3D Printing: Your Next Big Business
OK so you’ve got a cool steel building you want to use, but just what can you do? Well you can start a very lucrative business in technology. That’s right in one of the most lucrative fields out there and one that is projected to grow immensely over the next five years.
Where are We Going with This? Well, think of these three new technologies and then think of the impact they can have on the consumer world.
Virtual Reality – Wow wasn’t that the wildest concept when it first came out? We all started thinking of the sci-fi movies we all love so dearly. We all wanted to know what we’d see through one of those virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift. Once you put them on you feel like you’ve entered a whole new world.
Then came augmented reality, which what you get when you put on Google Glass and you get their facts and images projected onto your real world. I really wanted one of these products. But then other less expensive products came out onto the market. Star Chart is one of these, all you have to do is install the app on your smartphone, hold it up to the sky and get a superimposed view of the constellation on your sky.
But now I’ve seen something really cool called “Sprout” PC which brings in “blended reality.” Sprout PC replaces the mouse and keyboard with a touchscreen and scanner. Basically, what makes this cool is that you can actually scan objects into the sprout PC and get the 3D image. Just set it on the computer and get a 3D image of anything.
OK so that’s really cool right. But what can you do with it?
Nowadays, a lot. Because you can also use a 3D printer to print up anything you want, any object, which you can design, repurpose or print out.
3D Printing Why is that Important to Me?
Well, if you are looking for a new business, one that can be lucrative over the next few years then this is it.
Real World Uses
If you read the stuff on the Internet, apparently you can just hit a button and out comes a prosthetic leg. While that is certainly possible, a business just starting out may want to look into other business alternatives first. Actually feasible business ideas that could see lucrative earnings are those that work on prototyping designs in the following fields.
So if there is a significant manufacturing industry in your area 3D printing services could come in very handily. These allow you to make prototypes for line production parts, machine parts before they hit the boring mill, and other prototypes of smaller products.
3D printing is also set to be big in the world of art and sculpture. These prototypes make the molds for bronze or sculpture finished pieces.
Architects are also looking into 3D for home and structural representations. Some believe they can even complete an entire home from these applications.
The aerospace industry sees significant possibilities with 3D design. Already working with high-end 3 dimensional prototyping software like Ansys and CATia, it is only natural that customers in this area would want an inexpensive 3D prototype to analyze structural efficiency before a part is sent to manufacturing facilities.
Certainly, the biggest potential customer for 3D printing businesses lies in the medical field. 3D here can offer finalized products as well as prototypes for prosthesis of all types.
How Big Will the Market Be?
Wohlers associates believes the sales of 3D printing products will hit $6 billion by 2017 and $11 billion by 2021
How big will it get?
By 2017, Wohlers Associates estimates that sales of 3-D printing products and services could hit $6 billion worldwide. It forecasts that by 2021, industry-wide sales could reach about $11 billion.
Currently the largest growth is in the personal 3-D printing market, which includes products for end consumers like jewelry, toys and even candy.
How Much Money Do I Need?
You’ll need a little capital; a ball park estimate of about $20,000 to start. The smaller of the printers runs about $5,000.
Where Can I Start?
You can actually start a small 3D printing business just about anywhere. In fact, a portable metal building set out in your yard could even be an ideal location. That way you can focus your investment on the 3D printing equipment you need. Many 3D printers are small to medium sized so they can fit in most spaces.
What’s the competition like? Well there are certainly some large players that are taking a hunkering to the field. Shapeways and Ponoko to name a few.