The Filament of Choice for Etsy Businesses Selling 3D Prints

With the growth of e-commerce, it is now an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet increasing consumer demand and generate revenue online.

Concurrently, the proliferation of desktop 3D printing has facilitated this further – empowering individuals and small businesses to become microfactories – enabling design, prototyping, iteration and mass production to be done in-situ. 

E-commerce platform, Etsy is particularly popular, specialising in niche products and craft supplies – markets ideal for the manufacturing benefits 3D printing provides. As per Veeqo, last year, Etsy’s annual merchandise sales volume totaled $4.97 billion US dollars; in the first six months of 2020, Etsy sales grew 71% YoY. Etsy has over 60 million products listed on its platform and had over 2.5 million sellers at the end of 2019.

Dozens of Etsy sellers and Etsy businesses use Filamentive 3D printing filament when 3D printing products to sell on the platform. 

Sustainability is also a key driver for Etsy consumers, “98% of over 1,000 buyers said they engaged in practices like conserving energy, recycling, and reusing”.

This may also go some way to explain the growth of 3D printed products sold on Etsy, as 3D printing is more sustainable than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods – mainly because it is fundamentally additive – thus minimising waste – and is also compatible with recycled filament materials. 

Compared to other manufacturing techniques, 3D printing is advantageous to entrepreneurs and small business because it offers:

  • Zero tooling costs – versus Injection Moulding, eliminating upfront capital cost
  • Design flexibility – instant modifications, incurring minimal time, labour and cost
  • Faster time to market – prints can be produced in hours, versus days or even weeks if opting for outsourcing and / or importing

3D Printed Homeware

The mass customisation benefit enabled by 3D printing has facilitated creative product development in the homeware market. Traditionally – before proliferation of desktop 3D printing – homeware items would typically either need to be produced by hand – both time consuming and labour intensive, or mass produced (most likely in the Far East) via casting and / or moulding manufacturing methods. Whilst this is cost-effective at scale to reduce unit cost, capital investment is high, which is a barrier to entry for would-be entrepreneurs and even small businesses.

A quick search of 3D printed homeware on Etsy yields >100 results, including plant pots, candle holders and stationery items. It’s important to note that in the interest of commercial confidentiality, many sellers do not explicitly mention 3D printing in their listings.  

One of our favourite examples of 3D printed homeware is this heart shaped planter printed by Breaks & Makes, in PLA Cosmic

3D Printed Artwork

It goes without saying that artists are visionaries, capable of producing innovative and creative pieces of work. Over time, technology has enhanced the scale, size and complexity of art pieces, and 3D printing has further facilitated a step-change in the industry.

As explained in this All3DP article, 3D printed art installations, sculptures, and more can be found virtually anywhere; 3D printing has provided artists with the freedom to create complex structures that would otherwise be impossible to make, or at least expensive and time-consuming.

Bad13Design is an independent producer of 3D Art, and also a seller on Etsy. In their own words, the business is “all about using new age technology to create 3D art from recycled materials” – specifically, Filamentive 3D printing filament. The cubist design philosophy is brought to life in 3D, with each block individually 3D-printed to form a single, stunning art piece. YellowBoy is a particular favourite of ours, which brings to life the iconic Nintendo Gameboy. Over 3D-printed blocks, assembled onto Birch Ply board.

3D Printed Accessories

3D printing has also unlocked a new market for accessory / spare parts. 3D printing enables disruption of the following markets:

  • Lower cost alternative to existing products – e.g. wall mounts
  • Product development of novel products – not already existing in the marketplace
  • Production of obsolete accessories – e.g. classic car parts 

All of the above have created commercial opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to capitalise on existing demand, or in some cases, create a completely new market.

One of our favourite 3D printed accessories is this Nintendo 64 “Mario” Style Raspberry Pi 3 or Pi 4 Case. Produced by ThreeDeeDave.

How Filamentive Materials Improve your Etsy 3D Printing Business

  • Quality – premium 3D printing filament, manufactured to ±0.05mm tolerance. Read more about our manufacturing and QC/ QA here. 
  • Sustainability – recycled materials where possible (ISO 14021), 100% recyclable cardboard spool and CO2 offset via tree plantation. Read more about our commitment to sustainability here. 
  • Reliability – 1000s of products in-stock, FREE Next Day UK (mainland) delivery
  • Variety – a wide range of materials, available in spool sizes up to 8.5 kg
  • Credibility – Industry partnerships with printer brands such as Ultimaker
  • Traceability – fully-audited supply chain & manufacturing, meeting all required health & safety standards. TDS & MSDS available.

Etsy business using 3D printing receive:

  • Free membership of the Eco Responsible 3D Printing Alliance™
  • 30% Trade discount on orders >£83 + VAT. FREE Sign-up.
  • FREE Next-Day UK (mainland) Delivery via Parcelforce24
  • 30-day payment termssubject to credit check, must be a registered business 

Interested in signing up for these benefits? Check out this link.