How to Start a 3D Printing Design Business in 15 Simple Steps

3d printing design business

Are you an enterprising individual with big plans who want to start your own company in 3D printing design? There is no need to continue looking any further! In this guide, we’ll cover 15 simple steps to help you kickstart your 3D printing design business easily.

Step 1: Identify Your Niche

Identifying your niche is the first step towards starting a successful 3D printing design business. Consider your interests, skills, and experience to determine what type of 3D printing design services you want to offer. This could include product design, prototyping, custom part printing, or any other specific area of 3D printing design. By specializing in a particular niche, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Step 2: Research Your Competition

Finding your specialty is the first step; afterward, it’s time to study the competitors. Look for other 3D printing design businesses that offer similar services to yours and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. With this information at your disposal, you will be able to identify areas where you may differentiate yourself from the competition and grow your business. Additionally, researching your competition can provide insight into your services’ demand and the market’s pricing structure. Use this information to refine your business strategy and set realistic goals for growth.

Step 3: Develop Your Business Plan

Developing a comprehensive business plan is crucial for starting a successful 3D printing design business. Your business plan should include details such as your target market, business goals, marketing strategy, financial projections, and other relevant information.

Start by defining your target market and identifying their needs and preferences. If you do this, you will be better positioned to tailor the services you provide to the specific needs of your potential customers. Next, write the aims of your business and the steps you want to follow to achieve those objectives. This could include building a strong brand identity, establishing a strong online presence, or developing strategic partnerships.

Your business plan should include a detailed financial projection outlining your expected revenue and expenses for the next few years. This will assist you in determining how much funding you need to get your firm off the ground and how much money you can reasonably anticipate earning in the coming years.

Remember that your business plan is not fixed in stone and might undergo revisions as your company expands and changes over time. Use it as a roadmap to guide your business decisions and help you stay on track toward achieving your goals.

Step 4: Choose Your 3D Printer

Getting your 3D printing design business off the ground requires taking several important steps, one of which is choosing the right 3D printer. When looking for a 3D printer, there are many factors to consider, such as the build volume, print resolution, and compatibility of the materials.

Build Volume

Build volume refers to the maximum object size you can print with a printer. Consider the size of the objects you plan to print and choose a printer with a build volume that is appropriate for your needs.

Print Resolution

The print resolution of a document refers to the level of detail that may be obtained. Higher print resolution typically results in more detailed and accurate prints. Take into consideration the degree of detail that you want in your prints, and choose a printer that has a print resolution that is appropriate for the level of detail that you require.

Material Compatibility

The appropriateness of the materials is still another important factor that must be considered. Be certain that the 3D printer you select can handle the materials tend to use in your designs, and remember that different 3D printers are compatible with a diverse range of materials. In addition, make sure that the material you intend to use in your designs is compatible with the 3D printer you intend to use.


Additionally, consider the cost and reliability of the printer, as well as the level of technical support and resources available from the manufacturer. You can choose a 3D printer that fits your business needs by carefully considering all these factors.

Step 5: Select Your Design Software

The right design software is key to starting your 3D printing design business. Many software options are available, including SketchUp, TinkerCAD, and Fusion 360.


SketchUp is an approachable piece of software that excels in creating simple 3D models. It is a good option for beginners just starting with the 3D design.


TinkerCAD is another beginner-friendly software that is great for creating simple models. It features a user interface that consists of drag-and-drop functionality, which makes it very simple to use, and it is also completely free.

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a more advanced design software used by professionals in the 3D printing industry. It is a powerful tool that can be used for designing complex models with a high level of detail.

When selecting your design software, consider your experience level and the complexity of the models you plan to create. Also, consider the software’s compatibility with your chosen 3D printer and any other tools you plan to use. Before settling on one particular alternative, you should thoroughly investigate the functions and capabilities offered by various software packages. Don’t be afraid to seek out training or tutorials to help you master the software you choose. You may bring your thoughts and concepts to life by developing high-quality 3D models with the appropriate design tools.

