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Discover 15 Great 3D Printing Business Ideas


Using 3D printing can be a great asset, no matter what your sector. Indeed, it can help you on many levels, that is why more and more 3D printing businesses are appearing on the market. 3D printing technology can help you to develop any project.

Do you know about all the opportunities that 3D printing could offer you? In this blog post, we are going to show you how you could create your own 3D printing business, innovate, iterate, and make your own fantastic success.

You are looking for tips to understand how you could start a 3D printing business? We will share with you the best ideas for 3D printing business and see what are the best examples of profitable 3D printing businesses. Get inspired by all of these 3D printing ideas!

3D printing, a technology helpful for all sectors

At Sculpteo, we see it every day: 3D printing technology is used by more and more businesses, for various applications. It is now quite helpful for the medical industry, the automotive industry, but also for architecture, aeronautics or even agriculture. The printing possibilities are endless.

Did you check our State of 3D printingThis study helps to understand how additive manufacturing technology is used by different businesses. It confirms that this technology is used by more and more different sectors, from aeronautics to consumer goods.

Do you need some help?

Printing products is possible for anybody and any company. If you need a little help to start your 3D printing business – for example, if you want to learn about digital manufacturing and 3D modeling for additive manufacturing – check out our Sculpteo Studio 3D printing consulting serviceOur 3D printing experts are going to give you all the tips, training and information you will need to make the most of 3D printing technology!

Top 15 of the best 3D printing business ideas

Here is a selection of businesses that are based on Additive Manufacturing, and some others that are using 3D printing technology to develop their opportunities even more. We hope that these examples will inspire you. Indeed, you could find the perfect business opportunity thanks to this cutting-edge technology.

A new phase of product development: rapid prototyping using 3D printing technology


1. The Kupol Project

Gabriel Boutin, a 3D designer, created the Kupol Project using the additive manufacturing technology. It is a bike helmet, 3D printed with the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, using Sculpteo’s online 3D printing serviceThis 3D technology helped this innovative designer to develop a relevant and resistant project.

3D printing can help you with rapid prototyping. Indeed, it is a simple and economical way to produce prototypes. With this technique, you only have to create your 3D design using 3D modeling software, and modify it as much as you want and need

This way, you only have to change the 3D model and print your 3D file to get your different iterations. This process could help you to save money to develop your project and speed up the production process. Indeed, iterating on your project using additive manufacturing is cheaper than with a traditional prototyping technique.


2. Netlooks

“We are at the moment in the eyewear industry when we have to do something unexpected. We are at a crossroads of technology and craftsmanship”, explains Pierre Andrieu, founder of Netlooks, a custom-made eyewear company and one of our clients.

The goal of Netlooks is to provide their clients with the ultimate made to measure experience. To achieve that, they complement craftsmanship with the latest technologies. Netlooks uses 3D scanning to get the perfect fit for the client’s head, and Additive Manufacturing provided them with time and cost-efficient prototypes before the final product is hand made.

This 3D technology became an essential part of the production process. Manufacturing the prototypes with Additive Manufacturing allowed the company to work faster, speed up the product development time, and to reduce costs. On top of that, thanks to Additive Manufacturing, Netlooks can achieve the ultimate customization and comfort.


Reduce tooling costs 


3. Volkswagen Autoeuropa

3D printing can be an asset on different levels, and not only for your products. We saw on our recent blogpost that 3D printing tools could considerably reduce your tooling investment. For example, do you know that Volkswagen Autoeuropa, the car manufacturer, is using 3D printing for manufacturing some of its tools? The company estimates that thanks to 3D printing they saved 250,000€ in 2017. No matter what your sector is, reducing your tooling costs could be a huge asset for your company.

Using additive manufacturing to get custom made tools is reducing costs but is also a convenient method that could help you to create a successful business. This way, these tools are totally adapted to their activity, and they are less expensive than produced with another traditional manufacturing technique.


4. P&G

To stay on top of their game, companies like P&G have to chase the latest technology. Where can 3D printing be an asset for Procter & Gamble? In the supply chain innovation sector. Additive Manufacturing brings new solutions to existing problems and improves business strategies.

Peter Hewett, Global Product Supply Platform Leader, explains: “It only took a short investment of time, understanding the technology and services offered by companies like Sculpteo, to realize how we might be able to solve current business manufacturing challenges in a different and smarter way. We’re already bringing the experts together seeking breakthrough solutions which wouldn’t be possible with traditional technologies”.

Achieve the greatest level of detail


5. Gaëtan Le Penhuel


This aspect of the production was crucial for Gaëtan Le Penhuel, an architect company from Paris, which we had the pleasure to partner with. They needed architectural models delivered in a short time, at the same time, achieving a high level of detail.

Additive Manufacturing was just the perfect solution Gaëtan Le Penhuel was looking for. They wanted to materialize their architectural proposals, and every aspect of the project had to be shown in solid form. Thanks to SLS technology, they were able to achieve precise openings, thin walls, and sharp edges. Industrial 3D printing such as SLS allows for the production of great quality models, quickly and cost-effectively.


Create custom-made products easily


6. Octobre71


Mass customization is one of the essential advantages offered by 3D printing technology. Octobre71is a company manufacturing light glasses, and for them, additive manufacturing is terrific to create customizable glassesFor fashion, products often need to be custom made; that is why 3D printing is a great new tool for fashion designers.

3D printing can allow for manufacturing glasses adapted to the morphology but also the style of any person. From jewelry and ornaments to 3D printed shoes, these amazing benefits can be profitable for many other businesses.


