How to Start an e-commerce Business with 3D Printers

We were sold on the hype that 3D printers would be in everyone’s home. The reality is that for the average householder, it’s still way too hard to print stuff, let alone useful items. The technology, the materials, the ease-of-use and the content infrastructure around these machines are not there yet.

Desktop 3D printers came down in price dramatically and China flooded the market with cheap 3D printers, allowing almost everyone to gain access to this technology. Meanwhile, the media has turned its attention to industrial technologies after seeing that the people buying low-cost 3D printers are hobbyists that use these machines to make gadgets and figurines that mostly end up in their home shelves if not in the trash.

But the media is overlooking one thing. Many of these hobbyists that have been experimenting with 3D printing technology are also entrepreneurs. Many of them are turning their hobbies into businesses.

Thanks to having over 100.000 3D printer owners in the AstroPrint platform, we are witnessing this emerging trend from a privileged position. We’ve seen how some AstroPrint users went from tinkering with one printer to now run a business with a farm of 30+ printers.

Low-cost 3D printers are allowing people to start their own manufacturing business from home and the digital infrastructure is there for them to find customers. In this post, we’ll give some examples of people that grew into a 3D printing business and the key practices that made them successful.

Ready start your own home-built manufacturing facility with a bunch of low-cost 3D printers?

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AstroPrint Secures Second Round of Funding to Expand our Business and Enterprise Solutions

Press Release: For Immediate Release

We’ve just concluded a very successful second funding round where AstroPrint raised a total of $1M from two prominent VCs: Stanley Ventures and Alma Mundi Ventures. With this new investment, AstroPrint has raised a total of $2.1M, and we are now poised to grow our 3D printing cloud solution that already serves over 95k users from 130 countries.

Who are the Investors?

Stanley Ventures is the venture capital arm of Fortune 500 company Stanley Black & Decker. Stanley Ventures has invested in several companies in the additive manufacturing space, including an investment in a new Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) 3D printing technology.

Alma Mundi Ventures is a tech venture fund based in Madrid with investors in Palo Alto, New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid, orchestrating a global network of over 500 members in 41 cities worldwide. Their investments are primarily global tech startups in the United States and in Europe.

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TinkerCAD and AstroPrint, Together at Last!

We’re happy to announce the AstroPrint integration with Tinkercad is finally live! This has been one of the most requested features on the AstroPrint platform from schools, students, and STEM teachers! And now it’s here!

The Basics

This gives students the ability to do EVERYTHING from 3D model creation => 3D Printing, in the CLOUD. Tinkercad allows them to 3D design in the cloud, and AstroPrint manages 3D Printing of those designs in the cloud.

Tinkercad users can now export their 3D designs directly into their AstroPrint account, right from Tinkercad. Of course, they can then start the 3D Printing process from within AstroPrint.

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