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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Max-K: How a StartUp Launches a Printer with AstroPrint and Google Assistant

Last month, Max-K (Emot3D), a start-up manufacturer based in Mexico, presented its new 3D printer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The printer comes with Google Assistant and it’s powered by AstroPrint software. Thanks to both integrations, the 3D printer can be controlled from any device and print with a few clicks. In addition, you can control multiple printers from one device and execute voice commands specific to the 3D printer such as bed leveling.

We asked Jose Luis Ku, founder of the company, about his experience making a smart 3D printer:

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