Open a printing store

small business 3d printers honeybee3d

When Liza Wallach and her husband opened their 3-D printing store in October, some people wandered in looking for a place to make photocopies, while others wanted 3-D movie glasses. But now, business owners and hobbyists come to HoneyBee3D to print things like prototypes and promotional materials. Other patrons are looking for a singularly unique item, like a personalized wedding cake topper.

And the shop, located in Oakland, Calif., won't just print your projects, the cost of which depends on the size and materials used. They also sell 3-D printers and offer weekly classes on how the devices work, which Wallach says are usually filled to the six-person maximum.

3-D printing options like HoneyBee3D are growing. You can upload files to online service Shapeways, which will print your object and ship it to you, and some UPS (UPS) locations have 3-D printers in their stores. MakerBot has three retail locations on the East Coast where you can buy printers and 3-D printed gifts, as well as take classes.

Although HoneyBee3D has been open for just two months, its owners have already decided there's a need for more locations. They plan to open six more in the Bay Area next year.

First published December 10, 2013: 8:37 AM ET

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