Step 6: Invest in the Right Tools 

Investing in the right tools is crucial for starting a successful 3D printing design business. In addition to a 3D printer and design software, there are other tools you’ll need to consider to ensure the quality of your work.

  • One important tool is a 3D scanner, which can create digital models of physical objects. This can be especially useful if you plan to work with clients who want to create replicas of existing objects or need custom designs based on existing objects.
  • It is also important to consider the kind of filament you put into your 3D printer. The substance used to manufacture the actual items you design is called a filament, and there are many kinds of filament available, including PET, PLA, and ABS, among others. Each type has its properties and is suited for different applications, so be sure to research and select the right type for your needs.

A place solely devoted to your 3D printing design firm is also an essential factor to consider. This might be a place you rent in a business building or a room in your own house. You’ll need to consider factors such as ventilation, electrical outlets, and storage for your tools and materials. Investing in the right tools and setting up a dedicated workspace can create high-quality 3D prints and deliver exceptional service to your clients.

Step 7: Build Your Online Presence

Building an online presence is critical to starting a 3D printing design business. A website, social media profiles, and business listings can all help you to promote your services and reach a wider audience.


To launch your business, you must create a website showcasing your previous work and providing information about your organization. High-quality images of your 3D printing, a portfolio of your prior work, facts about your services and pricing, and other pertinent information should all be included. Your website should also provide an easy-to-use contact form that allows potential clients to get in touch with you.

Social Media

Using social media to advertise your business’s offerings and find new clients might be fruitful. Consider creating accounts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These channels may promote your work, inform potential clients about your business, and provide two-way communication with your audience.

Business Listings

Business listings can also increase your visibility online. Consider adding your business to popular search engines and review sites like Yelp and Google My Business. Customers in your area who are interested in 3D printing will have an easier time locating your company as a consequence of this modification.

Growing your business’s internet visibility will help you reach more clients and establish your brand as an industry leader in 3D printing design.

Step 8: Set Your Pricing

Setting the right pricing for your 3D printing design business is crucial to ensure profitability and sustainability. To determine the right pricing, you must consider several factors, including costs, value proposition, and competition.

  • First, you need to calculate your costs, which include the cost of your 3D printer, design software, and other tools, as well as your overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, and marketing expenses. You should also factor in the cost of materials, labor, and other expenses you may incur while working on a project.
  • Next, you need to consider your value proposition. What sets your 3D printing design business apart from the competition? Do you sell a rare product or service? If so, you can justify charging higher prices for your services.
  • Lastly, it would be best to research your competition to see their pricing strategies. Determine competitive prices in your local market, and try to price your services accordingly. Be careful not to underprice your services, as this could negatively impact your brand’s profitability and perception.

By carefully considering your costs, value proposition, and competition, you can set the right pricing for your 3D printing design business to help you achieve profitability and success.

Step 9: Start Networking

Networking is a key factor in building a successful 3D printing design business. You may improve your understanding of the field and create connections with other experts, both of which can lead to the discovery of new prospects.

  • One way to start networking is to attend industry events and trade shows. These events offer an opportunity to meet other designers, manufacturers, and suppliers and learn about the latest trends and innovations in 3D printing. Look for events relevant to your niche, and come prepared with your business cards and an elevator pitch showcasing your unique value proposition.
  • Another way to network is to join online communities and forums, such as 3D printing Facebook groups, Reddit communities, and LinkedIn groups. These platforms allow designers to connect, share ideas, and offer support. They also offer a chance to ask questions and get feedback from other designers who may have more experience or different perspectives.
  • Inviting other 3D printing designers to cooperate with you may open doors and increase your professional reach. Look for opportunities to partner on projects or refer clients to each other. Building relationships with other designers allow you to expand your capabilities and reach and create mutually beneficial relationships.

