Top 40 On Demand & 3D Printed Products in Retail - Insider Trends (2023)

Developments in rapid prototyping and short-run production mean on demand and custom-made options for consumers are faster, more personalised and more cost-effective than ever.

3D printing is one-such rapid prototyping technology, re-thinking commonplace products as we know them from jelly candies to bicycle frames. Create-on-demand boasts impressive sustainability credentials – it means products can be made with zero waste, warehousing is unnecessary and distribution from A to B is shortened or made void.

Here’s a run-down of 40 products and retail innovations (in no particular order) ready and waiting to be made on demand or printed online or in-store very soon…

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Photo Credit: Michael Indresano Production

1. Flat-pack pasta by MIT Tangible Media Group

The Tangible Media Group at MIT Labs is re-thinking the future of groceries with its flat-pack pasta concept. The pasta is formed of flat sheets that are animated into 3D shapes when water is added. Not only does it reduce waste and costs in packaging and transportation at retail, it paves the way for a more innovative product for customers with more complex shapes possible such as flowers. Technologically, the product is achieved through hybrid fabrication, 3D printing a strip of edible cellulose, protein or starch over a gelatin layer.

2. 3D Sneaker Soles by New Balance

In partnership with fellow Massachusetts design company, Nervous Systems, New Balance is the latest sports footwear company to explore 3D printing technology. Using underfoot sensors, it recorded the force that the foot strikes the ground with as it pushes off in several different runners. Coupled with inspiration from naturally occurring lightweight-yet-strong foams in wood and bone, the result is a series of custom soles, adapted to the wearer’s foot and gait.

3. 3D Food Printer by Food Ink

Food Ink points to a future where an at-home 3D food printer could be your next essential kitchen gadget. At present, the firm is showcasing the possibilities of the technology through a series of immersive, futuristic dinners where all the food, utensils and furniture are completely produced through 3D printing. In this context, 3D printing is enabling a zero-waste approach to the dining experience.

4. On-demand Magazine by Madame Jeanette

Madame Jeanette attempts to bring sustainability into the print magazine mix by enabling readers to print copies of the fashion magazine on demand via an ‘Espresso Book Machine’. A collaboration between the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and The American Book Centre, customers can print and bind a monochromatic version of the magazine (with a colour cover) within minutes. Full colour versions are available on demand online.

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Photo credit: Otávio Pacheco

5. The Love Project by Guto Requena

A lucrative possibility of rapid-printing technology is the chance to create personalised souvenirs and mementoes. The Love Project by architect Guto Requena is one such example. Participants are asked to recall a detailed account of a personal story whilst wearing emotion-monitoring sensors. The data collected from the sensors is fed into custom software that produces a 3D printed model. It points to a poetic future where we could be surrounded by product design that tells our stories.

6. Furniture Printing in 3D Gel by MIT Self-Assembly Lab x Steelcase

The MIT Self-Assembly Lab collaborated with global furniture brand Steelcase and product designer Christophe Guberan to mastermind a new 3D printing innovation dubbed ‘rapid liquid printing’. The breakthrough enables the creation of large, custom furniture pieces in minutes. Rubber, foam, plastic and other industrial liquid materials are ‘drawn’ into gel, and hardened by a chemical reaction on contact with the gel.

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Photo credit: Reebok

7. Liquid-Drawn Shoes by Reebok

Lead time on sports footwear is notoriously lengthy (on average 18 months) thanks to the labor-intensive, time consuming mould-making process. This cripples the ability to send innovative ideas to market rapidly. Bill McInnis, a former NASA rocket scientist was put in charge of Reebok’s innovation division, Reebok Future – his first mission – to eliminate shoe moulds and thus increase production speed. The result is the Liquid Factory. In short, industrial robots are engineered to behave like a simple 3D printer and dispense/draw liquid polyurethane into 3D printed shapes.

8. Hooks by Ikea

Ikea has started to introduce 3D printed home objects to the masses. The Omedelbar collection is a series of intricate, stylistic ‘hand’ shapes to be hung on the wall or used as a decorative hook for jewellery. Produced in collaboration with stylist Bea Akerlund, the pieces use selective laser sintering (SLS) where a powdered material interacts with a laser to create intricate shapes. The products mark an effective introduction to commercial 3D printing, through the application of impressive, decorative objects.

