How To Make Money With Facebook Groups (FREE Full Tutorial!)

How To Make Money With Facebook Groups
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Introduction: Why Facebook Groups?

Facebook continues to grow in popularity and now has a staggering 2.1+ billion users. It can truly be said to be the place where the world gathers online.

However as many of you will know, Facebook has scaled back the visibility of its fan pages significantly. There is still a viable business model utilizing fan pages to drive traffic (follow this link for our full FB Fan Pages Tutorial) – however it is not the ridiculous bonanza it once was.

Now of course, there is the “other” well-established Facebook revenue model of using Facebook Ads to drive traffic and generate income, however this is technically complex, beset by tricky rules and requires the mastery of several disciplines in order to implement successfully. I’ve come across people making astonishing money with Facebook Ads, so don’t rule it out of your money-making toolkit; but it is certainly not a newbie-friendly strategy.

Fortunately however, there is another sweet method of making money with Facebook which is still going strong: Facebook groups. And the great news about this method is that not only is it easy compared to the above, but it can also be significantly less work! Around 1 billion Facebook users actively participate in Facebook groups.

Even more good news: I think that this method will continue to be viable for several years. Why? Let’s just take a moment to look at things from Facebook’s point of view.

One of Facebook’s primary business goals is very simple: To keep you on Facebook. The reason for this is easy to grasp: The more time you spend on FB, the more ads they can display to you and the more money they make. It’s elementary mathematics.

Facebook fan pages, from Facebook’s point of view, presented something of a problem. They were highly engaging, but much of the content posted by page owners was in the form of links that drove people off of Facebook onto other websites, where people would be looking at someone else’s advertising. Page owners were doing “just a bit too well” and taking too much of the pie. So now you can see the real, deeper reason behind their strategy of dialing down the visibility of fan pages. It’s so that other forms of content that keep you on Facebook receive higher visibility. You will no doubt have noticed that videos get very high visibility also. This is because, you’ve guessed it… while people are watching them, they are still on Facebook, thus increasing FB’s potential revenue. You will also notice that posts from your handful of “best mates”, who you interact with most often, are most prominent in your feed. It’s because you are more likely to stick around and read them.

Enter Facebook Groups. Groups do link out to other articles, sure, however the group is more focused around interaction and conversation. As a result, people spend more time actually looking at the group’s page and less chasing links to other websites. So that means more money for FB. FB is clearly giving group content higher organic reach – deliberately controlling what you see – in order to increase their revenue. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just business!

Have you noticed also that when you join a group, you get notifications for new posts? Not only do groups have higher organic reach than FB pages, but Groups deliver users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving more traffic and engagement to each post. This is another huge difference between fan pages and groups. It is possible for people to turn off the notifications, however if the content is very interesting to them, they won’t.

Overall, a group post may have 10-15x the reach of a fan page post (in terms of the percentage of your fans it will be displayed to) – that’s huge!

One of the other key metrics of Groups that is very important to comprehend, is that with a Facebook group, contribution is invited from all members; in other words you are not the only one responsible for making sure the group is alive and thriving. Your group’s content is crowdsourced!

One of the drawbacks of Facebook fan pages is that you need to provide new content continually, typically multiple posts per day, otherwise the page “dies” and loses its edgerank, which is then extremely difficult to get back. (Edgerank is Facebook’s “engagement score” that they use as one of the important factors which determine how many people to show the content to. ) So even though it is potentially lucrative, a fan page can to an extent “enslave” you. You have to keep coming up with fresh, engaging content!

However with the right Facebook group, focused on the right topic, the members of the group will interact, post content and keep the group going on autopilot! People who are fanatical about a topic love to be “given the mic” and many of these will not have their own group or other platform. So the group gives them an ideal opportunity to interact, to be heard and to display their expertise.

Also, the most engaging groups get rewarded with more visibility by FB, meaning that they pick up new members. Thus it is entirely possible to grow a group without much work; so long as it is the right kind of group and the “snowball” has been given enough of a push to generate the initial momentum required. Then, you can post your own content onto the group, in order to drive traffic to either your ad-enabled website, products, services or simply to affiliate offers that are relevant to the group.

Another piece of good news: You are not limited as to the number of groups that you can run! So there is potential to scale this up and create multiple income-generating groups that won’t “die” if you take a little time off (for those of you who have been blogging or working with fan pages, this is a “hallelujah moment”!)

