My answer to What Business Models will emerge from the 3D printing market?
Answer by Scott Tarcy:
3D printing is already creating new business models. 3D printing is now being used for low volume and customized manufacturing. Let’s look at some examples.
Here is a product that I sell online that is made using 3D printing.
3D Printing Solutions to Small Problems
This plug is so small and quick to print, that unless I was making millions per year, I would not need to make the traditional way (via injection molding). Getting an injection molding tool would lower my per piece cost a few pennies, but the tool itself would cost thousands of dollars and it would take selling selling tens of thousands of plugs to recoup.
Here are some other products I found on Amazon/Ebay when I searched for “3D printed products”
It seems that there are a lot of options to get customized game pieces. Here are some for Game of Thrones. Amazon.com : Hodor Face Doorstop 3D Printed Game of Thrones Inspired (Silver) : Office Products (I haven’t seen the show but I have heard its good)
If you are into vaping and e-cigs, this seller on Ebay has created a nifty cup holder insert to hold your e-cig items: JRX200 Car Cup Holder Caddy To Fit WisMec Reuleaux RX200 WITHOUT Silicone Cover | eBay
The point here is that 3D printing allows you to create a product immediately and customize it easily. Before the ability to 3D print, you would need to get an injection molding tool created. As I said before, that costs a few thousand dollars minimum. Additionally, it typically takes at least 8 weeks to get the tool machined and ready to go.
If you have more questions on 3D printing and design, check out my website http://CADdesignhelp.com or email me at [email protected]