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Photo courtesy of Daria Retiner

(Video) 50 Money Making Things to 3D Print | 2022

9. 3D Printed Clothing by Danit Peleg

Coupled with a 3D rendering software called Blender, designer Danit Peleg experimented for over nine months to find the ideal filament for a completely 3D printed fashion collection. The result was filaflex – a strong and ultra-flexible plastic with the capacity to be crafted into a full apparel range with shoes.

10. Custom Wardrobes by Frilly

Another great example of mass-market on-demand manufacturing, Los Angeles based e-commerce site Frilly is able to accommodate the creation of a fully custom-made wardrobe, thanks to its privately-owned factory facilities. Customers can select ‘building block’ designs across skirts, dresses, jackets and trousers across four luxury brands, and then dictate necklines, hems and fabrics.

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Photo credit: ©TAIYO KIKAKU co.,ltd

11. 3D Printed Nail Art Animation by Hatsuki Furutani

Japanese manicure artist Hatsuki Furutani partnered with film production companyTAIYO KIKAKU to create a stop motion animation depicting three-dimensional nails transforming into storytelling scenes. Thenailsbegan life as3D modelling, then the animated data was imported into a full colour 3D printer and fabricated into 521 artificial nails. Something to consider for campaigns, it’s a fun and creative way of exploring the relationship between digital and physical objects.

12. Architectural Cakes by Dinara Kasko

Ukrainian patisserie chef Dinara Kasko ups the ante in the battle of the bakes with her complex geometric desserts. Combining her training in architecture with her culinary skills, Kasko applies industry standard Autodesk’s 3DS Max Software to create silicone cake moulds. Painstakingly applied piping is used to create crisp graphic lines and accentuate the unusual geometry of the pieces.

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Image courtesy of Kniterate

13. Digital Knitting Machine by Kniterate

Kniterate is another app-based fashion-fabrication concept. The digital knitting machine is accessible and affordable even for design novices. Individuals can choose from a series of pre-set patterns or upload a design from their own software. We’ll see retailers ease consumers into the world of 3D printing through easy-to-follow guidance applications and softwares.

14. 3D printed homewares by Othr

Othr is an online concept design store, collaborating with a hand-picked edit of designers to create useful, aesthetic and unique objects made exclusively for the shopper. Imbuing each item with preciousness, each product is embedded with a unique number to ‘reflect your participation in its creation’. The environmental benefits of this mode of production are highly important to the retailer’s concept of ‘good designer’ and it emphasises the lack of excessive waste and warehousing.

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Photo credit: © Alberto Prise courtesy ICOSAEDRO

15. On-demand Stationery by Icosaedro

Barbara Busatta and Dario Buzzini of New York-based creative agency ICOSAEDRO have created ‘The Machine Series’, a series of open-source design files that make up a collection of 3D printed stationery containers. The files are available for public download or on-demand production and have been drafted so as to allow for easy modification, adaptations and material experiments.

16. Titanium Glasses by Hoet

Taking digital fabrication into the realm of luxury design, Belgian optician Patrick Hoet collaborated with Melotte 3D printing to create the first 3D printed eyewear in titanium. There are two options available to customers – a partially customised design that can be turned around in a week and a fully 3D scanned, 3D modelled, 3D printed option. All glasses can be personalised with the name of the customer.

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(Video) 3D Printing Business - My First $5,000

Photo Credit: Pixsweet/ Patrick Reynoso

17. On-Demand Candy by Pixsweet

A great example of the reactive capabilities of 3D printing, the Pixsweet platform is best known for its US election-themed popsicles. Pixsweet utilises its own custom “3D Munchifier” (a kind of search engine) to generate fast, bespoke designs or a ‘taste of the internet’. Users enter a search term, the Munchifier searches the internet for an image match, detects the edges and translates it into a 3D shape. The shape is uploaded to the production line which creates a mould in 1.3 seconds. The mould is packaged, the chosen flavour injected into the shape, then sealed for shipping.

18. FIX3D Printed Bike Frame by James Novak

Product designer James Novak has created a concept 3D printed bike frame. Tailored to fit his own proportions, the frame took 150 hours to model on SolidWorks and is impressively lightweight thanks to the complex lattice structures. Currently in prototype phase, the frame is drafted in resin but could soon be a reality thanks to strides in steel and titanium manufacturing.