Finally – this can truly be a mobile business. So long as you have an internet connection, you can manage your group from your phone or laptop from anywhere in the world. You can also schedule your content in advance, and assign moderation and other daily tasks to a hired worker, meaning that you can either work on other projects or take time off for other things.

In other words, this is a business model that has potential to give you some freedom. More good news, this method is still HOT – and so it’s not too late to get into the game!

Now that you understand the “why”, let’s break down the steps required to get this going:

Step 1: Choosing Your Niche

The first thing to do is pick the topic that your group will be themed around. It’s recommended to choose one of the “tried and tested” niches that are already known to work well. These niches typically have a large audience appeal, “fanatical” followers, and numerous products associated with them that fans may be eager to acquire. For example – golf. This topic has a huge following, rabid fans and is a sport with a multitude of associated products that people spend a lot of money on; from golf clubs through to tutorials on improving your swing.

If on the other hand you are considering a topic that does not have mass appeal and an obvious revenue model directly associated with it, you should skip it.

It’s important of course to choose a topic that you have some knowledge of and interest in. Here is a list of excellent niches for Facebook groups:

• Business / Making Money Online / Investing
• Food / Cooking / Recipes
• Pets (Dogs, cats, horses, goldfish etc)
• Cars
• Spirituality
• Gadgets / Electronics
• Books
• Home Improvement / DIY
• Health / Fitness / Training and Workouts
• Sports
• Self Help
• Spirituality
• Parenting / Maternity / Babies
• Marriage And Relationships
• Survivalism
• Travel
• Beauty / Fashion

(I have skipped politics and dating because these are both associated with problems on FB. Weight loss also should be approached with extreme caution. It is one of the best moneymaker topics but FB frowns upon weight loss related content).

It is often excellent to choose a “sub-category” of these broad overall topics, that itself has a fanatical following. For example “vegan recipes” (huge global fan base) or “weightlifting” (lots of product promotion opportunities including fitness equipment, supplements, etc).

Step 2: Setting Up Your Group

This is a mission critical step which, if you do it well, can optimize your group to generate thousands of new members for free.

Setting up the group is done from within the Facebook website or using the app on your mobile device, as you would expect. You can learn the technical side of this through tutorials that are easily found, however there are other important factors that you should be aware of when you are creating your group.

1) When setting up the group, set it as a “closed group”. This means invitations have to be approved in order for people to join. It also means that anyone can find the group via searches but only people who join will be able to see your content. You want to make the group closed not only so that people have to join to see what you have to offer, but so that you do not get swamped by drive-by spammers.

2) Your group needs to have a good name. Think of the group’s name as a headline. It needs to explain in a few words exactly what the group is and it should make your ideal customers like the idea and think immediately “this is for me”. The name should also be keyword rich – because one of the main ways your group will be found is through searches . Around 2 billion searches are conducted daily on FB and so you should do what you can to make it easier for the right to find.

3) Your group needs a great cover image. Look at some of the top existing FB groups for inspiration and examples of it “done right”. The image should have appeal and generate excitement. If this is a challenge for you, outsource the image creation using fiverr.com or onlinejobs.ph and give a young graphic designer a quick gig!
Note that the recommended image size for Facebook group cover photos is 1,640px by 856px (or 1.91:1 ratio).

4) Your group needs a Pinned Post. This is a post that is “pinned” at the top of the page and is the first thing that new members will read. It should start with words something like “New members please read!” – then introduce yourself and the group, explain what it is all about and why it is amazing. Make it interesting, lively and engaging, but not too long. Then put in your list of “house rules”, with an opening statement using words to the effect of “We request that all new members take a minute to read the group rules”.

An important rule is to list the kinds of content that is permitted and that is not. For example if it is a recipe group you might state:

YES: Recipe videos, recipe links (so long as they are genuine links to recipes), recipe and kitchen related discussion / tips / skill sharing.
NO: Affiliate links, irrelevant posts, spam, copyright infringing content, politics, religion, verbal abuse or bashing (moderators will ban!)

This pinned post also has the possibility to be a revenue generator as it is something that all members will see!

Look at big, successful FB groups for excellent examples of how this should be done. You can’t directly lift their content of course but you can do something similar in your own words.

5) Your group needs a Description.

