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What are your thoughts on Prosthetics as a 3d business?

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    What are your thoughts on Prosthetics as a 3d business?

    I am just in the 3d business research stage. I planned on focusing on 54mm & 70mm historical figures & also custom print jobs & cosplay items and costumes. My wife thinks I need to focus on "real" business ideas and not hobbies. So, being a disabled vet I thought "What about prosthetics?" Just the little research so far shows it's a huge industry with the big boys of medical devices and pharma are jumping in or already in. Then I read that the government is about to start regulating, or at least, start having requirements and guidelines and insurance requirements. That scares me. I just want to run a business from home, sell on ebay and several other sites, and not be bothered by legal and all that stuff. Thoughts?

    #2
    Your wife has a good point. The market is saturated with would-be service bureaus; it's a race to the bottom. See 3dhubs.com to get an idea of the competition you'd face there. The market for figurines is small and well-supplied. Not sure about the cosplay thing, but I suspect there are nearly as many makers as players involved in it.

    But a prosthetic is not something you can just buy online from a random seller; it needs to be custom-fitted if not entirely custom-made. That's why I'm not sure that Ebay is the place for selling them; it seems to me you'd be better off concentrating on a local market and working your contacts in the veteran community. There's a lot that modern 3D scanning, printing, and CNC fabrication can bring to the process which has been slow to be adopted by mainstream firms who prefer to do things the way they always have; hence an opportunity for small, nimble tech-savvy players in the market.

    Prosthetics are classified as "medical devices" which are still much more lightly regulated than anything else in the medical field with the exception of nutritional supplements. No doubt more regulations and requirements are in the pipeline, but this might be the perfect time to jump in.

    Andrew Werby
    computersculpture.com

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