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3D printing Services in Nigeria

How to Start A 3D Printing Business in Nigeria

3D printing is the process of making three-dimensional (3D) solid objects from a digital file. It enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive manufacturing, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. The layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.

There are many areas where 3D printing can be utilized, such as automobile, health, fashion, art, etc. Numerous business niches can even be improved by the technology afforded by the 3D printer.

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How Does 3D Printing Work?

Printing starts with having a 3D model. You can create one from the ground up or download one from a 3D library. There are also different 3D software you can install on your computer to design models you want to print.

Beginners often start with Tinkercad, a free 3D software that works with computer browsers.

What Are The Materials Used?

Materials used in 3D printing are:

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  • plastics
  • metals
  • concrete
  • ceramics
  • paper
  • edibles (e.g. chocolate).
  • wire feedstock a.k.a. filament,
  • powder form or liquid resin etc.

The Business Of 3D Printing

The adoption of 3D printing has reached critical mass worldwide, and it is only natural to expect its breakout into the Nigerian market. The new style of additive manufacturing is slowly taking form as a production technology. Imagine the turn-around 3D printing will bring to the manufacturing sector. It would save time, effort, and use of specific materials.

3D printing is about to transform the Nigerian production market, and it is best to be at the forefront of this transformation. Acumen Research and Consulting forecast that the global 3D printing market will reach $41 billion by 2026.

As it evolves, 3D printing technology is destined to transform almost every major industry and change how we live and work in the future.

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How profitable is 3D printing?

The answer depends on the niche that you serve. If you plan for your 3D printing business to cater to only general consumers, your profit might not be so high. Consumers love cheap commodities; it is better to situate your 3D printing business for industrial use. It will be better to serve customers whose problems require custom solutions and are willing to pay to have them solved.

Essentially, your 3D printing business can be either of the following:

  • B2C product production: Business to consumer product production entails creating products to sell to consumers. 3D-printed products are attractive to customers because they are custom made and special. They use less material, waste less and generally weigh less (and therefore cost less to ship). Here are some ideas to get you started.
  • B2B product production: Business to business product production caters for a range and options for the kind of business you can operate. Working with other businesses means that you don’t have to work directly with consumers, which can alleviate the need for a customer service or large marketing department.

3D Printing Business Ideas

1. Rapid prototyping and manufacturing

Rapid prototyping and manufacturing

You can offer a prototyping service to clients. Mega companies and even small startups in technology use 3D printers to design prototypes of devices and ideas. Using 3D Printers is fast and relatively cheap.

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Imagine if you had an idea for a motor engine, you could hold the 3D model prototype in your hands within days instead of weeks or months. They are easier and cheaper to make, and you don’t need expensive molds or tools.

With 3Dprinting, rapid manufacturing can also be accomplished. Rapid manufacturing is a manufacturing method where businesses use 3D printers for short-run/small batches of custom manufacturing.

2. Offer a specialized 3D printing service

Professional 3D Printing Services

You can offer your 3D printer for specialized industrial uses. Pick a niche that you’re comfortable working with or one with enough margin for you to be profitable.

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3. Customized collectibles

Customized collectibles

Customizing and collecting art and action figures will never go out of style. Fans love to collect figurines and items for their favorite athletes, artists, footballers, fiction characters, gamers, etc. With 3D printing, this business idea has unlimited potential for opportunities.

You can grow your business within a wide variety of entertainment niches for movie and sports fans. You can also include fans by offering to design their figurines. What can be cooler than that for a diehard fan?

4. 3D printing courses

3D printing courses

There aren’t a lot of businesses or know-how in this technology yet, so it would be profitable to become adept and teach it to others. You can teach basic tenets of 3D printing while running the 3D printing business simultaneously.

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For most people, especially in Nigeria, 3D printing is still unknown. You can teach the basics and provide exciting and educational general information. You can run classes in your physical workplace or start an online course, blog, vlog, or social media-based business.

5. 3D printer rental service

3D printer rental service

Renting your 3D printer out for events may be risky but worth a shot. This business is quite similar to a photo booth, a popcorn stand, a face paint stand, etc. It wouldn’t be a great idea to leave your printer unattended, so you should operate it yourself.