Networking is a key step in building a successful 3D printing design business. By connecting with other professionals in the industry, you can gain valuable insights, build relationships, and open up new opportunities for growth and success.

Read More: Exercise Book Manufacturing Business Plan Guide

Step 10: Test Your Designs

Before launching your business, it’s important to test your designs to ensure they meet the required quality standards. Testing will help you identify areas that need improvement and give you an idea of the quality your customers can expect. You can test your designs using your chosen 3D printer and design software and make any necessary adjustments before finalizing and offering them to your clients. Additionally, you may seek feedback from others in the industry or your target market to understand how your designs will be received. This can assist you in making any required design improvements and offer you a better idea of what your customers are searching for in a product.

Step 11: Market Your Business

Marketing your business is essential to attract potential clients and to grow your customer base. In today’s digital age, there are several online marketing strategies that you can use to promote your business.


There is a strong strategy that you can use to potentially boost your online visibility and drive organic traffic to your website. This strategy, known as search engine optimization or SEO involves optimizing your website for search engines. Researching relevant keywords, creating content of high quality, and building backlinks are all essential elements of search engine optimization techniques. Investing in paid advertising, such as Google AdWords or adverts on social media platforms, is another way to expand your reach and generate leads. This kind of advertising can be found on websites like Facebook and Twitter.

Email Marketing 

Email marketing is an efficient method of reaching out to prospective customers and keeping them up to date on the most recent offerings in your business’s product and service offerings. You can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram to showcase your designs and connect with potential clients. Finally, take into account the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Offer financial incentives to customers who bring in new business and encourage happy customers to tell their friends about your company.

Step 12: Get Certified

Certification in quality management systems such as ISO 9001 can demonstrate to potential clients that your business meets industry standards and is committed to providing high-quality services. This can also give you a competitive edge and increase your chances of winning contracts or partnerships with larger businesses. Additionally, you can get certified in industry-specific skills, such as CAD design or specific 3D printing technologies, to differentiate your business further and demonstrate your expertise.

Step 13: Provide Exceptional Customer Service

It is crucial for any company, even a firm specializing in 3D printing design, to provide great customer service. One method to do this is to have open lines of communication with your clients and ensure they have reasonable expectations for the project. Make sure to listen to their needs and concerns and be transparent about potential issues.

Offering a satisfaction guarantee or a policy of unlimited revisions is another method for providing excellent service to customers. This shows your clients that you are committed to delivering quality work and are willing to make changes until they are satisfied with the final product. Lastly, ensure that you are responsive to customer inquiries and available to answer any questions or concerns they may have throughout the design and printing process. Customers’ confidence and loyalty in you will increase, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you again and recommend you to others.

Step 14: Expand Your Services

Growing and diversifying your company’s income sources are possible outcomes of offering more services. Offering repair and maintenance services can help you build long-term relationships with clients and create a recurring source of revenue. Furthermore, strategic alliances with regional firms might facilitate entry into untapped consumer markets. Be sure to carefully consider the costs and benefits of expanding your services and evaluate the potential impact on your business operations and financials. Develop a clear plan for how you will expand your services and the resources required to do so.

Step 15: Stay Up to Date

Stay up to date with the latest trends and advancements in the 3D printing industry by attending conferences, reading industry publications, and participating in online forums. You will be able to maintain your competitive edge and give your customers the highest possible level of service if you consistently improve your knowledge and abilities.


Beginning a business in the area of three-dimensional printing design may be an endeavor that is challenging but also potentially rewarding. By following these 15 simple steps, you can create a solid foundation for your business and increase your chances of success. Remember to research your competition, select the right tools, build your online presence, set your pricing, and provide exceptional customer service. By staying up to date with industry trends and continuously improving your skills, you can stay ahead of the curve and stand out in a competitive market. With dedication, hard work, and a passion for design, you can turn your 3D printing business into a thriving success.