If you’re thinking of setting up a start-up business using a 3D printer then you may be wondering where to begin!

How can 3D printing benefit small manufacturers in the future?

Over recent years 3D printing has considerably reduced in cost and brought the printing equipment into the mainstream, allowing low volume manufacturing to develop. With printers now valued at only hundreds of pounds, rather than thousands, it’s more affordable for inventors, smaller manufacturing plants and start-up businesses to use the equipment to print their ideas and make them into a reality.

The greatest asset to a manufacturer is the ability to print a product, tweak it and then re-print it again. What would have once been quite a laborious and costly process, now gives manufacturers the independence and freedom to tweak their product to exactly how they want it to look and work, without having to keep constantly returning to a supplier for updates.

Online stores such as Amazon, Etsy & Facebook Marketplace offer great opportunities for start-up businesses to bring to market, 3D printed objects and selling online. Setting up a 3D printing business through one of these e-commerce portals will give you an immediate audience and is fairly effortless to set-up.


What are the draw backs for a start-up businesses?

  1. Printing time will be one of the main draw backs for start-up businesses. Taking on small orders will set a bench mark for how many units manufacturers can print within a day and will allow them to anticipate the capacity they can manage.
  2. As a 3D printing manufacturer, you are totally reliant on the equipment. Therefore, if it suddenly breaks, your production line stops immediately. Having a second back up 3D printing machine could help to reduce the risk and still allow production to flow.
  3. Knowing your materials is key. Some produce a stronger finish than others, whilst some will perish quicker over time. Trying it out different printing speeds and temperatures could assist in the precision of the finished article.
  4. Copyright is essential. Knowing what intellectual property means and the implications it could have is vital to success. Please check that anything you are printing does not violate existing intellectual property rights by another manufacturer.

If you are thinking of setting up a start-up business in 3D printing, then please contact our established 3D printing insurance team. Our greatest asset is that we cover many areas of insurance protection from 3D printing to intellectual property to selling online. We know the industry thoroughly and can aid start-up businesses in establishing your presence and ascertain where you could be held liable, so that we can provide your company with the right type of insurance cover.

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