This explains what can be expected from the group. It is worth putting group rules in here also as people will see them before they join. This information also is used and analyzed by Facebook in order to determine who to show your group to. Again, look at big, successful FB groups for excellent examples of how this should be done.

6) Your group needs tags.

The “Tags” section is critical because it gives you an opportunity to be found by people searching for those terms – so it should contain your keywords. The maximum number of tags permitted here is 5.

Step 3: Getting People To Join Your Group

The first thing to observe here is that Facebook, in line with their mission objective outlined in the introduction, shows the most engaging content to the highest number of people. In other words, if your group is lively and engaging, it will be featured prominently in “Suggested Groups”, whereas if it is a ghost town, then Facebook will not offer life support. “To those that hath, shall it be given”.

Fortunately, there are numerous things you can do in order to generate engagement. However, you still need some members, otherwise who will be there to engage? So the best thing to do right out of the gate is to use whatever leverage you can muster in order to get your first batch of followers. Do whatever can be done to give the snowball a big shove and if you have done things right, it will start picking up speed. Here are some ways to grow your group:

1) At the outset utilize whatever “internet real estate” and contacts you have available. Friends, fans on other social media platforms, your blogs and websites, email list contacts and whoever you can reach for free can be invited to join. Promote your group on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest posts, Instagram bio, LinkedIn, forum signatures… wherever is appropriate. If you are posting a link, the more snappy the group’s name, the better the response will be! Add the link to your email signature. For Pinterest and Instagram, you can create custom graphics to notify people to join. Sometimes, other Facebook groups will have posts where they actively permit self-promotion – you could post your link there; but of course, do not spam.

You can also use “thank you pages” – people who have signed up for your email list or other things will be likely to join the FB group if it is mentioned!

– Important note: Do not “add people to group” without their permission – not only is that considered a huge social no-no, but it will lower engagement because you do NOT want people in the group who do not want to be there!

2) Create a pinned post on your Facebook fan page promoting your FB group! Even better if this post contains some awesome content that is members-only.

3) Cross-promote with owners of other relevant groups. This typically works with groups around the same size as your own. Write them a nice message asking if they are interested in growing their group in return for growing yours.

4) Offer a high-value “freebie” such as a free tutorial(s) to entice new members. This type of “gated content” can work wonders. It’s possible to “Add File(s)” to your pinned post, giving the freebie to people as soon as they join. The more value you can give, the better!

5) Network and promote the group “in the real world”. There are of course as many ways to get people to join your group as there are methods to promote anything in the world. You could network at events and using other ‘offline’ avenues available to you.

6) Facebook Ads. Once you have utilized all the places that legitimately permit you to post a link for free, then you can use Facebook ads in order to give the group a further boost. Note that the way to do this is slightly “oblique” – because you will notice that you cannot directly promote a group using a Facebook ad! So you will need your own fan page – then you can run a fan page post that links to the group, and then promote that post using FB ads as per normal. Doing this, you can spend as little as a few dollars per day to get yourself a stream of new subscribers.

7) Advertise on other platforms.

8) Leverage “super fans”. Your top fans can help with admin, promoting the group, welcoming new members and moderating / deleting spam.

9) Ask your members to invite others and help make this the best group on the topic.

10) Share the content of influencers and tag them to let them know you have done it. They might join the group, adding to your cred, or promote something of yours in return!

Step 4: Content

At the outset, you will also be the one doing much of the posting and I would suggest to aim for 5 posts per day. To begin with, you will be posting for only a handful of people and so you will be able to recycle some of those posts later on as most of your group will not have seen them! As the group grows, it will pick up steam both in terms of interaction and in terms of posts added by other people. With more members posting content, there will be more there for people to engage with. However in the early stages, in order to generate engagement, you will need to post often. Here are some top ideas for posts:

1) shares of relevant content that has already gone viral. You can see what is the most engaging content because the numbers are public. Choose the stuff that is most relevant to your group and will be a hit with your members. Note, this does not just have to be Facebook viral content. You can look at what has proven most popular on other platforms too and share that.