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Image courtesy of Wovns

19. On-demand fabric by Wovns

Rather than consumer-facing finished products, digital platform Wovns is a platform for designers. It is an on-demand weaving process that enables designers to upload patterns and print their own Jacquard fabrics, starting from lengths as low as one yard. The platform allows designers to order their fabrics in small production runs, by producing multiple, similar designs as one piece of fabric, meaning the loom does not need to be recalibrated between each design.

20. Fake Fur by MIT

In one final example from the MIT Tangible Media Group, the team has developed a method for 3D printing artificial ‘hair’. Each thin can be printed as small as 50 microns in diameter and fashioned into high-density furry surfaces. Future applications for this innovation range from functional, velcro-style fastenings, interactive tactile surfaces to paint brushes with custom strokes to eco-friendly ‘fur’ fabrics.

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Image courtesy of Opendesk

21. Tool-free Furniture by Opendesk

Opendesk is a London-based open-source workplace furniture brand. They collaborate with designers all over the world to create beautiful furniture pieces that can be distilled into shareable designs, downloaded and fabricated locally on-demand by neighbourhood makers. Its ambition is to create a new kind of supply chain for beautifully crafted furniture, cutting out expensive shipping, showrooms and storage. Nike, WeWork and Google already boast Opendesk furnishings.

22. 3D printed coloured makeup by MINK

Mink is a $200 device that links to your computer, reads a colour code of your choice on screen and communicates that to a 3-D printer which mixes pigments and raw materials inside the machine. The result? Totally bespoke foundations, powdered eye shadows and lipsticks. The technology points to a future where you’ll be able to ‘eyedropper’ a celebrity’s red-carpet lip colour from a Google Image, print and wear it yourself that same day.

23. Lip Palettes by Finding Ferdinand

Whilst Mink is still in beta phase, Finding Ferdinand is a fully fledged custom makeup offering. Customers receive a lip palette in the post, mix their preferred shade, submit an approximation of the colours on the website where it gets mixed, produced and posted. There are up to 65,000 possible colour combinations and the brand currently dispatches up to 10,000 units every four months.

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Photo Credit: Mariket

24. Custom Tiles by Tilemark and Form Us With Love

Everyday household construction elements from tiles, to wallpaper to flooring could benefit from the custom possibilities enabled by digital manufacture. New Swedish brand Tilemark has launched with a debut range designed by Form Us With Love. Using an online design tool, the brand has been able to create an illusion of hand-carved ceramic tiling – and at a fraction of the price. The technology enables them to create highly intricate designs, with the same precision as a craftsman. The machine can be programmed with custom designs.

25. Selfie Sculptures by My 3D Twin

The ultimate application for selfie-lovers, My 3D Twin creates miniature sculptures of your likeness. Photogrammetric scanners use 64 powerful DLSR cameras that take your photograph at exactly the same time and at different angles. A specialist programme stitches together all 64 2D images to create a 3D avatar. At this stage the mini-model can be edited (how about adding a new fashion item, or branding?), then printed using thousands of layers of coloured powder.

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(Video) My 3D Printing Predictions for 2023

Image courtesy of Normal

26. Personalised Headphones by Normal

Whilst it’s possible to purchase custom eye frames and adjustable watch straps, earphones have been slower to catch up. Using a downloadable app, Normal shortcuts a process that would ordinarily take weeks (and include a trip to the doctor). Using a ‘coin’ as a point of size reference, the user uploads photos of their ear, selects the cord length and colour and a customised pair of buds is ready to ship within 48 hours. The pledge is an optimised listening experience enabled by headphones that seal your ear correctly.

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Image courtesy of Katjes Magic Candy Factory

27. Magic Candy Factory by Katjes Fassin

This machine can create impressively complex gummy candy confections in 3-10 minutes (comparable machines can take up to an hour). The process uses a unique fruit gum liquid to produce seven colors and flavours in weights between 15g and 20g. The company creates theatre around the making process by inviting children to learn about 3D printing technology and the ingredients in store.

28. Small Batch Manufacturing by Shapeways

Shapeways is a simple, user-focused platform inviting designers to prototype and print their 3D own designs for everyday objects. Popular items include smartphone and tablets covers, jewellery pieces and home decor objects.

Customers can upload their design files and get an instant cost estimate. Then automated and manual checks test your model’s ‘printability’ before you print – and there is no maximum or minimum order.

