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3d Printing: The Perfect Side Hustle

Why 3d Printing is the Perfect Side Hustle to Start Making Money Online

So you want to make money online with a side hustle.  You’re not alone.  According to a survey by YouGov, more than half of Americans in the workforce spend time at work daydreaming about a job they would rather be doing; and 84% of people would rather pursue a career tied to one of their passions than work at their current full-time job.  So how can you do what you love and still make money?  Two words: Side. Hustle. You’re not alone; about two-thirds of people in the workforce say they want to start a project on the side in addition to their current job.  But where do you begin?  And how do you choose which side hustle is right for you?

Well, since a side hustle is something you work on in addition to a regular job (at least at first), there are some key qualities you should look for when determining which one is right for you.  After all, there are lots of ways to make money online, but not all of those options have the anatomy of a *perfect* side hustle.  A 3D printing business checks all the side hustle boxes, so you can start making money online immediately while knowing that it’s a great choice for a side hustle. 

So what criteria does a side hustle need to meet in order for it to really work?  A side hustle should be:

Low Maintenance

A gig making money online should be low maintenance enough that you can run the business without it requiring the hours of a full time job.  You don’t want to spend tons of time chasing passive revenue streams, because that negates the entire point.  A side hustle shouldn’t require as big of a time commitment as a full-time job.  A 3D printing business is incredibly low maintenance because once you put in the work up front to research and acquire equipment and materials, all you have to do is decide what to print, and a 3D printer does the work for you! It’s like having your own little employee by your side who does the heavy lifting for you.

Low Overhead

There’s no point in trying to make money online with a side hustle when you’re sinking thousands of dollars of capital in to start the business, right?  If everyone had the cash lying around to start up an expensive business, the side hustle wouldn’t be necessary in the first place! Fortunately, a 3D printing business requires very little capital for startup.  Home 3D printing machines range in price from about $200 all the way up to $2,000, and most electronics vendors sell them (as does Amazon).  Starting with a smaller machine for your 3D printing business is easy, and then if you want to expand, getting a more sophisticated machine down the line is always an option.

Low Barrier to Entry

Barriers to entry are a common problem with side hustles.  People oftentimes will have a great idea for making money online, then find out that there are problems with the idea for the business they want to start: not enough startup capital; not enough time to run the business; too many steps involved in setting up the business, the list goes on and on.  A 3D printing side hustle has very low barriers to entry.  As discussed before, there isn’t a whole lot of startup capital required.  Setting up a 3D printing business is as easy as deciding what you want to create, and acquiring the materials and equipment, so there’s minimal time required for startup.  Once you have those two steps out of the way, listing your product on sites like Amazon and Etsy is easy.

Easy to Start

Many people shy away from side hustles because they think they are difficult to start; and don’t be mistaken, some of them definitely are hard to get off the ground.  However, a 3D printing side hustle is incredibly simple to launch.  Once you have a 3D printer, materials, and a plan for what you want to make, you can get your 3D printing business up and running immediately, making it one of the easiest side hustles to start.


It is so important for a side hustle to be fun!  Who wants to work a 9-5 job that’s a drag, just to come home and run a side hustle that’s no fun?  Nobody.  And the people who choose side businesses that are not fun for them or that they are not passionate about tend to fizzle out pretty quickly.  The beauty of a 3D printing business is that you can print whatever you want, so you get to make the choice of whether it’s something practical or whimsical.  Want to make fidget spinners, custom made game pieces, novelty items?  Go ahead, it’s your business! Or maybe you want to make something practical, like piggy banks or cell phone stands – you can do that, too.  A 3D printing business opens up the door to a whole variety of possibilities, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one – you can let your imagination run wild!

Passive Elements

Passive income refers to money that you earn in a way that requires little to no daily effort.  So having a side hustle that generates passive income is the ultimate goal.  Right?  Once you’ve put in all the work to get your business set up and running, a side hustle ideally will run itself and generate passive income without a huge time commitment.  A 3D printing business checks this box as well.  Once you decide what you’d like to make, all you need is to list those products online and print them.  A majority of the work is done upfront in the thinking and planning process, but once you’re up and running, there’s very little man hours required to keep the business going.  There’s practically unlimited potential as long as you have the materials to meet the orders, and the best part is the printer does all the work for you. 

Low Risk

How many times have you heard about someone trying to start their side hustle business, only to sink in hours and hours of work and money and have it fail?  Unfortunately, this is a scenario seen all too often with online businesses.  People underestimate the amount of work that it takes to run an online business, and end up realizing once it’s too late that they’ve sunk tons of resources in with no return.  The beauty of a 3D printing side hustle is that when you consider that it’s low capital to start, low manpower to run and has a low time commitment, it becomes one of the most low risk side hustles available today.

Easy Exit Strategy

An unfortunate, but necessary scenario every side hustler must consider is, what if it doesn’t work out?  Will I be bankrupt?  Will I regret all the time and effort I put into starting this business only to decide to walk away?  Let’s face it, sometimes businesses fail, and other times, things just turn out differently that you might have expected.  It’s the reality of the world.  Fortunately, with a 3D printing side hustle, because it’s low risk, the exit strategy is pretty simple.  If you decide the business isn’t for you, you can simply stop printing your product and delist your items from whatever sites you’ve listed them on.  Even better, 3D printers have a good resale value if you take good care of them, so there’s a good chance you’d be able to recoup at least some of the money you spent setting up the business.  So in the event that you decide a 3D printing side hustle isn’t for you, the exit strategy is pretty easy and painless.

Starting a side hustle is not for everyone, and it is certainly important to choose the right side hustle for you.  Remember, you need to be able to maintain your regular job and still run your side hustle, so it’s vital to choose wisely when considering which route to go down.  Most importantly, it is crucial to choose a side hustle that meets all the criteria listed above in order to increase your chances of success.  No one wants to start a business that is doomed from the get-go! 

A 3D printing business has the anatomy of a perfect side hustle, and it can work for just about anyone. It is low maintenance, requires low overhead, has low barriers to entry, making it a low risk option for a side hustle.  3D printing businesses are easy to run, and very importantly, they’re fun!  3D printing side hustles generate passive income, so they don’t require a ton of time on a day to day basis.  And if it doesn’t work out, a 3D printing business has a relatively easy exit strategy.  Are you interested in learning more about how to start your own 3D printing side hustle?  Check out my online course, 3D Printed Profits, to learn how to start your 3D printing side hustle today.

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