3D printing has been a hobby of mine for a little while, but just recently tried to turn that into a profit venture of sorts. Last year I decided on a whim to sell some homemade 3D-printed Star Wars ornaments on Etsy.com, and I sold a grand total of 8. Woohoo. Of course I didn’t put my store up until December 12th, and I only had 3 offerings and few pictures. This year I decided to put it up a month earlier, filled out my offerings and even tried to cash in on a few trends.
It really kicked off when my wife wanted a toilet paper 2020 ornament but it was all sold out. I was like, “I can 3D print that!” So I broke out Illustrator, drew a side profile of a roll with a little piece hanging off, then brought that into Tinkercad and extruded it. I thought it looked great, but my wife have better thoughts. She made me go measure a real roll to get the right dimensions to scale down for the ornament. 6 design iterations and 24 hours after her initial request, I had a finished product printed and ready to sell.
And it immediately started to sell! I was selling more than I could physically print. It would take about 50 minutes to print one ornament, so in a little under 6 hours I could print 7 ornaments. I sold 12 on the first day, 15 on the next, and 20 on the day after that. I immediately bought a 2nd Ender 3 printer off Amazon, and in a few days I was doubling my output. Which still wasn’t enough. Eventually I had 4 printers going non-stop until basically the week of Christmas when it finally started slowing down. All said and down, I had sold about 1100 ornaments and the day after Christmas was the first day I could get a good night’s sleep.