Do you want to start a 3d printing business? If so, find here in this article a detailed stepwise business plan guide covering aspects like startup costs, market demand, legal issues, tools requirement, etc.
The market demand for 3d printing as per this report is expected to grow to USD 21 billion dollars in the year 2021. The growth of 3d printing is primarily because of several industry sectors like architecture, aerospace, automotive, healthcare and consumer are showing much interest in this technology. Countries like China and India especially offers a wide market opportunity to be tapped.
Here are the 10 Steps to Start 3D Printing Business
1. Get Trained
It is a must to get trained with the technology of 3d printing process. Take a 3d animation course online or through a nearby training institute providing 3d printing related courses. If you are starting a 3d printing business as a beginner, it is wise to concentrate on the designing aspect and let the printing is taken care of by large companies like Shapeways. This business is ideal for creative people with an artistic background.
2. Understand the Market
Before starting the business, it is extremely important to know the trends and demand of the market. It is worthwhile to do elaborate market research and understand the requirements of the immediate market. The demand for 3d printing is growing in the field of art, architecture, automobile, education, casting, product development, etc. As an example, find real estate developer and contact them if they are in need of a 3d design for building projects.
3. Choose 3D Printing Services
Now is the time to choose the 3d printing services you are going to offer to your customers based on the information received from the market research. For example, you offer 3d customizations of existing products, product designing, prototyping, 3d scanning, etc.
4. Business Plan
Creating a business plan is an essential part of starting a 3d printing business. Write down the startup costs, tools and software requirements, manpower hiring plan, pricing strategy, target market, promotional strategy, etc. You can take help from business plan generators if you feel required.
Another important part is naming your 3d printing business. Choose a catchy, relatable, easy to remember the name for your business. It is advised to check whether relevant web domain is available or not before you decide the name of your company.
5. Understand the Costs Involved in Starting a 3D Printing Business
The initial cost to start a 3d printing business is minimal. Most people work from home in the initial phase. You will need a computer with 3d modeling software with 3d printing features. There are many good free open source software you can try initially, if not ready to invest initially. Another requirement would be having materials to create 3d models. Popular material types used for 3d creations are thermoplastic, sandstone, metals, and ceramics.
If you are planning to print your own design, purchase a 3d printer for the same. Else, as a beginner, you can try printers like Shapeways to take care of the printing part.
The pricing is based on a series of factors. It includes the volume of the object, the amount of raw material used, cost of human labor, etc. The price may vary with the types of material used. You can upload your design in sites like Shapeways and get a rough estimate about the pricing band.
7. Form Legal Entity
It is essential to form a legal entity if you want to establish a stress-free 3d printing business. If you are starting new as a beginner just for tasting water, then go for a proprietorship firm as it costs less. However, if you are looking to make it big, it is better to form an LLC.
8. Get Required Licenses
Talk to the local appropriate authority or registered agents and apply for required licenses and permits. Other aspects like opening a business bank account, setting up the bookkeeping processes need to be fixed with due consideration.
9. Create a Website
Having a website for your 3d printing business nowadays is a must. A website not only allows to let customers know about services, your client testimonials but also helps you in building a brand for your business. Check this guide to create your website of your own within a few minutes with nominal investment.
10. Promote Your 3D Printing Business
To make good money in 3d printing business, you need to reach your potential customers. Networking plays a big role in this regard. Meet people and share your visiting card and set appointments offline and online if unable to meet in person. Create social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, etc and keep posting activities of your business to attract people in the relevant domain.