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Gurcan

Monetizing Your Printer

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Hi, I consider buying an Ultimaker for personal projects. I think it will sit idle for most of the time. Is there a way to monetize my printer's time by offering printing services to local businesses/people? Has anyone one achieved that? No worries, I am in Turkey I won't be a competitor ;>)

Extra question is, how much would it cost to print an object of size 10cmx10cmx10cm (1000cm^3)? Will it make me cry?

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Hi you can in principle monetize by listing the printer on 3Dhubs.com. However my experience is that just listing the printer will not be enough to get a flow of orders. You will need to advertise your hub somehow.

1000 cm3 is approximately 1400 grams of PLA, so about two 750 gr spools. This will cost around 70-80 euros.

It is unlikely though that you will have to print a 10 x 10 x 10 cube with 100% infill. A 10 x 10 x 10 object will typically have some voids in it (you will print it say 20-30% infill), and so this will be much much less plastic in fact.

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On 3DHubs you can list your 3Dprinter and joining the competition. I did at the beginning in 2013, however, even if I get orders, at least a 50% of them I have to decline since people send stuff that is not printable on an Ultimaker.

Also the customer service that you have to provide is quite time-consuming (accepting the order,checking STLs, explaining quality and materials,print settings, shipping or wait someone to collect, dealing with bad reviews when they don't know the difference between traditional process and consumer 3Dprinting...etc).

If you have a full-time job and you don't have the 3Dprinter in your office I would say that it is not going to work, but I might be wrong.

It is still "early days" on consumer market and there might be a day when Consumer brands will ask to 3D print locally to hubs. When you will have the file and the settings ready, customer service will be the only thing you will have to care about.

About the object that you asked to print, usually what should concern most is the print time than the material cost.

Edited by Guest

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Hi you can in principle monetize by listing the printer on 3Dhubs.com. However my experience is that just listing the printer will not be enough to get a flow of orders. You will need to advertise your hub somehow.

1000 cm3 is approximately 1400 grams of PLA, so about two 750 gr spools. This will cost around 70-80 euros.

It is unlikely though that you will have to print a 10 x 10 x 10 cube with 100% infill. A 10 x 10 x 10 object will typically have some voids in it (you will print it say 20-30% infill), and so this will be much much less plastic in fact.

Thanks for the detailed answer.

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Hi,

all people here would like to make money with their printer I guess.

I'm on 3Dhubs, but not much work, too many printers listed I guess.

The bad thing with 3dhubs ( in my opinion ) are the hubs, and the pricing.

You have to enlist in a hub, the closest one could be 200 km away.  

There calculating is no good. they calculate based on volume (like you did ;))

Material costs are nothing compared to your and the machines time.

Printing a Eiffeltower could cost you 50x more time than printing a same volume sized pyramid.

My experience is, you an make some money, or print your things for free and save money for a next printer, by selling your own designs, or give a designing or prototyping service.

But....

Good luck with trying!!!!

Edited by Guest

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research and innovation is the secret ;)

However Rigs, I still wonder. A LOT of research and innovation has been done by others and is freely available on youmagine or thingiverse, with licenses that do not exclude commercial use. So I wonder if it is possible to carefully select some items in a specific niche (that one is familiar with), and try to sell prints of those.

Just to make an example, 3D printed parts for open source/rep rap printers are currently sold on e-bay, they do have a market. It happened to me, in a remote past in which I did not have a 3D printer, to buy 3D printed frames for quadcopters.

So I think that some niche 3D printed objects, rare to find otherwise maybe, should have a market.

Just to throw in some ideas....

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Yes you're right amico mio there are niches, but for personal reasons i do not like to sell a thing copied.

I think the idea of ​​" open-source " must be solidary and not commercial.

Today if you do not call microsoft, google or samsung , it's impossible to keep your innovations , because you do not have money to protect.

The only solution is to innovate constantly , have a distance in front of others.

History will remember inventors but no copiers.

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Well mon ami I see your point on Open Source, however the Creative Commons License is solid on the fact that commercial exploitation is fully supported, unless explicitly excluded, so selling other people's designs it is a fair game within the ethic rules, as far as all credits are properly given. In this framework, you are not "selling a thing copied" but rather you are providing a service that allows anyone without a 3D printer to benefit from the Open Source ideas by others. And services are to be paid, this is a fully Open Source concept. So you can and maybe should make money with Open Souce, as long as you do it within the game boundaries.

This said

> The only solution is to innovate constantly , have a distance in front of others.

yes this is the real, the master way. The CEO of Parrot, a brilliant guy as you may imagine, added to your concept that you should also pick up something complicated enough so that it cannot be copied right away, easily.

So in this framework, limiting the activity to the "print act" itself is going to be very low end, as after all, 3D printing is not that difficult and more and more people can now do it, so in the long run it is a loosing game, without some original idea.

Edited by Guest

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