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Image courtesy of adidas Berlin

29. Knit For You by adidas Berlin

This pop-up store brought consumers a taste of the future high-street retail experience. Upon arriving, the shopper enters a dark room where an array of patterns are projected onto their chest. To change the design, they simply swipe their hand to scroll through the options. They are then invited to a full-body scan before hitting the ‘print’ button to send their custom sweater into production in a row of knitting machines, before their eyes. The concept evolves the current retail model from ‘see it, buy it’ to ‘think it, test it, make it, buy it’.

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Image courtesy of Unmade

30. Personalisation plug-in by Unmade

Similar to Knit For You, Unmade takes the principle of DIY design and makes it scalable across e-commerce. Its ‘Personalisation Editors’ tool is a consumer-friendly interface allowing shoppers to directly modify the clothes they buy before they are made. Similar to programmes like Nike iD, customers can change the colour, modify patterns and add their own monogram to existing designs. This tool can be ‘plugged’ into existing e-commerce websites for selected pieces so customers can purchase custom items and pre-made items in the same basket.

31 Personalised Perfume by Waft

Waft is an online customised fragrance service. Guests to the site enter the ‘Waft Lab’ where they answer a series of questions and respond to various imagery to help refine their preferences. Then the Waft Fragrance Artists analyse the data and create a scent just for you. Your custom fragrance is labelled with your name and sent to you bundled with two free ‘mini you’ layering fragrances.

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Image courtesy of YR Store

32. Live Design and Print by YR Store

YR started off as a live design’n’print boutique. The service was readily picked up by brands looking for interactive consumer experiences, so now YR exists as a live customisation service for the event and retail industries. The company can provide a placement print or all-over print service and produce each item in minutes.

(Video) 12 more 3D printed tools you need for your workshop

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Photo studio: Zuza Gronowicz and Barbara Motylińska

33. Shoetopia by Barbara Motylińska and Zuza Gronowicz

With 20 billion pairs of shoes created each year, and 300 million thrown out annually, Polish design students Barbara Motylińska and Zuza Gronowicz have taken on the challenge of creating a completely sustainable model of footwear production and distribution. Customers can personalise their own design via an app then send a print-ready file to a local digital fabrication centre.

Environmentally-friendly and durable, shoes are created from a biodegradable filament printed onto a natural textile based and constructed without glue.

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Image courtesy of Lix 3D

34. LIX 3D Pen

The smallest, circular 3D Pen in the world, LIX enables you to write and draw ‘in the air’. Design sketches and nascent thoughts can now be visualised and reviewed in real form. The pen quickly melts and solidifies coloured plastic creating instant, rigid, freestanding structures.

35. Beauty on Demand by Romy

Definitely a luxury future, Romy specialises in hyper-personalised skincare. An app gathers data about the user and their environmental data (it also allows an Apple Health plugin for more nuanced data.) This connects to a ‘Nespresso coffee machine’ style device that dispenses capsules containing a cream or serum targeted specifically to the conditions of that day. It can also connect to Apple Health to add further in-depth analysis.

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Image courtesy of

36. Custom Caffeine by

Customers are increasingly becoming ‘connoisseurs’ of coffee, increasingly more attuned to their own tasting preferences. is a successful Kickstarter brand that invites coffee drinkers to select their own custom-roasted signature coffee blend and have it delivered to their door in either bean or capsule form. A simple app offers a series of custom opportunities around the grind, heat and intensity.

37. Ministry of Supply

Taking the concept of on-demand clothing from online services to in-store reality, The Ministry of Supply brings theatre to the experience and prints custom alterations to your clothing before your very eyes. Across eight US stores, customer can choose a garment and then re-design it as they wish with alterations from the materials to the buttons.

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Image courtesy of AstroReality Lunar Pro

38. 3D/AR moon by AstroReality Lunar Pro

This is an interesting example of how physical objects can work with digital to create a richer content experience. Designed as an educational tool, the AstroReality Lunar Pro is an intricate 3D-printed model of the moon based on data captured by NASA’s Lunar Orbiter team. The models are paired with an augmented reality smartphone app that offers facts and trivia about the moon as well as simulations of NASA missions to the moon. You can imagine how this type of digital-physical pairing could bring museum objects to life, or provide updated information about a product post-purchase.