2) Engagement questions. These are simple questions asked to the group that encourage participation. For example if you have a recipe group you might ask “what is your favorite apple dish?” A dog page might say “what is the most intelligent thing your dog has ever done”? (People LOVE this one!!) Or “Do you have any funny stories about ____________?” One of my favorite ones ever was in a musician group, asking people “What’s your most entertaining gig disaster story?” The stories that poured in were hugely engaging and hilarious! Other ideas “What is your best tip for getting motivated?” “What is the #1 thing holding you back from achieving the success you dream of in ___________ ?” (Name of topic). “What do you guys need help with?” (This is a winner)

Questions should be simple, but encouraging people to open up. You can ask people to introduce themselves and let the group know what they have to offer. You can ask them ask them what their needs, desires and wants are.

3) Stories of your experiences relevant to the topic. Stories that add value and insight for members are always great.

4) Value content. Post free tutorials and other awesome high-value material to keep group members excited to be part of the group. It is generally advised not to just make your group a giant “re-run” of all the content you post to your fan page / blog. The group should contain some exclusive and high value content not available elsewhere.

5) Relevant news. Staying up with the news in your niche will enable you to share the kind of content that your members will want to see.

6) Polls. Always good for engagement!

7) Posts that “give people the mic” . Every so often, you can run a post inviting people to “shamelessly self promote” and tell the group about their talents and special skills. This can be done in simple question format also “What’s a special talent or skill that you have that you would like to share with the group?” Alternatively “Promote your talented self in the thread below”

8) Live video If you are doing something interesting, you can “go live” and share it with the group. You could be attending an event that others in the group will find valuable. Alternatively, you could run a live Q&A – with people posting questions in the comments and you answering them in real time.

Step 5: Moderation

You will need to “stay on top of it” with regard to spam, because spam annoys everyone in the group and will cause people to leave. Much of it will be deterred by the initial entry hurdle, however there will inevitably be some that gets through. So you need to zap it as quickly as possible and this should be done at the very least once per day. I would suggest to just “banhammer” spammers immediately on the first offense (and delete the offending posts as quickly as possible). It’s too much work to give warnings, and the ones who spam are typically only there to spam anyway. Get rid of them.

Sometimes also, eager fans will want to become admins and a good admin will take care of some spammers. Encourage members to flag the heck out of spam as soon as they see it also.

Don’t forget to highlight the fact that spammers will be banned in the description so that it can be seen by people before they join.

When creating the page, it is however advised not to check the box “all group posts must be approved by an admin” because not only will people be put off by having to wait for their post to show up, but the conversation will be slowed down. Also, monitoring every single post before it goes live is going to be an enormous time vampire. Not worth it!

It’s also advisable to smite any brawling that happens in the comment sections. If someone says something completely toxic, ban them, delete their comment and then put in a comment saying “person posting offensively has been banned. Thank you to all who post positive comments!” This will help other members feel more highly valued as well as set an example of what happens to those who break the rules.

Occasionally, posts will by their nature generate toxic discussion. I would recommend to avoid topics that are too controversial. If a post triggers too much negativity, consider just deleting the entire thread.

You can assign the moderation work to an outsource worker. Create a simple tutorial that teaches them how to do the task and then you will only ever have to teach the task once.

Step 6: Making Money!

Everything so far has been dedicated to growing the group. Now let’s get that money. 🙂 Here are some ideas:

1) Invitation to one-on-one coaching One of the great advantages of groups is that they have a greater tendency to pull together a ‘core’ of loyal fans. These fans are perfect for offering higher-level and exclusive services. You can for example run paid Skype sessions helping out members with your expertise.

2) Invitation to extended mentorship You could create a monthly subscription package or ongoing training with exclusive video content.

3) Affiliate revenue You can promote whatever you like on your group – and while you have an open forum for topic discussion, you can have the monopoly on affiliate links. Thus if you have a recipe group, you can promote culinary equipment that got rave reviews from Amazon, Clickbank courses on Paleo cooking, recipe books etc.

4) Drive traffic to ad-enabled blog or website. The beauty of this is that you are still giving stuff away. Once again, focus on high value content that is relevant to the group.

5) Product launches. If you have a loyal audience you can create new products tailored to their needs or you can promote existing products of your own.

6) Partnership opportunities Your group is a valuable asset which can be used to leverage celebrity interviews, paid posts from others, post-for-post or revenue share joint ventures and more. Once you have an engaged audience online, whatever the platform, the opportunities available to you open up in incredible ways. Everyone wants visibility for their offer, and you are the one that has it. You can do outreach offering opportunities to people. The sky is the limit here and of course the bigger and better your group, the more powerful the opportunities that arise!

