We welcome you to our detailed guide on how to start a 3D printing business in India in 2023. We are seeing a rise in the number of 3D printing businesses around the world and thought that considering the Startup culture in India, we help you with a dedicated guide that not only touches upon 3D printing but also Startup business as a whole.
But first, did you know that starting a 3D printing business in India in 2023 can be a rewarding and profitable endeavour, as the country’s 3D printing market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
In this guide, we will look at how to start a 3D printing business in India, including market research, selecting a 3D printer, setting up a workspace, developing a business plan, marketing and sales, and managing finances and pricing. We’ll also talk about the potential opportunities and challenges you might face as you start and grow your 3D printing business in India.
This post will provide you with the information and guidance you need to succeed, whether you are an entrepreneur looking to enter the 3D printing industry or a business owner looking to expand into this exciting and innovative field. So, let’s get started on your path to launching a 3D printing business in India in 2023!
Start a 3D printing business in India in 2023
Why 3D printing?
If you are thinking about starting a business related to 3D printing technology, you are probably familiar with the tech and most of its benefits and limitations; however, we thought we’d share a few common misconceptions / myths about the technology before we go any further in this guide.
Common misconceptions about 3D Printing
3D Printing is Easy: If you want to start a service bureau, don’t believe that the technology is fully mature and that all you need to do is feed a CAD model to the printer, and the printer will churn out a perfect part every time. This is rare, and you will have to sit through the majority of the prints at first until you have a thorough understanding of the entire ecosystem, beginning with design, the 3D printer, materials, and software.
Customer files are always accurate: Again, new business owners believe that their customers will always share accurate design files in the formats that you require. Furthermore, if the files are not accurate, the customer will expect you as a service bureau to adjust or convert them to meet the needs of your printer before 3D printing them. Customers rarely work on their files.
Better Service, Better Margins: If you are starting a service business, the Indian market is currently expanding, and most service bureaus try to offer low prices in order to secure more orders. This implies that the majority of customers are always looking for lower prices rather than better service. As a result, better service may not always imply higher margins.
We only touched on a few misconceptions; please read the full list of the top 7 myths about 3D printing or additive manufacturing to understand how the layman or some customers perceive the technology.
Potential for starting a 3D printing business in India
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a rapidly expanding industry with the potential to transform the way products are designed, developed, and manufactured. The ability to create customised, complex, and functional objects out of a variety of materials has made 3D printing appealing to a wide range of industries, including healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and consumer goods.
The 3D printing market in India is estimated to be worth $100 million, but it is expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to factors such as increased adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, favourable government policies and incentives to adopt the technology, increased availability of skilled labour, and the growth of homegrown Startups.
A 3D printing business in India can tap into the growing demand for innovative and customised products and services, establishing itself as an industry leader, with the right marketing and sales strategies.
Research the market
Local demand for 3D printing
Prototyping is still the most common application of the technology in India, with significant end-use applications in the healthcare, jewellery, aerospace, dental, and automotive sectors. These are some of the key drivers of the Indian 3D printing market, with the country’s expanding healthcare infrastructure and rising demand for custom medical devices and implants being a particularly promising area of opportunity. Implant export opportunities are also expanding significantly.
Furthermore, the growing demand for personalised and customised products, particularly in the consumer goods industry, presents a significant opportunity for Indian 3D printing companies.
Identify Target Market and your Offerings
Identifying your target market and the types of products or services you will provide is a critical first step in starting a 3D printing business. Understanding your target market, as well as the needs and preferences of your potential customers, allows you to tailor your business to meet local demand and differentiate yourself from competitors.
3D Printing Business Ideas
Now is the time to finalise a 3D printing business idea depending on your market research, your skill and talent and your passion. Considering the 3D printing ecosystem, you can be a 3D printer, material or software manufacturer, a 3D printing solutions reseller, a 3D printing service bureau or even a business that supports the other businesses. You can also refer to our article on the different 3D printing business ideas for some inspiration.
With this, you must also identify your ideal customer for this selection. Consider the following questions when determining your target market:
Who is your ideal customer?
- Consider factors such as age, gender, income level, location, and interests.
- Understand the needs and preferences of your target market?
- Research your target market to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points, and use this information to inform your product or service offerings.
What are the characteristics of your target market’s industry?
- Consider the size, growth rate, and trends of the industries that your target market belongs to, and how your products or services can meet their needs.
- Once you have identified your target market, you can determine the types of products or services you will offer. Consider the following factors:
- The demand for your products or services: Research the demand for your products or services in your target market, and determine if there is enough demand to sustain your business.