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(Video) 10 Cool Inventions Anyone Can Print - The Best Models for Brand-New Printers

Image courtesy of Mayku

39. Mould at home by Mayku

FormBox by Mayku is a device offering makers a simple at-home solution for creating vacuum-form moulds, before casting them into 3D designs. The box uses a vacuum cleaner to heat a material before it is placed over an object. When the material dries it leaves a mould that can be used to cast a variety of materials such as resin, plaster or chocolate. An extended kitchen gadget for a wannabe Michelin-star chef or an at-home repairs shop.

40. Floristry Subscriptions by Bloom and Wild

Bloom and Wild is a custom floristry subscription service sending a selected bouquet of hand-packed flowers through the door with free next day delivery. The handy app enables customers to quickly and efficiently send flowers to a loved one on the go, with real-time delivery tracking to monitor progress. It also sends reminders around birthdays and special occasions.


What are high demand 3D printed products? ›

What are the most popular 3D printed items? Cosplay props, planters, and miniatures are some of the biggest sellers.

What are the future trends of 3D printing? ›

3D printing will be bigger, faster and cheaper.

The key for the new generation of printers, especially industrial-grade solutions, will be the ability to handle a greater range of advanced materials. This opens the door for businesses to benefit from additive manufacturing in areas where they previously could not.

What is the most popular 3D printed object? ›

Smartphone stands are probably one of the most popular 3D printing ideas and designs on Thingiverse and other 3D printing websites.

Is there a market for 3D printed items? ›

The global 3D printing market is estimated to be USD 12.6 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 34.8 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 22.5%.

What is the most profitable 3D printing business? ›

Medical 3D printing businesses are the most profitable type of 3D printing business.

What 3D assets sell the most? ›

But the truth is not all 3D models will sell. It's a hard pill to swallow, especially after hours of sacrificed production time. It's important that we focus on which 3D models will sell and which won't. In short, we found that the 3D model categories that sell best are animals, cars, space, science and medical.

What is the most commonly used 3D printing technology now? ›

Fused deposition modeling (FDM), also known as fused filament fabrication (FFF), is the most widely used form of 3D printing at the consumer level, fueled by the emergence of hobbyist 3D printers.

What are 3 different areas within 3D printing that are important for the future? ›

3D printing could make prosthetics cheaper for everyone, changing the lives of amputees worldwide. 3D printing is also being used for surgery, with replicas of hearts and organs being used to help surgeons prep. Bioprinting, 3D printing that uses “ink” made of human cells and tissue, is making massive strides.

Is 3D printing in high demand? ›

Current Global Market of 3D Printing

The global 3D printing market was valued at $13.84 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow rapidly, at a CAGR of 20.8% from 2022 to 2030 to reach a value of $76.17 billion. In 2021, roughly 2.2 million units of 3D printers were shipped, this will reach 21.5 million units by 2030.

What are the coolest things to 3D print? ›

67 Cool Things to 3D Print
  • Survival Whistle. Next in our list of cool things to 3D print is a simple project that can be completed in approximately one hour and will produce a whistle. ...
  • Earbud Case. ...
  • Flexi Rex. ...
  • Pencil Holder. ...
  • Planters. ...
  • Keychain Smartphone Stand. ...
  • Spirographs. ...
  • Fidget Spinner.

What is the coolest thing ever 3D printed? ›

Below are five of the coolest and craziest things to ever be 3D printed.
  1. Mouse Ovaries. ...
  2. Robot Skin. ...
  3. Real Skin. ...
  4. Food. ...
  5. Model Fetus.
Feb 21, 2023

What is the most expensive thing to 3D print? ›

3D printing can be challenging. Sometimes it requires months to print one single model. So there's no wonder it can cost thousands.
And the models too.
  • 3D Printed Iron Man Suit – 35,000 USD. ...
  • 3D-Printed Frosted Donut Holed – 100,000 USD. ...
  • Spinner – 876,270.59 EUR.
Jul 28, 2017

What is the profit margin for 3D printing? ›

A 3D printing company's profit margins might range from 50% to 90% of the cost of the materials.

Who is the market leader for 3D printing? ›

World's Largest 3D Printing Companies
No.CompanyMarket Cap (March '23)
1Xometry Inc.$1.38B
23D Systems$1.30B
3Stratasys Ltd.$0.87B
10 more rows

Is 3D printing worth investing in? ›

These days, 3D printing is a high-growth niche that is steadily reshaping the manufacturing and industrial sectors. Some estimates point to a doubling in annual revenue from additive manufacturing between 2022 and 2026.

