How I got started with 3D Printing

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It’s been a while since I last wrote and published as I was quite tied up with printings after printings. Some of it for myself and a lot of it for the clients. But that got me thinking, how did I get started with 3D printing? I mean, barely a year ago I was totally clueless about 3D printing.

Around 3 years ago I launched an unrelated Web designing business but it wasn’t doing particularly well. I started thinking that it was perhaps because I was doing the marketing all wrong in this digital era. So I enrolled in a Digital Marketing Specialization course offered by University of Illinois via Coursera. Among other things, the course explored 3D printing & thingiverse as one of emerging trends. As part of the course assignments, we needed to download and manipulate any item of our choice from thingiverse, make it our own, then find a 3D printer nearby to print out the item. It was fascinating.

Digital Marketing course page on Coursera

Digital Marketing & 3D Printing

Now you may be wondering what has Digital Marketing got to do with 3D Printing? In one of the prediction, 3D printing would grow to a stage where it is the digital object that consumers are buying and not the physical object. The digital objects that customers purchase then get printed into the actual physical objects either by retailers/ printers or by end consumers themselves- often from the comfort of their home.

That way, 3D printing would also reduce overall inventory and middleman; and also enable co-creation and mass customization more seamlessly. Customizing a digital object while still on the screen is much easier than customizing a physical product. 3D printing would fundamentally change how we do marketing and how we run business in not too distant future.

Sparking Curiosity

All these possibilities sparked my curiosity and interest in this field so much so that I decided to enroll in 3D Printing-related courses on Coursera to quickly expand my knowledge. Coupled with reading some other materials, participating in forums and chat rooms, I finally decided to purchase my first 3D printer.

I considered a few models (you can read the experience here), and I finally decided on Creality Ender 3. Initially I just wanted to try out and play around, but soon I ran out of things to print and started asking friends if they have items to 3D print. One thing leads to another and now I have stable clients who are tinkering and requesting for 3D printing. And it shows no sign of slowing down!

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