience to just your household. Invite friends and neighbors over so that they can see how the printer works, too. This teaching process also helps you refine your own work as you explain each detail in the simplest of terms.
There are so many opportunities to gain a wealth of experience by trying out 3D printing. From selling your own custom items to teaching your kids new skills, understanding how to maneuver this state of the art machine will only improve your household’s bottom line and increase your value as a professional. Speak with local companies about prototypes or advertise those promotional items. Your ideas will engage with others as your creativity shines through each product.
Have you ever worked with a 3D printer? Share your experiences in the comments.