We live in a world these days where technological advances happen exponentially faster than they used to.
Tech advancements that are expensive, state-of-the-art solutions quickly become commonplace. That’s precisely what’s happening with right now 3D printing.
A few years ago, 3D printing was something only a handful of companies had access to. Now, small businesses can be established with nothing more than a 3D printer.
With that said, 3D printing providers have a few unique challenges that they’ll face – especially when offering services at the local level.
If you’re looking to jump into the 3D printing market, here’s what you need to know to make your new project a success.
Educating your target audience
Perhaps the biggest challenge of 3D printing is that you’ll need to educate your audience. 3D printing isn’t something that everyone has experience with, after all.
Considering the fact that you might be the first person in your area to offer 3D printing, you’ll need to be prepared to answer plenty of questions, at the very least.
A good place to start is to develop a blog for your company. With that blog, you can answer the most common questions you receive while also providing examples of how 3D printing can be used.
The applications for 3D printing are so broad that you may find yourself approaching potential clients from the automotive industry, medical and dental equipment manufacturing, aerospace and military subcontractors, architecture and construction firms, and information technology startups.
Take the aviation industry, for example. There are multiple steps within the aviation construction process where a 3D printer could be extremely useful.
It’s something that you can educate potential clients about, but it also requires some initial knowledge of these industries.
Marketing 3D Printing
In the past, those interested in starting a business in the area of commerce had to devote a large amount of their startup capital in purchasing and storing products.
Their suppliers could only offer reasonable prices for large orders as devoting a factory’s production to making a small number of items can be very costly for the producer. Additive manufacturing flips this around in favor of small businesses.
One of your easiest ways you can gain a client as a 3D printing business owner is to tell them they no longer have to order large amounts of products that will remain sitting in storage. “How much would you save on your overhead if you were able to order a few items at a time?”
Turning Concerns Into Advantages
One of the greatest concerns cited in relation to 3D printing is that of intellectual property. With the advent of additive manufacturing, it takes little effort to produce a clone of a patented product.
Pirated items produced with the use of 3D printing have already caused interest over enacting laws that will pertain to this new industry. By establishing your 3D printing business as an ethical entity that respects intellectual property, you will gain the patronage of important companies that value their designs and patents.
A further concern with establishing a 3D printing business and bringing your service to market is that there is a lack of standardization.
Producing single items for a customer can prove inexpensive with this new technology – which is great – but the lack of universal standards can come at a cost to quality and reproduction.
If you’re willing to work with other players in the 3D printing industry, you will help further the cause of creating a more uniform environment with higher standards.
By providing the best workmanship and service to your clientele, you can help usher in the way production will be done in the future, establishing your business as an authority and a first-mover.
Soon enough, customers will be able to order a single item online, pay for it, have it produced and shipped to their address without worrying about extra customization. A tremendous opportunity awaits those with the foresight to act now.