- Your expertise and capabilities: Choose products or services that you have the knowledge, skills, and resources to produce effectively.
- Your competition: Research the products or services offered by your competitors, and consider how you can differentiate yourself from them.
By determining your target market and the types of 3D printing products or services you will provide, you can tailor your business to meet the needs and preferences of your potential customers and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Buying a 3D printer
You cannot start a 3D printing business in India without buying a 3D printer. You should have a 3D printer to learn how the technology works and get a first-hand experience on the machine. It is critical that you purchase a 3D printer that meets your current needs and requirements. Even though you might be tempted to purchase a 3D printer considering extrapolated future needs and requirements, it is generally not a good idea. If you are starting small with limited capital then purchase smaller and simpler but reliable FDM or Resin printers and make optimal use of your capital. At this time, it is best to stick to current business needs.
Which printer you buy will totally depend on the idea you wish to implement. The price of printer starts from as low as Rs. 19,000 and can go in excess of Rs. 2-4 Cr. To run a 3D printing business, you should only consider a high-quality printer and generally such printers cost around Rs. 5 lakhs and more.
Buying a 3D printer can be a confusing task especially if you aren’t completely aware of the types of technology, the differences in each of those technologies, the materials, the subtle features and how they influence the part you are trying to print. And in case you need some support, you can mail us your base requirements at email@example.com and Manufactur3D will help you in the decision-making process.
When purchasing a 3D printer, consider the application, material compatibility and cost, size, resolution, and other factors. To learn more about all of these important factors, read our article on Factors to consider while buying a 3D Printer for a detailed guide to making your purchase.
You can read 3D printer reviews on Manufactur3D to shortlist a few options like Anycubic Kobra Plus.
Set up a workspace
Setting up a 3D printer workspace is an important step in starting a 3D printing business in India. A well-organized and functional workspace can help ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of your 3D printer, as well as your employees’ safety.
Businesses began in garages, but even a garage provides an exclusive space where you only conduct business operations, so a dedicated workspace is necessary to feel and function as a legitimate business.
Here are some important factors to consider when setting up a 3D printer workspace:
Location and Size: Choose a location for your workspace that is convenient and easy to access, but also large enough to accommodate your 3D printers, materials and other equipment. Also consider the number of employees you wish to have at the start. You have to make sure there is enough room for your employees to work comfortably and safely.
Ventilation: 3D printers emit fumes and particles that can be harmful if inhaled, so make sure your workspace has adequate ventilation. Install ventilation fans or an exhaust system to assist in removing these contaminants from the air.
Power supply: 3D printers require a consistent power supply, so ensure that your workspace has access to dependable electricity. Install surge protectors to protect your equipment from power surges.
Safety: Follow proper safety guidelines and procedures to keep your workplace safe for your employees. Installing safety barriers around the 3D printer, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles and gloves, and posting warning signs are some examples.
You can ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of your 3D printer, as well as the safety of your employees, by creating a suitable workspace for it.
Create a business plan
There isn’t much to say here except that every business requires a business plan, which you must develop based on your idea and vision. The only thing to keep in mind here is that the 3D printing industry is rapidly changing, and it will evolve into something quite different over the next 5-10 years.
So, consult with a few experts to understand how the market will change, and then incorporate those changes into your business plan and plans to counter or leverage them.
This will make your business plan appear more future-proof and appealing to outside investors. You can also use the business plan to secure funding or attract investors, if needed.
Marketing and sales
Develop a marketing strategy
Manufactur3D – India’s Leading Online 3D Printing Media Organization/Source: Manufactur3D
Creating a marketing strategy is a critical step in promoting your 3D printing company and attracting new customers. A marketing strategy is a plan that details the steps you’ll take to reach your target market and meet your business objectives.
Here are some ideas for developing a marketing strategy for your 3D printing company:
Identify your target market: Determine your ideal customers, as well as their needs and preferences. This will allow you to better tailor your marketing efforts to reach your target audience.
Define your unique selling proposition (USP): Determine what distinguishes your 3D printing company from the competition and use this to your advantage in your marketing efforts.
Determine your marketing budget: Determine how much money you are willing and able to spend on marketing and budget accordingly.
Choose marketing channels: Determine which marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, trade shows, or content marketing, are most effective for reaching your target market. You can even connect with Manufactur3D Magazine, India’s Leading Online 3D Printing Media Organization. It provides a low-cost way to begin your marketing initiatives and get your name out there in the 3D printing community. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Create marketing materials: Create marketing materials to showcase your products and services, such as a website, business cards, and brochures.
