The burgeoning 3D printing industry of India offers multiple business opportunities. Because of the tremendous growth, India’s young entrepreneurs are being attracted towards setting up a 3D printing business in the country. It is also mainly because of these reasons that the Indian 3D printing industry is largely dominated by startups. However, to establish a profitable 3D printing business, it is first important to know the different business opportunities that this industry offers. Let us look at some of the 3D printing business opportunities in India.
3D Printing Service Provider
The most common way to enter the 3D printing business in India is via buying a 3D printer and providing services to those in need. The obvious step is to buy a good reliable 3D printer and offer 3D printing services. A lot of business around the world have started in this same fashion. Once the service starts to pick up and revenue starts to flow, new printers and materials can be incorporated in the business.
Linking your 3D printing business to 3D Hubs is the ‘Go-To’ option for new entrants and start receiving orders. This business will require small to medium initial investment depending on the 3D printer.
3D Printer Manufacturer
Manufacturing a 3D printer requires technical know-how, a sound understanding of coding and preferably some amount of experience in building machines. Global manufacturers have survived long years of competition due to the stability and reliability their printers provide. The current market is small for a 3D printing business in India but it is growing rapidly year on year.
This business requires medium to high initial investment for building the early 3D printers. Economies of scale will be difficult which will increase the 3D printer cost. Also, marketing costs will add up. But if the product is good, the business will survive and grow.
3D Printing filament/resin manufacturer
This business too, like 3D printer manufacturing business, is highly technical and even more capital intensive than 3D printer manufacturing. Manufacturing of FDM filaments or SLA/DLP resins will require a considerable amount of research if you are starting from scratch. Concocting unique or new resins increase the difficulty level. The extruding machine, equipment, research, testing, and production will take considerable time and money. The market is dependent on the 3D printer market but the main advantage is that filaments and resins are expendables and have a quick turnaround time. The 3D printing materials market is a big global market with many regional and national companies all over the world. However, it is important to note that setting up such a business requires a high amount of initial investment.
3D Printer & Filament Reseller / Distributor
Established brands across the world want to enter the Indian market and the simplest way is to appoint distributors and spread the brand in India. Indian buyers want easy access to the 3D printers, after-sales support and on-demand availability of the feed materials.
An easy way for young entrepreneurs to start a business but the market is competitive. It can be said that starting a distributorship or reselling the printers and materials is a great way to start a 3D printing business in India due to the huge untapped Indian market. This business will need medium to high initial investment.
3D Printing Accessories & Supplies
3D printing in India is fairly new and the market is still developing. Local manufacturers are still learning and trying to build a competitive product. They are constantly in need of 3D printing accessories and supplies like hot-ends, nozzles, lead screws, motors, lasers, projectors, end-stoppers, electronics, hat beds, silicone mats, etc.
Most of these items are imported from UK, US, China as they provide the best quality and many of the times low cost. The importing takes time and a small number of items end up being costly. It is better to buy from a local supplier instead of importing it individually. So, supplying 3D printing accessories is also a good business opportunity.
This 3D printing business in India will certainly help a lot of manufacturers by reducing the delays & saving costs. This business will require a fair bit of contacts and knowledge of importing goods along with medium investment for the first shipment of goods.
3D Printing Courses
The world is gripped by 3D printing and India is catching up. One of the main reasons is the absence of knowledge about 3D printing business in India. Even Indian companies are facing this problem when they approach a potential client and educating them becomes a big task. The simple solution is to teach 3D printing to a wide class of people. This basically includes students and SME’s who are most likely use and make a career in 3D printing.
Currently, very few courses are available for learning this technology. Skilled teachers with of knowledge in 3D printing can look to start a 3D printing teaching business in India. It is one of the much-needed skills for Indian students and can prove to be highly rewarding. This 3D printing business in India will require small to medium investment, mainly for the infrastructure.
Niche Product Manufacturing (Dentistry, Jewellery, Architecture, Healthcare, Gifting, Engineering, etc.)
3D printing has the potential to impact almost all business sectors but instead of catering to the complete audience, focussing on a niche can be a great start for the business. Attain expertise in your specific niche and build other products around your niche.
For example There is a great opportunity for 3D printing in dentistry or in the jewellery industry. This will help in gaining expertise and technical problems and their subsequent solutions.
This idea will require focused approach and will need a medium to high investment for buying the relevant 3D printers and materials.
Selfies are a craze but they have an inherent limitation. There’s no physical form to it. A 3D Selfie is also gaining popularity around the world and kiosks are set up at malls to print 3D selfies and enabling people to take home their physical model. A similar proposition in India would be a great business opportunity. This may be a passing trend and may not be a long-term business but cashing on this trend can prove to be highly beneficial.
A considerable amount of risk is involved and it will require high investment in the kiosk, designing artists for cleaning the 3D CAD file and then printing out the model (it can be a personal printer or getting it done through a service).
3D Printer Add-Ons
Raspberry Pi and Arduino devices have revolutionised the complete DIY industry. People are using these mini processors to build cool projects and products which are capable of winning hackathon prizes. Some such projects have even attracted established companies. 3D printing has also benefitted a lot with such devices. You can create new & intelligent solutions for a 3D printer using these devices and sell those Add-Ons to manufacturers or directly to consumers. You can check for numerous such Raspberry Pi projects online.
This 3D printing business in India is completely new and people have not concentrated on building this idea into a business but it has the potential. This business will require minimal investment at the initial stage with possibly high returns. Even students can start such a business.
3D Modelling & Designing Services
3D modelling and designing services is not an actual business as such but it can be used to generate revenue. You can model and design innovative products and sell those designs online on sites 3D printing community sites like GamBody, Pinshape, etc. You can also participate in their regular competitions and possibly win prizes like an actual 3D printer.
The business can be started with zero investment as it only requires a modelling software. Modelling software is freely available for students. You can know more about them in a separate article on the Best Free CAD software.
Thus, 3D printing business in India can be started from lowest possible investment to substantially high amount of initial investment. A large number of entrepreneurs are attracted to this emerging technology. The best part is that this technology as well as the industry in India is still evolving and this is the right time to set up a 3D printing business in India considering its huge manufacturing industry, which according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), was worth $311.6 billion in 2016-2017 and has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2025.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is the first online 3D printing magazine in India. We offer 3D printing news in India, analysis and insights from the 3D printing world of India.