My Journey Starting a 3D Printing Business on Etsy

My Journey Starting a 3D Printing Business on Etsy

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Starting a 3D Printing Business
    • 2.1. The Journey Begins
    • 2.2. The 3D Printers
  3. Challenges and Common Mistakes
    • 3.1. Market Research
    • 3.2. Importance of Product Images
    • 3.3. Shipping Woes
  4. Optimizing the Process
    • 4.1. Pre-packing Orders
    • 4.2. Streamlining Shipping
    • 4.3. Expanding Product Range
  5. Hidden Costs and Stress
    • 5.1. Repair Costs
    • 5.2. Managing Stress
  6. Earnings and Future Prospects
    • 6.1. The Financial Aspect
    • 6.2. Balancing with Other Commitments
  7. Conclusion

Starting a 3D Printing Business

In the world of side hustles, three months ago, I embarked on an intriguing journey—a 3D printing business venture. Sponsored by PCB Way, I set out to explore the possibilities of earning from my 3D printers by selling woodworking items on Etsy. This chapter delves into the initial excitement and the tools of the trade.

The Journey Begins

Three months back, I received a 3D printer from Bamboo Lab, and this ignited the spark to start my 3D printing business. My experience with 3D printing and CAD modeling led me to believe that I was well-equipped to create and sell my own designs. However, challenges and learnings awaited on this path.

The 3D Printers

Diving deeper into the world of 3D printers, I found myself parting with my old printers due to their inefficiency. Enter the FL Sun V400, a printer that promises both speed and a substantial build area. Its compatibility with Clipper software added to the allure. In this section, I explore the potential of this high-speed printer and its unique features.

Challenges and Common Mistakes

As I ventured into the world of 3D printing for profit, I encountered common pitfalls that many entrepreneurs face. Market research, product images, and shipping became crucial aspects to master.

Market Research

Starting a business often necessitates market research, but does the same apply to 3D printing? I share my insights into the relevance of market research, especially within the Etsy platform.

Importance of Product Images

Product images can make or break a sale. Here, I emphasize the significance of quality images, offering tips on lighting and photo setups, even on a budget.

Shipping Woes

Shipping can be a challenging part of the process. I delve into the complexities of international shipping and share my thoughts on pricing and logistics.

Optimizing the Process

To make this venture more efficient and sustainable, I had to make some significant changes in my workflow. In this chapter, I discuss these optimizations, from pre-packing orders to expanding my product range.

Pre-packing Orders

Efficiency and time management became essential for handling orders effectively. I adopted a unique approach to pre-packing orders, making the process smoother and helping me keep track of inventory.

Streamlining Shipping

To reduce the time spent on shipping, I invested in the right tools, including a shipping label printer. Additionally, I share insights into branding and packaging to enhance the unboxing experience.

Expanding Product Range

Diversifying the product range is key to success. Here, I discuss the challenges and benefits of introducing new items to your store, especially in a niche market.

Hidden Costs and Stress

While running a 3D printing business can be exciting, it's not without its hidden costs and moments of stress. This chapter delves into the financial aspects and the emotional toll of this venture.

Repair Costs

Running 3D printers comes with maintenance expenses. I share my experiences with replacing printer components and the importance of factoring these costs into the business.

Managing Stress

The entrepreneurial journey can be stressful. I discuss the stress factors that come with this business, from handling customer inquiries to maintaining your seller reputation.

Earnings and Future Prospects

Let's talk numbers and future prospects. In this chapter, I reveal the earnings from my Etsy store and how this side hustle complements my other commitments.

The Financial Aspect

Three months in, I break down the earnings and expenses, providing a glimpse of the financial viability of a 3D printing business.

Balancing with Other Commitments

For many, this won't be a full-time gig. I discuss how I manage this side hustle alongside a full-time job, a YouTube channel, and family responsibilities.


In the final section, I reflect on the overall experience of starting a 3D printing business on Etsy. It's not all smooth sailing, but the journey has been rewarding, and the future looks promising.


  • Starting a 3D printing business on Etsy.
  • Challenges, common mistakes, and their solutions.
  • Optimizing the process for efficiency.
  • Hidden costs and managing stress.
  • Earnings and future prospects.


Q1. Is it necessary to do market research for a 3D printing business on Etsy? A1. Market research is essential to understand potential demand, but Etsy itself can serve as a form of market research since you can gauge interest through saved items and customer engagement.

Q2. How do you manage international shipping costs? A2. I tend to set a fixed shipping price, even if it means I absorb some of the costs. This makes it easier for customers to predict expenses.

Q3. What types of products are most popular for 3D printing on Etsy? A3. The popularity of products can vary, but niche items often find their audience. Consider custom or specialized products to stand out.

Q4. How do you balance a 3D printing business with other commitments? A4. Balancing a side hustle like this with a full-time job and other responsibilities requires effective time management and careful planning. It's crucial to set realistic expectations and prioritize tasks.

Q5. What advice do you have for someone looking to start a 3D printing business on Etsy? A5. Start small, focus on quality, and continuously improve. Embrace challenges as learning opportunities, and be prepared for a mix of successes and setbacks.

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