You can 3D print rings, keychains, or other items for people to buy at a concert or amusement park. However, 3D printing takes a long time; you can choose to print smaller items that wouldn’t take up much time. You can also pre-make trinkets from previous clientele tastes.

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6. Automotive Industry/Rare Spare Parts

3D printed parts for Automotive Industry

Car manufacturers have been utilizing 3D printing for a long time. Your mechanic may have used one or two 3D printed parts in your automobile. Also, 3D printed parts can be used to restore old cars. If all you need is a picture of the original design, a model can be constructed from it.

7. Footwear

3D-printed shoes

Shoe manufacturers are now printing the midsoles of their sneakers to make them waterproof. Adidas’ 4D range fully 3D printed the midsole of 5,000 pairs of their shoes and sold it to the public. Other fashion brands like Under Armour are also adopting the idea for its unique weightlessness and simply because it’s an innovation.

As a 3D printer, you can also offer local store brands and shoe manufacturers who want to create a new brand of light, comfortable shoe wear.

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8. Eyewear

3d printed eyewear

3D printing is a very suitable production method for eyewear frames. This is because individual specifications are easy to process in the end product. But did you know it’s also possible to 3D print lenses?

3D printing technology has advanced enough to provide high-quality, custom ophthalmic lenses by doing away with the waste and inventory costs of the past. Two pairs of lenses can be printed per hour, requiring no polishing or post-processing.

This is a fantastic and profitable niche since most people use glasses always needing replacements. Here, stylish glass frames can also be requested.

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9. Jewelry

3d pinted jewelry

There are two ways of producing jewelry with a 3D printer. You can either use a direct or indirect production process. Direct refers to creating an object straight from the 3D design, while indirect manufacturing means that the object (pattern) that is 3D printed eventually is used to create a mold for investment casting.

10. Medical industry

There are numerous 3D printing business ideas; one of the most exciting areas where business owners innovate and create new products with 3D printers is in the medical field. If you’re interested in improving technology and making the world a better place, the medical field is great to get started with one of these 3D printing business ideas.

Some of which include pill production and medical implants. 3D printers also have the option to print with other numerous materials. Certain materials are being used to create more effective medication that dissolves quickly and can be ingested more efficiently than traditional pills. If you already have a medical background but are looking for a new business venture, this may be a good fit.

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– Dental care

3d printed dental models

We see molds for clear aligners being possibly the most 3D printed objects globally in the dental industry. Currently, the molds are 3D printed with both resin and powder-based 3D printing processes.

– Prosthetics

Another way 3D printing can be used in the medical field is with prosthetics. By printing prosthetics, they can make them fit better and be more comfortable for the wearer and be more affordable to produce.

There are a lot of niches to fill in this business; you can produce prosthetic limbs, artificial teeth, or support products such as wheelchairs and even mobility tools.

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11. Architectural Scale Models

3D Printing Architectural Model | Download Scientific Diagram

This can be part of the specialized services you render to clients. There will always be a need for a modeled view of a building, a stadium, a shopping mall, an estate, or even a city plan. Corporate CEOs, business people, and industry leaders always want to see a miniature model of what they are getting into before awarding contracts. If you sell your business well to architects looking to impress their bosses, you can offer your services for a very good price.

12. Replicating ancient artefacts

Ancient artifacts that have been lost to time can be reconstructed with AI technology and be printed. This helps people understand ancient cultures, history, and civilizations of past times. It may also be used to create near replicas if suitable materials are used. You can offer to recreate ancient African replicas for museums, art exhibitions or even replicate the looted Benin bronzes.

13. Movie props

Movie props are inanimate objects film actors interact with within movie sets or while filming. Costumes, jewelry, plates, cups, and even food are part of movie props. In most cases, props are not real, especially in fantasy or science fiction movies. You can remake or redesign these props with your 3D printer. Also, if you are part of the props department in a movie studio, getting a 3D printer might be handy for creating and arranging the props needed for movie scenes.

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With the world getting lazier with more alternative methods to work and produce end products, 3D printing will soon be the other day in modern technology. It is advisable to get into it as quickly as possible if you work within the printing sphere.

Buy a 3D printer on Amazon.

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Ngozi Nwaubani

Ngozi Nwaubani

She's usually found writing Sci-Fi and fun articles on entertainment and lifestyle.

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