3D printers are impressive feats of engineering that can allow a savvy designer to create practically anything they can imagine. The technology is practically a Sci-Fi dream made real – and it is that incredible versatility that can make 3D printers such amazing tools for freelancers who are looking to make it big.
So, if you are interested in making use of 3D printing as a freelancer, this article aims to highlight some of the best ways in which you can utilize this amazing technology right now.
Prototyping and Testing Products
Creating steady improvements in product design is essential to the development of a solid product that your customers will be happy to buy. Not too long ago, this was a lengthy and expensive process to engage with – but 3D printing has made the process of product iteration and testing a cinch. After all, there are plenty of ways to engage with prototyping 3D printing processes, and they all make it far, far easier to test and improve your products far faster than ever before.
The prototypes made through 3D printing have the advantage of being cheap and fast to produce while also being physical prototypes – which makes them far easier to experiment with and test. In short, 3D printing is the key to effective rapid iteration prototyping for your products and can help you to stay competitive as a freelancer without having to spend an age developing and testing your products.
Products to Create and Sell
Of course, to iterate upon and test a product idea, you first need a product to test. So, if you are trying to determine what kinds of products you could create and sell through 3D printing, then there are actually plenty of potential options to consider. Here is a brief investigation of a couple of these options:
Tabletop RPG Props
One of the most popular ways that GMs (Game Masters) work to make their in-person games more exciting is by involving physical props and items that are related to what is happening within the TTRPG they’re playing.
For example, a GM playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends might like to have a replica of a weapon made to increase the immersion and wow factor of a player receiving that item in-game.
Because of the popularity of props used in this way, 3D printed TTRPG prop items can be very popular items on storefronts like Etsy. So, if you have a good idea for similar props that you could make with your 3D printer, then you could get involved with that market, too!
Board Game Pieces
Another potentially interesting use of 3D printing is board games, which are an often underappreciated way for a freelancer to build a career. However, the communities dedicated to board games are as dedicated and profitable as any other.
So, if you are in the business of creating new and interesting board game experiences for those communities, you might find it helpful to use 3D printing tools to test out those games. And, hopefully, to produce the final product on a large scale.
After all, 3D printing could be a hugely effective tool to help produce game pieces and tokens for your games, allowing you to quickly and efficiently make your games incredibly enticing and visually entertaining.
Creating Custom Tools
Alternatively, you might not want to use your 3D printer to print products at all. If your work as a freelancer revolves around your ability to hand-make products, for example, then 3D printing your products would defeat the point somewhat.
However, you’ll find that 3D printing is as versatile in its potential usefulness as it is in what it can make. For example, if you want to create custom tools that can help you to better engage with your work as a freelancer, then your 3D printer can help you to do that too – whether through helping you to design and mold the tool or by directly printing the tool you need.
Of course, 3D printed items can be brittle – depending on the material you use for printing – so you will need to be careful when printing tools you intend to put to heavy use. Even if a printed tool may do the job initially, it is often a better idea to use that printed tool as a model upon which you can base a more solid tool. You don’t want that tool giving out on you in a crucial moment after all.