Can 3D printing be a side hustle? ›

Making Good Money with a 3D Printer!

3D printers are still a relatively new technology, and there are many ways to make money with it. You can start several side hustles, including designing and selling 3D printable models of your own design, to selling the 3D printer itself or any other parts you may have.

Where is the best place to sell 3D printed items? ›

Etsy is one of the biggest marketplace for 3D printing. A lot of 3D printing hobbyists and even professional gravitate towards Etsy because of its large audience who are into handcrafted stuff.

Can you make money selling 3D assets? ›

Sell Your 3D Models Online

If you're good at creating 3D models, you can make a pretty penny by selling them online. Several websites allow you to upload and sell your 3D models, such as TurboSquid and CGTrader. You'll typically earn a commission on each sale, so make sure to price your models accordingly.

Which 3D software is most in demand? ›

Best 3D modeling software of 2022
  • Unity.
  • 3ds Max Design.
  • Maya.
  • Blender.
  • Creo Parametric.
  • Cinema 4D.
  • Intergraph Smart Review.
  • Modo.
Jun 27, 2022

What are the 9 types of 3D printing? ›

Although there are many different printers available, only nine basic types of 3D printing technology currently exist: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Digital Light Processing (DLP), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Electron Beam Melting (EMB), Laminated Object ...

What is the most advanced 3D printing technology? ›

DMLS one of the most advanced technologies. A powerful laser is used in 3D printing to fuse metals and alloys on a micro scale. The main applications of DMLS include the creation of metal parts of complex geometry. Right after the 3D printing process the parts are fully functional (heat-resistant, strong and durable).

What are 5 industries that 3D design is used in today? ›

Five Industries Utilizing 3D Printing
  • Aerospace.
  • Automotive.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Robotics.
  • Education.

What are 7 things that can be made using 3D printing? ›

Amazing examples of 3D and 4D printing in action
  • Bones and muscles. ...
  • Ovaries. ...
  • Pastries. ...
  • Pizza. ...
  • Buildings. ...
  • A boat. ...
  • A kayak. ...
  • Artwork for the blind.
Jul 24, 2020

What are 3 industries that use 3D printing? ›

What industries use 3D printing
  • Aerospace. The aerospace industry was the first to embrace 3D printing, and now regards it as a standard part of their toolkit. ...
  • Medical devices and dentistry. ...
  • Mechanical Engineering. ...
  • Automotive. ...
  • Tool-making.

Why 3D printing is booming? ›

This is due to two main reasons: the demand for customized products to gain a competitive advantage and the rapid adoption of 3D printing materials.

What 3D jobs are in demand? ›

Best 3D Modeling Jobs You Must Know.
  • Professional 3D Modeler. A man creating a 3D model in SelfCAD. ...
  • 3D Game Designer. 3D model of a game. ...
  • 3D Animator. Man creating 3D designs on a desktop. ...
  • Real Estate 3D Animation. Real estate construction. ...
  • 3D Interior Designer.
Apr 17, 2022

Is 3D printing the future of fashion? ›

Not only is 3D printing being used to create sustainable collections, accessories, and customisable garments, it is radically changing the future of sustainable fast fashion.

How much does it cost to start a 3D printing business? ›

However, the cost of setting up a 3D printing business ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. This cost will be affected by the type of 3D printer that you choose, utilities, rent (if you choose to not work from home), software, and marketing.

Is it illegal to sell 3D printed items? ›

At this point, you may be wondering if it's legal to sell 3D printed items modeled after the likeness of copyrighted works of art. The short answer is no, it is not legal. Selling any 3D printed design covered by Intellectual Property Rights without the permission of the rights holder is illegal.

Can you 3D print metal? ›

Titanium, steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, cobalt chrome, titanium, tungsten and nickel-based alloys are all available in powdered form for 3D printing, as are precious metals like gold, platinum, palladium and silver.

What is the biggest problem of 3D printing? ›

Critical 3D Printing Problems and Solutions

Today, however, challenges seem to vary: the cost of pre- and post-processing, the limited selection of materials and technology limitations are the biggest 3D printing challenges of 2021.

What are 3 disadvantages of 3D printing? ›

What are the Cons of 3D Printing?
  • Limited Materials. While 3D Printing can create items in a selection of plastics and metals the available selection of raw materials is not exhaustive. ...
  • Restricted Build Size. ...
  • Post Processing. ...
  • Large Volumes. ...
  • Part Structure. ...
  • Reduction in Manufacturing Jobs. ...
  • Design Inaccuracies. ...
  • Copyright Issues.