7. Endeer

We just saw that 3D printing allows mass-customization. But it could also be the perfect manufacturing technique to turn your product into a service. How? It can lead to amazing 3D printing business ideas.

Claire Chabaud, one of our former colleagues from Sculpteo decided to start her own business, Endeer from this idea. By combining 3D scanning and 3D printing, they are able to create custom-made armatures for women’s bras, and then insert them in their great underwear collection. The armatures are 3D printed in Nylon PA12 through our 3D printing service. The result is simple: a custom-made bra, perfectly shaped to the women, at a reasonable cost


8. Valoptim

3d printed apartment

Can 3D printing technology be beneficial for property development companies? Certainly! Valoptim is a perfect example of making the most of 3D technologies.

Thanks to Additive Manufacturing, Valoptim took the customer experience, so crucial in any industry, to the next level. They offer their clients a mini 3D printed version of the property they just purchased!

Creating one of a kind model of a flat wouldn’t be cost-effective with any other technology but 3D printing. It is also the fastest way to get the model. Valoptim’s clients can already visualize living in the flat before they even get the keys! It is definitely satisfying for the new owners and brings a lot of innovation and pleasantly surprising, unique experience.


Create XL projects


9. Apis Cor

Apis Cor, a San Francisco startup 3D printed an entire house in only 24 hours in Russia. This company is making it possible to innovate in the architecture sector using the 3D printing technology. They are using 3D printing technology and an XL 3D printer to create homes in no time and for a lower cost. 3D printing was actually the only solution for this company to create this amazing project, now that concrete 3D printers are available.


10. MX3D

Olivier De Gruijter

The MX3D team created a metal 3D printed bridge in the city of Amsterdam. Indeed, 3D printing is an excellent method to develop urban settings such as bridges. Why? New XL 3D printers are allowing to 3D print at an architectural scale. It is making it possible to 3D print designs for a project as big as bridges. This bridge will be placed right over a canal of Amsterdam, the Oudezijds Achterburgwal! It will be the most massive 3D printed metal structure ever created.


Create eco-friendly projects


11. Simusolar

Simusolar is a company created in 2014, developing and implementing small-scale sustainable solutions to bring solar energy to the rural population of Tanzania. Using our online 3D printing servicethey developed solar-charged LED lights for fishermen from Lake Victoria, to replace their petrol lights when they fish at night. You can find more details about this project in this blog post.


12. Adidas

We already saw on our blog that additive manufacturing is an amazing manufacturing method to create custom-made shoes. Adidas created different 3D printing projects and has been working on sneakers made with plastic found in the ocean. It is actually showing how plastic can be recycled and used by 3D printing businesses. Recycling plastic parts could be more and more important in the 3D printing industry in the upcoming years.


13. Feetz

Feetz is an American startup run by Lucy Beard, specialized in custom-made shoes, comfortable to wear and with a beautiful style. They can be adapted to any feet! Feetz is using 3D printing technology to protect the environment. Indeed, 3D printing also means no material waste! When using this technology to manufacture your products, you only use the amount of material that you need to print your objects, and these 3D printed shoes prove that.


Create spare parts


14. Jaguar

Jaguar, the famous car manufacturer, is using 3D printing to create spare parts for its old vehicles. The company used 3D scanning to recreate the classic XKSS model from 1957. Additive manufacturing is the best way to recreate parts that are no longer manufactured and not available on the market. It is offering new business possibilities, even for big brands such as Jaguar! You have to create 3D files of the unique parts that you need and print them!


Manufacturing in space


15. Made in Space

made in space

3D printing is allowing us to go further in any sector. Made in Space is an American company developing solutions to  3D print in space, to help astronauts during their space missions. They form a 3D printer allowing astronauts to print the tools that they need directly in Space. Their goal is to elaborate technologies allowing to 3D print significant structures such as satellites without gravity, outside of the station.

Improve your manufacturing products using 3D printing

Improving your products thanks to a better 3D design

Additive manufacturing can help you to improve your existing products, by making them lighter or even to develop a design that might be too difficult to create with a traditional manufacturing method. For example, you could add lattices to your product, or strengthen your 3D print using jigsaw structures.

It is also really convenient to create objects in just one part. You may know it, but some intricate designs can be challenging to develop in only one part. But additive manufacturing technology allows you to do that.

Improving your products thanks to 3D printing materials

As you can see on our 3D printing material pagesthere are a lot of different materials available. Each material has its properties; some of them are better for rapid prototyping; others are better for production. Some are flexible and others more resistant to stress. 

For example, you can use Stainless Steel 316L with DMLS technology for mechanical parts, but you could also consider Stainless Steel 316 produced with Binder Jetting. Find the right metal material for your project with our ultimate guide.

You have to find the right material for your project. But once you find it, it can give you the possibility to improve the final properties of the product that you want to manufacture. Indeed, the same product manufactured with a different material can have a lot of different properties: it can be lighter, it can have a higher resistance to heat, etc. The possibilities are endless, just by choosing the right one. You can find a cheaper material with better properties only by using 3D printing technology. Think about it!

Start your own company thanks to Additive Manufacturing!

We hope that you are getting inspired by all of these profitable 3D printing business ideas. Are you ready to create your own 3D printing startup? Keep in mind that everything is 3D printable, and this technology could help you to start a new adventure and grow your business.

Starting your own 3D printing business doesn’t have to be that hard. You need business plans, and with the help of an online 3D printing service, you ‘re good to go! Contact us if you need some help or simply upload your 3D files and start your manufacturing process and today.

If you want to read more about 3D printing applications and 3D printing business ideas, we recommend you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook!

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