How to Earn Money from 3d Printing Models

Got 3D design skills? Learn how to sell your 3D content for 3D printing and make money off your talent.

What 3D Models sell best?

Best selling 3d Model Categories

Let’s assume the index value of 100 represents marketplace average. So higher the index, the better your chances of selling more 3d models in that category.

Above Average

  • Art – 146 – e.g. Sculptures
  • Fashion – 152 – e.g. Belt Buckle
  • Hoby & DIY – 2015 – e.g. Robots

Below Average

  • Miniatures – 99 – e.g. Figurine
  • Gadgets – 86 – e.g. Phone Cases
  • House – 79 – e.g. Vase
  • Jewelry – 66 – e.g. Ring
  • Science – 33 – e.g. DNA Model
  • Games & Toys – 33 – e.g. Chess set

How to Price your 3D models in each category

If we compare average listing price with the average sales price in each category, we can see if the category is under priced or over priced. When the average listing price is lower than the average sales price (e.g. Household). the category is under priced – that means you could raise the listing price on your high-quality models. In contrasts, when the category is overpriced (e.g. Watercraft). you could be better off offering lower-priced models.


Average Sales Price : $20

Average Listing Price : $9

Hobby & DIY

Average Sales Price : $9

Average Listing Price : $7


Average Sales Price : $23

Average Listing Price : $20


Average Sales Price : $14

Average Listing Price : $16


Average Sales Price : $24

Average Listing Price : $35


Average Sales Price : $20

Average Listing Price : $61


Average Sales Price : $6

Average Listing Price : $46


How to maximize your 3D Models Sales

Sell at least 50 models

Our data suggests that designers displaying portfolios 51-100 3D printable models sell 1.3 times more often than those with 1-50 models on display-besides the proportional growth. It is possible that a higher number of models indicates higher quality of work, but if you are able to offer more that 50 3D printable models for sale, you will be maximizing your chances of success.

Set prices at below $10 for simple models and between $30 and $40 for more sophisticated ones

3D printable models with the price range $30-40 sell the most often, which means that customers are looking for a package of attractive price and quality. If you are selling cheap and simple 3D models, price them below $10 – it will give you 1.5 more sales than pricing between $10 and $20.

Offer sample 3D models for free

Customers like to test-drive before purchasing. Data shows that designers with free 3D printable models in their portfolio have 2 times more sales, so giving one or two models away for free will actually help you sell more.

Add 10-14 preview images

3D Printable models with 10-14 images sell 3x more often than models with 0-4 preview images.

Source :

The Possibilities of a 3d Printers

3D Printing capabilities are rapidly expanding, with endless possibilities of incorporating this technology using a variety of materials, including nylon, sugar and even human cells. Every aspect of human life can be affected; just look at the opportunities for 3D printing in our lives.


Object : Clothing / Material Used : TPU 92A-1

Object : Jewelry / Material Used : Nylon

Object : Running Shoes / Material Used : Nylon Poly-amide Powder


Object : Bionic Ear / Material Used : Calf Cells, Polymer Gel, Silver Nano-particles

The normal range of hearing is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but the bionic ear can increase that range up to 5 GHz.

Object : Internal Organs / Material Used : Bio-Ink

Object : Skin Grafts / Material Used : Skin Cells, Polymers

Object : Prosthetic Limb / Material Used : Choice : Polymer, Metals, Plastic


Object : Utensil Holder, Vase Key Chain Holder / Material Used : Laywoo-D3


Object : Chocolate Sculptures / Material Used : Chocolate

Object: Cake toppers / Material Used : Sugar

The Future of Food  -> Powder –> Water + Oil –>

In the future, food may be printed from mixing protein and carbohydrate powder with water and oil.


Object : Building/Structure / Material Used : PLA (Bioplastic)

Object : Decorative Outdoor curtain / Material Used : ABS (Thermoplastic)

Object : Planters / Material Used : Concentrate


Object : Fuel Injector Parts / Material Used : Metallic Powder

Object : Motorcycle Shell / Material Used : Windform XT

Object : Cell Phone Display / Material Used : Graphene

Graphene is an ultra thin, transparent, flexible and also a electrically conductive material that is 200 times stronger than structural steel.