Conclusion

There you have it folks! I hope this free tutorial has been valuable for you. Let us know your thoughts, questions and success stories in the comments! Don’t forget to follow us on social media and be sure to check out our numerous other free internet business tutorials.

The Wealth Mindset And The Poverty Mindset Are Real Things – Master These To Master The Game Of Wealth

The Wealth Mindset And The Poverty Mindset Are Real Things
Image – pixabay (PD)

What, really, is the “wealth mindset”? Is there really such a thing? Is it just based on some vague idea that you can get rich by “wishing yourself rich”, “thinking yourself rich” or “acting as though you are already rich” – and that someone who doesn’t do so is only poor because of their beliefs?

While many may think so, (especially those who are not rich and need to tell themselves a comforting story about how they are going to get rich!)… this is a false notion, and possibly very harmful. It is very important to note that wealth is about way more than just a set of beliefs. It’s fantastic to have positive beliefs about your potential and the possibilities of wealth – sure – but the important message here is that belief, in and of itself, will not make you rich.

This is a fact. There are countless people who believed wholeheartedly that they were going to get rich, and completely failed to do so.

There are countless people who visualized being rich and dreamed of living in palaces – but were poor until the end of their days.

There are countless people who acted as though they were already rich, and – not altogether surprisingly – ended up broke.

Your ability to buy a Lear Jet will not be predicated solely by how badly you want it.

If wishing, dreaming, visualizing and praying for things were enough to make them happen, no-one would ever die of starvation. Sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.

The “white hot desire” for wealth, as described by Napoleon Hill in his famous “Think And Grow Rich”, is an essential motivator – but the desire will not, in and of itself, draw the money towards you as if by magic.

You need to be able to TRANSLATE the desire into a METHOD for actually making the money and then EXECUTE – and this means…

…finding some way to improve the lives of others.

As the saying goes, “stop making this about you.” Success in business is not about you – it is about your customers / clients. “I want this, I want that” will not make you rich. Creating solutions for others is what makes people rich!

Also note that the true wealth mindset is way more than just the “standard issue formula” of “work, get paid and save”. Someone who does this may make some money. But that, in and of itself, will not make them wealthy – in fact the chances are, it is making someone else wealthy! Do you know many people who got rich and free on a salary?

Wealth is not only dependent on the quantity of work you do, and on how much you don’t spend. It’s no good just taking your money and hiding it under the mattress. It doesn’t grow that way. It doesn’t work for you. Being able to resist spending impulses is very important, but in order to be wealthy, you want wealth to be flowing towards you. If you have no asset systems, from the very moment you stop working, you will be becoming poorer – and that’s not the way the wealthy do it!

Even with a savings account – all you will be doing is vaguely keeping pace with inflation. And then there are the inevitable expenses. Savings accounts and the like are an excellent “emergency cushion” and can be a good way to store money safely until it is time to utilize it – but they are not a way to get rich.

The true wealth mindset is a combination of several qualities. It encompasses many abilities and strengths – strategy, self discipline, creativity, quality of ideas, knowledge of systems, skills, good choices:

1) An understanding of the way wealth works and the way assets can be multiplied and made to “work for you” by investing instead of spending.

2) Continued development of first-class knowledge, skills and ideas related to your field and line of business / investment.

3) An ability to provide benefit or value to others.

4) Actual, sustained, continued, focused performance of the actions which make money, sustain health and build assets.

5) Resistance to the tendencies and temptations that cause money to flow away.

These “five essentials” are inner assets – personal qualities which can be cultivated and developed, and which ultimately combine to create the mindset of wealth. Develop these inner assets and “outer assets” will follow!

This is what is meant by the phrase “You are your wealth”. It means that the most important factor in wealth creation is you. Who you are, your knowledge, what you are capable of doing. This is what will attract wealth towards you.

Can you see now that the real “wealth mindset” is way more than just a vague set of beliefs and fantasies about money?

Understand And Conquer The Poverty Mindset

Ultimately, poverty is not the opposite of wealth, it is the lack of wealth. There is no real poverty mindset; there is only a lack of a wealth mindset!

