Airbnb has been one of the more famous startups in recent memory with their original ‘Air Bed and Breakfast’ idea: connecting empty bedrooms and guest houses to travelers and offering extra cash for those opening their homes to strangers. Many who have opened their homes to travelers have found so much success with Airbnb that they’ve been able to not only pay off their monthly mortgage payments (and essentially live at home for free) but also make a small living off of cycling out-of-towners. It was only a matter of time before a similar business plan entered the 3D printing market, and it’s here now with MakeXYZ. Perhaps you can make a pretty penny with your 3D Printer’s down time?

How It Works:

For those with a 3D Printer looking to make some extra $$$:

1) Create a MakeXYZ account, and fill out your printer details (materials, cost/volume, etc).

2) Receive ready-to-print files from makers in your area when uploaded. If you’re available, you print them. Then the maker picks it up or you ship it.

3) MakeXYZ sends you $$$ (you set your own price) and positive maker-vibes. You just helped someone make something awesome.

For those looking to be connected with a local 3D printer:

1) Upload your 3D design, select your zip code, material, and quantity. Then check out.

2) Your design is printed by a maker or 3D print shop in your neighborhood (based on zip code).

3) Have your print shipped, or you can pick it up.

Perhaps the best trait of this new service centers around the idea of an expanded 3D printing community within specific neighborhoods. Additionally, while it may be a direct competitor for respected online 3D print services such as Shapeways, it creates opportunities for Makers to not be constrained by whatever work orders are ahead of their own, or if there are inclement weather delays such as the recent Hurricane Sandy.

This could also be a great opportunity to corner a market in your area as a go-to 3D printing solution, or to meet some new Maker friends. You never know….that MakerBot Replicator 2 could pay for itself in a few months?

To get started as a 3D Printing provider or to find 3D printers in your area, head over to MakeXYZ.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.