What the 3D Printing Industry Could Teach Small Business Owners

3D Printing is changing the world

The 3D printing is fast becoming the talk of the town:

…It’s safe to say that your small businesses should pay attention to this “future of manufacturing.”


There was a recent study by Accenture that profiled over 2000 consumers across the United States and United Kingdom. In this study, it was found  that most people are willing to have trusted retailers use some of their personal data in order to present personalized and targeted products, services, recommendations and offers.

In fact according to the study:

  • Despite the fact that 86 percent of those surveyed say they are concerned about websites tracking their online shopping behavior, 85 percent are aware that such tracking goes on but they understand that tracking enables companies to present offers and content that matches their interests.
  • Nearly half of all respondents – 49 percent – are receptive to their favorite stores or brands using their tracking data to inform their future purchases and make them aware of product availability.
  • When asked to make a choice, 64 percent of total respondents say it is more important that companies present them with relevant offers against only 36 percent who say companies should stop tracking their website activity.
  • At the same time, however, 88 percent strongly agree or agree that companies should give them the flexibility to control how their personal information is used to tailor their shopping experience.

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So with that being said there a few things small business owners can learn from the burgeoning 3D Printer Industry. Namely

  • One Size DOESN’T fits all anymore–We’re in the age of sub-sub- cultures. In fact, there are so many sub cultures…there are subcultures we didn’t even know that existed. In the ages of apps, communities, and so forth its imperative that small businesses be as “niche” as possible. In fact, many have speculated that 3D printing could end mass manufacturing on a whole…time will tell.
  • Global is the new local–Kraftwurx, a Houston-based company that runs an online marketplace for anyone who wants to create and upload 3D-printable designs. Using the system, for example, a German designer could sell figurines to customers in places as distant as the Philippines and Mexico, without either seller or buyer worrying about international shipping costs or tariffs on imported goods. Obviously, business is no longer handled in a local chamber of commerce.

What other lessons can we learn from the this printing industry?

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