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Is 3D Printing Worth It? (Expensive Hobby?)

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For the cost of a weekend away, you could invest your money in a new hobby. 3D printers are an excellent addition for anyone who has a hobby, enjoys making things, or enjoys learning new things.

Before biting the bullet and buying your own 3D printer, you might be wondering, is 3D printing worth it?

If you’ve come across this page, the answer is probably yes.

3D printing will be worth it for you as a means to have fun with the family and learn new technology. If you’re looking for a fascinating new hobby, or you need custom pieces made for around your house, you will find value in owning a 3D printer. Starting at $200 for a basic setup and $600-$900 for a more advanced model.

It’s Like Having a Magic Wand

Bippity-boppity-boo! A 3D printed shoe! Having a 3D printer is truly like having a magic wand that can print anything and everything you need in a few hours. 

If you need a new phone case, you can make one. Did the hinge on your door break? Make a new one. Gone are the days of waiting days or weeks to get something you need right away when you own a 3D printer. 

For more information on 3D Printing for beginners visit the complete guide to start 3D printing as a hobby.

Talking of magic wands, you can even buy inexpensive handheld 3D Printers. These are a great way to see if 3D Printing is for you. Plus, the kids will love it.

Check this one out we found on Amazon

handheld 3d printer
Prices on Amazon here!

Develop New Skills

3D printers require a different type of file than many people are familiar with. They don’t print jpegs, but instead use STLs, which are 3D files. 

Sure, you can purchase a 3D file to print, but if you’re a true hobbyist you might enjoy making your own files. 

3D Printing is a great family hobby

Familiarizing yourself with a CAD software gives you a whole new set of skills. This type of skill can even be added to a resume and lead to new job opportunities. 

Children’s Education

Children learn best with hands-on learning. If your children are young, you can 3D print learning materials. You can print play money to learn basic math skills or print story props for imaginative play. 

If your kids are old enough, have them help out with the 3D printing. Helping to plan a simple project and setting up the machine is excellent S.T.E.M. education for children.

3d printing

Environmentally Sustainable

3D printing removes the need for mass production. If you need a new doorknob, you can print the one you need, and not have to purchase one of mass-produced ones from a store.

As 3D printers become more popular, you might see a trend of less mass-produced products in stores. 

Since you’ve printed that doorknob you needed, you no longer have to drive to the store to buy one, the store doesn’t need to stock as many doorknobs, less doorknobs need to be shipped from manufacturers, and less fuel needs to be used to produce those doorknobs.

3D printers are causing an impressive chain reaction that’s making environmentalists smile. 

Make Money

If you own a 3D printer and have high-quality printing skills, you could earn money for your 3D prints. 

Like many hobbies, you can make money by selling the products you make. There are many platforms like Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Shopify that will let you post your handmade goods. 

If you don’t have the creativity to make your own products to sell, you can work as a 3D printer for hire. There are people who only need a couple items 3D printed and can’t justify purchasing one or figuring out how to use it for just those few items.

That’s where you come in. If you make the product and ship it off to your customer, you make money just for having a 3D printer!

kid learning to 3d print

Pairs Well with Other Hobbies

3D printers make things, that is their purpose. If making things isn’t your type of hobby, here’s a few hobbies that could be enhanced by having a 3D printer:

Dungeons and Dragons: Tabletop gaming scenery and miniatures are expensive when buying individual pieces. If you have a 3D printer, you can print the miniatures, buildings, items, or even dice!

Board Games: Has your boardgame box fallen apart? Do the cards and play money sit in a plastic bag in your cupboard? Organize those games by 3D printing a new box, card holders, or even game pieces

Computer Building: Use a 3D printer to make the perfect PC cases. 

Gardening: Make the perfect size pot for your windowsill, or 3D print gardening tools. 

Organizing: You can use a 3D printer to make the perfect size container for organizing all your small pieces. This is a great feature for office spaces, kitchens, or for hobbyists who collect small items like rocks. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re not the type of person who enjoys making things, you probably won’t find much worth in a tool that makes things. 

This is just like any other hobby, however. Is skiing worth it? Knitting? There is so much worth in learning new skills and having access to things that keep you up to date in technology if that’s your thing: 3D printing is no exception and is definitely worth it.