Building 3D Businesses

2021-04-10 22:27 by Jonathan Buford (comments: 12)

We make the tools, you build the business.


One aspect of the low cost 3D printing market is that it enables new businesses that might not exist otherwise.

We are tool makers here at MakiBox, creating the means for other people to go out and do awesome stuff. It could be artists or designers making interesting or cute artifacts and selling them online or a printer farm in your basement. Whatever it is, we want to hear what tools you need to do it, especially if the technology doesn't exist right now.

In the picture above, the small vase costs around $0.30 in material to print. Even at a double thickness, it would be under a dollar (USD) to print, which leaves a pretty reasonable margin for selling it to someone. 

More people are becoming aware of 3D printing each day, but many people don't really want to own a printer or have to learn how to get great prints from one. This leaves a lot of potential openings for services to print things out for people. Others, perhaps they have an idea of something they want to print, but don't have the file to print with. This could be an opening for services creating new content or drawing things on demand for consumers. 

As part of learning about new opportunities in the market, we are going to be part of the upcoming Startup Weekend Hong Kong and will be looking for people with interesting ideas for businesses that either use 3D printing technology to make things, or creates content for people to print (or both). We will have Beta 00 and 02 out for trying out ideas over the weekend. It will be interesting to see what comes up. 

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Comment by John VOSCAIN | 2021-04-10

Excellent Jonathan, I just sent an email to your customer support and I am creating a startup which is based on 3D printing,

Kind Regards,


Comment by Cris Rowlands | 2021-04-11

I'm working on an IronMan suit to wear at conventions etc. I plan on using my MakiBox to make the hand plates, meaning I can have a fully articulated gauntlet :) That's my 'exciting' plans for 3D printing.

Comment by Kendall Miller | 2021-04-11

Where is the "Howdy Folks"; where is that "Face", with that "Big Smile"... I miss the real updates, and having you look me right in the eye when your telling us 'what's happening'...

Comment by Jens Rapp | 2021-04-11

@kendall, he built Beta02, isn't that an update? ;)
ok, i confess, we're all waiting for our boxes. (i once believed to be able to print christmas gifts, i still do not doubt this but I don't know which years christmas...)
However, I WANT THAT BOX! asap ;)
@jon maybe you can give us a short update about your plans. when will you start production and how many boxes will be sent each week then?
ev'rybody is waiting for a deadline..

Comment by Eric | 2021-04-11

Hi Jon,
would you be able to tell me where I can find details about the startup weekend hk event? - is it this coming weekend? interested to come and have a look and chat.

for me, I think the main benefit of having a desktop printer is the rapid prototyping aspect, ie being able to test out ideas / iterative design, rather than wait for shipment and delivery from an outside printing service.

in terms using the makibox to create goods for sale, i'll have to wait and see when I get my makibox :)
unsure how print quality compares with other 3dprinter tech - SLS or SLA.. they're more expensive I know, but the objects from these other (commercial?) printers seems much finer in detail...

I think there'll definitely be an increasing market for modellers / content creators.. would be interesting looking at having a desktop printer vs using online 3dprinting/retail services.

Comment by Owen Davies | 2021-04-16

Is that domo?

Comment by Stephen Rea | 2021-04-17

Maristream hopes to set up several 3-D printers in the windows of the Museum of Discovery at 500 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock, AR, to build parts for the public and for educational and entertainment purposes. Thousands of visitors pass through the Riverwalk area in Little Rock every day, and can walk by our window display and watch parts and objects being made. They can even order a build, go off to lunch, and come back to pick up their newly-created part. Half of the profits from the sales at the Virtual Store will go to the Museum of Discovery to help support the museum.

Comment by Jon Buford | 2021-04-17

@Stephen - That is cool. We should talk more about your needs, we may have some new machines a little later this year that are well suited for your application.

Comment by Matthew Falkner | 2021-05-01

I am designing a lot of things inside a haunted house. Animatronics, set pieces. Designing these things on computer is great but a 3d printer will make it so that i will be able to implement a fix as soon as it breaks.

Comment by Jon Buford | 2021-05-01

@Matthew - That sounds cool. It also sounds like larger and faster would be more useful.