Marketing Research: 3D Printing

Marketing research

The uniqueness of the technology of manufacturing solid objects using a 3D printer opens up completely new opportunities for creating your own business. We considered some options in the article Business idea: 3D printer , however, in fact, the number of options depends only on the total knowledge and hobbies of the entrepreneur. One will find its niche in the manufacture of toys, the other in the manufacture of complex technical devices.
However, in any case, you need to start implementing your ideas only after receiving the results of at least the simplest marketing research on the use of a 3D printer in business.

First of all, you need to determine what exactly you are going to print using a 3D printer.

This choice should be related either to your own passion or skill, or to the needs of the local market. For example, it makes no sense to organize the production of souvenirs where there are no tourists. But the production of wedding figurines with the image of the newlyweds can be in great demand near the wedding salon.

Then you need to conduct market research for products printed on a 3d printer:

— Research potential competitors

— product prices,

— Possible distribution channels.

This stage is very important, as it will allow you to determine the amount of future income. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the printing performance of a 3D printer, that is, if there is an increased demand, it is better to immediately plan the purchase of a more powerful printer.

When planning distribution channels for this type of business, you can and should take into account sales via the Internet, since the demand for such products will be concentrated mainly among young people, Internet users. Delivery of products can be carried out through post offices in small packages, since the weight of such products is usually small.

By the way, the weight of products plays a key role when planning a business on a 3D printer.

— firstly, the consumption of materials depends on the weight of each product;

— secondly, the time of manufacture of the product, that is, productivity.

The higher the weight, the longer the product is made. Therefore, initially it is better to focus either on small, inexpensive products, or on large, but expensive ones.

Having approximately determined the future level of income, you need to carefully plan the costs of printing on a 3d printer

First, there are bound to be upfront costs. This is the cost of the 3D printer itself (from 60 to 200 thousand dollars), a computer, if it is not available, initial supplies of consumables at the rate of approximately $ 3,000 per kilogram. You will also need 3D modeling software and other equipment (for example, for additional processing of products).

If even a city apartment can be used for initial production, then with an increase in volumes, you will definitely need a separate room. These are also costs, which can be either investment or current (in the case of a lease).

Current costs will be the sum of the costs:

— for consumables

— advertising,

— employee salaries,

— taxes,

— electricity and so on.

These costs should also be roughly calculated when conducting marketing research on a 3D printer.

By comparing income with expenses, you can approximately estimate the profitability of this business.

However, even a preliminary estimate shows that the payback of such a project, if there is demand, can be very high. A unique product weighing 1-2 grams can be sold at a price of at least $100-250. From one kilogram of consumables, you can make from 400 to 1000 products.

So consider how much profit you can have, even taking into account all possible costs.