Sell Your 3D Designs online and make money
Would you like to sell your 3D designs online via a 3D printing service? Find out what your options are with this list of online 3D printing services and the features they offer.
Online 3D printing services are becoming increasingly popular. 3D printing is a great opportunity for a designer of jewelry, home decor items, kids toys and accessories, gadgets and gizmos or pretty much anything that can be made from plastic, wood, metal, paper and other materials. Visit here to find out further information on 3D designs.
Find out where you can get your designs printed so customers can buy them online. It’s a great way to extend an existing small business or start a new business working from home.
We’ve got a 3D printer at home and I’m looking into making and selling designs online. I’ll share my research on this page to help others understand where they can sell 3D designs and which 3D printing service is best for them.
Selling Your 3D Printed Products: The Basics
In this article we’ll look at a number of online 3D printing services where you as a designer can make your designs available to customers. The details of this process vary between the services and the kinds of products you want to sell but here are some basics you’ll need to understand.
- 1You’ll need to produce a 3D design for your product. Some of the 3D printing services provide software to help with this. Most allow you to create 3D designs using popular free and commercial 3D modeling software such as Google Sketchup and Tinkercad.
- 2You can choose to sell your designs and/or finished products made from your designs. Most 3D printing services allow your customers to buy your products and have them shipped direct to the customer when this makes sense for your product.
Or you may need to get the parts for your product shipped to you first and then assemble them before you ship them to your customer. You may also want to buy your own products in bulk so you can sell them offline at craft fairs and local venues. You could also sell your finished items via Etsy or eBay.
- 3You’ll need to decide which materials your designs should be available in. Different 3D printing services have a different range of materials so this could be a factor in choosing a 3D printing service if you need a particular material.
- 4You’ll need to set the price for your products. This is often done via mark-up percentage, so you get a commission for each product you sell.
- 5You’ll be able to make your designs or products available to customers in an online shop. The 3D printing service typically provides you with an online shop that you can customize and allows visitors to their 3D printing website to view items in your shop.
- 6You’ll need to promote your 3D printed products so people know about them. This could be via online and offline mechanisms.
- 7When a customer buys one of your products it will be physically printed. Different 3D printing services have locations in different parts of the world. The locations of the 3D printing facility and your customers will affect shipping prices. It’s worth thinking about where your customers are likely to be and making sure that’s a good fit for the 3D printing service you pick. Most 3D printing services have printing facilities in the US.
- 8You will typically get paid by Paypal. Most 3D printing services handle payments and will make a single payment to you once a month based on the items you have sold.
Shapeways is an established 3D printing service that is now based in New York and offers an international service. Shapeways was originally a Dutch company and also has printing facilities in The Netherlands.
Shapeways offers a wide range of materials, currently 25 different types including: strong white nylon, alumide, acrylic, steel, silver, gold, ceramic and glass.