3d printing can drastically alter the production and accessibility of life’s necessities. With new materials being introduced every day, how will this evolving printing technology influence future generations and life as we know it?

Source :



Types of 3D Printing Technology

As outlined in our introduction to 3D printing, the basics of 3D printing involve building up layers of material until a solid shape is formed. There are several methods for achieving this, this page should act as a brief guide to some of these different methods.

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

This method, also called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is the most common type of 3D printing used in home and hobby 3D printing. In FDM/FFF 3D printing, the finished object is produced by extruding a stream of melted thermoplastic material into gradual layers. Each layer stacks on top of the previous layer and they harden together as the plastic dries. This happens quickly since the material hardens almost immediately after leaving the extrusion nozzle. FDM is the cheapest 3D printing method, which is why it is so popular for home/hobby printing. One of its drawbacks is that it has the lowest resolution of any method, meaning that printing in a lot of detail is difficult.

Stereolithography (SLA)

The SLA method was the first true 3D printing method. SLA differs a great deal from FDM, although the principle is the same. That is to say layers of hardened substance are gradually added to other layers until a solid object is formed. An SLA 3D printer works by focusing a beam of ultraviolet (UV) light onto the surface of a liquid photocurable resin. The UV light draws on the liquid in a predetermined outline, hardening that “slice” of the eventual 3D model as the light hits the resin, the level of the liquid then lowers (or rises) by a miniscule amount and the next layer is created. The main benefit of this method is that it creates extremely high-resolution models, but it is quite expensive, this makes this method more common among professional model makers and designers, as well as being used for many industrial applications.

Syringe Extrusion

As mentioned in the FDM section above, a nozzle that excretes a semi solid liquid is used to 3D print. This means that almost any material that has a creamy or semi solid viscosity can be used in 3D printers equipped with syringe extruders. This includes materials like clay, glue, silicone, and some biological materials. Certain foods like chocolate, frosting, and cheese can also be printed with these systems. Some of these materials need to be heated and then cooled to create a 3D model, others harden when exposed to air. These machines are little more than a novelty, especially when it comes to food, that can be used to create interesting designs, but usually without a high level of detail.

PolyJet photopolymer

Photopolymer printing works much like a traditional inkjet printer. But whereas a traditional inkjet printer deposits ink, a photopolymer liquid is jetted out of a nozzle and then hardened with a UV light. The layers are stacked one by one just like other 3D printing technologies, but it is the combination of material stacking and use of UV light that separates this type of printing from other methods. Polyjet Photopolymer allows for various materials and colors to be incorporated into single prints, and at high resolutions. This use of colour makes this method of 3D printing a popular choice for designers and prototypers.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) was developed by Carl Deckard at the University of Texas in Austin in the 1980s. SLS works similarly to SLA, but instead of using a liquid photopolymer, SLS uses powdered materials, such as polystyrene, glass, ceramics, steel, titanium, aluminum, and silver. A laser hits the powder, the powder is fused at that point and becomes ‘sintered’. All unsintered powder remains as is, and becomes a medium to support the object until the printing process is finished. It is this built in support mechanism that gives SLS the biggest draw over other 3D printing methods, no materials need to be removed or pared away after the model is complete, and no extra waste was created. The model can be removed fully finished from the machine and be put to use immediately. All unused powder can be used for the next printing process. SLS is one of the most popular methods of 3D printing in industrial applications.

Other types of 3D printing

As stated above, 3D printing is defined by the use of a machine that adds successive layers of material to make a solid object from a computer file. There are other variants of these technologies, some of which are not strictly 3D printing. For example, one of these methods is Selective Laser Melting (SLM), which is like SLS but it fully melts the powder rather than just fusing the powder granules at a lower temperature. There also exists a completely different technology called Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), where layers of adhesive-coated paper, plastic, or metal laminates are glued together and cut to shape by hand.