What's better than 3D printing? ›

Surface Finish: With the right tools, CNC machines are capable of producing much smoother surfaces than 3D printers. 3D printers are capable of producing parts for fit and finish, but for parts that require exceptional smoothness for mating with other precision components, CNC machining may be preferable.

What is the most common and most recognizable 3D printing process that we have today? ›

FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)

In this 3d printing technology, the material is drawn through a nozzle where it is heated in a fixed path layer by layer. When it comes to price, FDM is the cheapest among the printing technologies. It is also the most common type of 3D printing technology.

Which is the most affordable 3D printing technology? ›

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM is one of the popular and affordable technologies. In this process, a product is built by selectively depositing melted material in a pre-determined path layer-by-layer. The materials used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament (thin wire-like) form.

Is 3D printing becoming cheaper? ›

Through their first decade-and-change, 3D printers have come down in price, grown easier to set up and operate, and become more reliable. And you may pay less than you expect: Many once-high-end features have migrated down to inexpensive models.

What is a good profit margin per item? ›

You may be asking yourself, “what is a good profit margin?” A good margin will vary considerably by industry, but as a general rule of thumb, a 10% net profit margin is considered average, a 20% margin is considered high (or “good”), and a 5% margin is low.

What are the 3 profit margins? ›

Gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and net profit margin are the three main margin analysis measures that are used to analyze the income statement activities of a firm. Each margin individually gives a very different perspective on the company's operational efficiency.

Is 3D printing business saturated? ›

Unfortunately, market saturation combined with the rise in availability and adoption of low cost 3D printers (on the end-consumer, startup and SME fronts), have let these one-offs and prototypes business segments to almost completely disappear (with the exception of niche industries such as automotive, aerospace, etc.) ...

What is the best 3D company to invest in? ›

Best Value 3D Printing Stocks
Price ($)Market Cap ($B)
Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS)15.491.0
3D Systems Corp. (DDD)9.001.2
Proto Labs Inc. (PRLB)37.491.0
Oct 6, 2022

Who is the target audience for 3D printing? ›

The target market is hobbyists and home users looking to create spare parts, customized items, toys and decorative objects. The printing process is usually slow; a complex design can take several hours to print and often requires user oversight.

What is the best 3D printing stocks to buy? ›

Quick Look at the Best 3D Printing Stocks:
  • Stratasys.
  • DDD.
  • Proto Labs.
  • Desktop Metal.
  • Belgium.

Is 3D printing on demand profitable? ›

Yes, you can make money with a 3D printer. And there are a lot of ways that you can do it, whether that's selling 3D printed items, digital goods, or even offering a 3D printing service in your local area.

What is currently the most commonly used material for 3D printing? ›

Of all the different materials being utilized for 3D printing, plastic is the most common. Plastic is quite versatile—being used for everything from 3D printed household fixtures to toys. Plastic 3D printing material comes in multiple different colors and can also be transparent.

Who is the market leader in 3D printing? ›

3D Systems (NASDAQ: DDD)

But it still remains the biggest pure 3D printing company in the world, with a market capitalization of $1.30 billion. The company sells a variety of items, including 3D printers, printing materials, digital design tools, and more.

How can I make a lot of money on print-on-demand? ›

Tips for starting with print on demand
  1. Always order samples. Product quality assurance is essential when you're using print-on-demand services to sell online. ...
  2. Be strategic about shipping. ...
  3. Create mockups that show off your products. ...
  4. Find your niche and build an audience. ...
  5. Create your own online store.
Nov 30, 2022

Can you make a living with print-on-demand? ›

Print on Demand offers the perfect opportunity to make a living from home. If you get the basics right and put in the time and effort, you could sell items from your online store within hours. This article will teach you how to launch your online store and join the eCommerce revolution the right way.

In what type of industry 3D printing is extensively and most commonly used? ›

In recent years, 3D printing has developed significantly and can now perform crucial roles in many applications, with the most common applications being manufacturing, medicine, architecture, custom art and design, and can vary from fully functional to purely aesthetic applications.

What is currently the most common type of 3D printer for everyday use? ›

The two most common types of home 3D printers are resin MSLA (Masked Stereolithography) and filament FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling).


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