Three Reasons Why 3D Printing Is Ideal for E-Commerce

Three Reasons Why 3D Printing Is Ideal for E-Commerce
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Building your own ecommerce business can be daunting at first. In a traditional setting, it can be difficult to manufacture and sell new products without a large amount of capital upfront. Luckily, 3D printing focuses on designer independence, allowing new products to get to market quickly and with little overhead.

Here are three reasons why 3D printing can help new businesses and possibly new career paths.

Rapid entry to market

If you’re developing a product and you’re looking for a traditional manufacturer to manufacture your product according to a complete production schedule, the transition from idea to public release can take months. With 3D printing, you can go from idea to publication in just three days.

To bring your product to market, you need:

  • A 3D model designed for 3D printing. If you’re just starting out, learn more about getting your model ready for printing in this helpful tutorial.
  • A successful print product. Print your 3D model before you sell it to avoid surprises and problems in the first process. If you are using a rapid prototyping material such as White Natural Versatile Plastic, the product must be submitted for inspection within 3 days.

3D printing enables immediate response to market demand. A prime example of this speed is during the COVID-19 outbreak, when Shapeways rapidly developed a face shield design for essential workers, providing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) at a time when the market urgently needed it.

Ready for scaling

As you grow, you’ll develop a clearer strategy to expand your business and fulfill orders. The effort to get one order is the same whether it’s 100 orders or 1,000 orders.

As you scale, it may be time to switch to new manufacturing processes. That’s great! You might also find another, higher-volume craft more affordable that you can switch to when you’re ready.

3D printing has many advantages. In addition to the above reasons, you can also take advantage of advanced technology and a wide range of materials to print your creations with precise, intricate shapes and personalized details.

No large upfront investment required

When launching a new product or business, we often face the need to maintain product inventory before our customers show interest. This is dangerous if your product turns out to be unpopular.

For 3D printing, order products on demand, not in bulk, before selling anything.

There are two main reasons why you don’t need to keep inventory:

  • Quick delivery. Products can be printed in days or weeks unlike traditional manufacturing methods.
  • No minimum amount. No need to reserve manufacturing facilities for high volume products. You can print 1 order or 100 orders of products depending on your needs.

When working with a good company, you can take advantage of the wealth of resources available online and invest as much or as little in hardware, software and materials as you like.


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