How to Start an e-commerce Business with 3D Printers 2019

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 Powered 3D Printers at NY MakerFaire!

Last weekend, we walked around the NY MakerFaire and had the pleasure to see the first AstroPrint powered 3D printer that appears in public. Yay!

Our friends at IMADE3D showed a prototype of their new JellyBox printer running AstroPrint software.  This colorful printer allows students to learn about 3D printing by building their own printer. Unlike most DIY 3D printers, this one is actually easy and fun to build.

One of the challenges after students build the printer is to get them excited about printing things. Until now, engineering grade software and horrible user interfaces haven’t helped with this. People can get discouraged by non-intuitive UIs, lack of networking capabilities and the time-consuming process of going from CAD file to physical object.

This is where AstroPrint comes to help💪. Students can now print files right from the touchscreen, controlling and monitoring remotely and much more. Basically, they now fall in love when they build the printer, and when they use it 😍😍

We’ll be announcing more partnerships over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

 

 

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