Implement your marketing plan: Implement your marketing strategy by carrying out the tactics you’ve chosen, such as creating and sharing social media posts, sending email campaigns, or attending trade shows.
You can effectively promote your 3D printing business and reach your target market by developing and implementing a marketing strategy.
Set up a website
For today’s businesses, having a website is essential even before completing your business registration or opening a physical office. Design and launch a website that speaks to the customer and tells them more about your company based on your business, vision, offering, and target market. The websites serves as a gateway to your business and offerings and also operates as your sales and marketing channel.
Because 3D printing is a trendy new-age technology, having a website with the most up-to-date themes and navigation styles will undoubtedly help.
Finances and pricing
Determine Pricing Strategies
Unfortunately, young and first-time entrepreneurs enter a business without proper planning and strategy. They are unaware of the nitty-gritties of running a 3D printing business in India and thus get bogged down even by simple routine compliances. Most young entrepreneurs are impatient and end up ignoring important foundational aspects of running a business and thus fail.
Financials are an important aspect of any business, so it all comes down to your pricing strategies. Setting your pricing for your 3D printing business is an important first step in determining when and how you will make a profit. Clarity of thought on this will assist you in running a successful business.
As the Indian market is new to 3D printing, you will need to invest heavily in marketing and raising awareness of your company and its capabilities. It also implies that there will be pockets of regions where 3D printing is being adopted, and it is in these areas that Startups will engage in price wars.
There is a long list of companies that used low price offerings to win more orders but ultimately failed as a business. A low-cost pricing strategy will only benefit you until a new low-cost competitor enters the market. So, think about it carefully.
When determining your prices, you must consider several factors, including your costs, competition, and target market.
To begin, when determining your prices, keep your costs in mind. This includes the price of the 3D printer and other equipment, materials, labour, and overhead costs like rent, utilities, and insurance. When determining your prices, keep your desired profit margin in mind.
Consider your market’s competition next. Investigate the prices of comparable products or services offered by other 3D printing companies in your area, and use this data to inform your pricing strategy. You should aim to set competitive prices, but not too low, as this may not be sustainable in the long run.
Finally, when determining your prices, keep your target market in mind. Set your prices based on the price range that your target customers are willing to pay. You should also think about any promotions or discounts you might offer to entice customers. Taking all of these factors into account, you can develop a pricing strategy for your 3D printing business that is fair, competitive, and long-term.
Keep track of your finances and expenses
Keeping track of your finances and expenses is essential for the long-term viability and growth of any business, including 3D printing. Proper financial management enables you to track your income, expenses, and profit accurately and make sound decisions about how to allocate your resources.
You can keep track of your finances and expenses by taking the following steps:
Set up a system for tracking your income and expenses: This could be as simple as using a spreadsheet or accounting software, or it could be as complex as hiring a bookkeeper to manage your finances.
Record all income and expenses accurately and regularly: Keep receipts and invoices for all of your income and expenses, and make sure to enter them into your financial tracking system on a regular basis.
Monitor your cash flow: Keep track of your cash inflows and outflows to ensure you have enough funds to cover your expenses and meet your financial obligations.
Set financial goals and track your progress: Determine your financial objectives and set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Examine your financial data on a regular basis to see how you are progressing toward your objectives.
You can ensure the sustainability and growth of your 3D printing business by making informed financial decisions, identifying areas for improvement, and maximising profits by keeping track of your finances and expenses.
We’ve compiled one of the most in-depth guides on how to start a 3D printing business in India. With this article, you have not only learned how to start a business, but you have also gained some insight into the Indian 3D printing industry and how it operates.
Many companies have come and gone over the last decade, and many have sadly closed down. You must make wise decisions and consider the long-term benefits of beginning now rather than pursuing the glory of starting a business, raising funds, and giving TED Talks. Just remember that though 3D printing offers a great opportunity to start a business, it is also a graveyard of Startups. So, think about it and don’t start a 3D printing business in India just for the sake of starting. If you truly want to make a difference, you will be successful.
If you’ve made it this far in the article, you almost certainly have the desire to start a 3D printing business in India. We congratulate you on your enthusiasm and the fact that you have read this entire epic article. We hope this was helpful.
You should start taking actions and taking your first steps now that you have a guide on how to get started. You will be unable to pursue the journey of running a Startup without an action plan. So, consult with your team, develop an action plan, and take the first step.
We wish you the best of luck!
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Visit our 3D Printing Education page to read more such informative articles. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.