Most people have at least one ace up their sleeve – but those who only possess one or two of the five essential qualities of the wealth mindset, are most likely not rich. Have a look around; observe some people over the course of time – and if they are not wealthy, see if you can figure out which of the five essentials they are missing. You might wish to keep your opinions private, as people do not often appreciate unrequested criticism – but apply the five essentials to your private observations, and I’ll bet you can see what’s going on. Their “incomplete” mindset is causing money to flow away from them.

It is visible everywhere in the modern age – but is no new phenomenon. People seek instant fixes for everything. You might even say that they are seeking “outer fixes for inner mistakes.” They see no reason for learning how to live differently, for re-inventing themselves. Imagine a bucket with a big hole in the bottom. For some reason, they think that they will get rich just by pouring more water into the bucket.

Some even manage to get a fire-hose and point it into the bucket. They make a giant mess, cause all kinds of collateral damage, splash around like a bird in a fountain – for a minute…. but then, once the hose has run out, they look into the bucket and realize there’s nothing in there.

They don’t get it. And then, comes the water bill…

Being wealthy also requires way more than just an ability to keep doing a job and getting paid, and then hide the money in the sock drawer instead of spending it. Working or hustling, and then jealously guarding and hiding what you have, will not make you rich. If that is all you do, you will only become miserly. You would not only have no lifestyle, but you would have no life. This is where the archetypal image of “Scrooge” comes from – someone who thinks they are rich but actually lives in a permanent state of fear; hiding away, guarding and counting a pile of coins. Scrooge is “only about himself” and despite having a pile of coins, has the epitome of a poverty mindset.

The Illusion Of Scarcity – And How To Overcome It

Recently I was on the gorgeous Hawaiian Island of Maui. On the day of arrival, I was delighted to find mangoes, one of my favorite fruits, ripe and falling off a tree right outside the cabin. They are perceived as a precious little treasure in other locations and so I hastily gathered up the first ones I saw. My island guide laughed. “If you were here for a couple of months, you wouldn’t care much about the mangoes any more.” she said. “There are so many of them that later in the summer there are more ripe ones than anyone can possibly eat and they fall and rot in their thousands, making the air smell powerfully of rotten mango everywhere. It makes you a bit crazy.”

Nature is superabundant, to the point of carelessness. A plant may produce tens of thousands of seeds, a frog hundreds of tadpoles.

Somewhere, there are hungry people. This is a very sad truth. But this doesn’t mean you need to buy into the illusion of scarcity. Somewhere else, there is so much delicious fruit that no-one can possibly eat it all and much of it goes to waste.

If you want to be rich, don’t buy into the mindset of scarcity! The point is this: If you have the mindset of scarcity, you will believe that there is “not enough to go around” and that in order to get rich, you have to beat others down in some way. If you were to do this, you would have officially joined the rat race and would end up surrounded by people who are trying to beat you down too. Don’t do it.

If however you “think out of the box” and adopt the attitude that there are an infinite number of ways in which people could be made happy, and that all you have to do is use existing conditions advantageously, you will potentially be able to prosper in ways which benefit all. Not only this, but you will be more likely to encounter assistance, rather than resistance! This is what might be known as “aligning yourself with the current of prosperity.”

Adopting an “abundance mindset” is a critical shift that you can make right now.

10 Ways 3-D Printing Will Radically Change The World

10 Ways 3-D Printing Will Radically Change The World
Image – pixabay (PD)

Back in February 2011, The Economist magazine published a famous article called “Print me a Stradivarius” which reported on the idea of printing objects using a process now known as additive manufacturing. [1] The concept of prototyping designs using a printer seemed extraordinary back then. Now, 3D printing has come a long way and has emerged as a promising tool for making customized and complex items such as false teeth, car parts, jewelry, and ceramics.

The hype over 3D printing is not something new. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, which involves printing materials in layers to make an object from a programmed 3D digital drawing, has been around since the 80’s. [2] There are however many recent developments that highlight the potential of this technology to change the world. The far-reaching potential of additive manufacturing is already starting to disrupt important industries such as education, construction, manufacturing and aerospace.

1. More Affordable Homes

In 2014, Dutch designers put the additive manufacturing process to test by 3D-printing a house. According to the people involved in the project, 3D printing could revolutionize how we make cities. They described the building industry as one of the most polluting industries and cited the benefits offered by 3D printing to the sector including zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and recyclable materials. [3]

2. Cheaper Prosthetics

A hospital in Sudan uses a 3D printer to create prosthetics that cost less than the conventional ones. Doctors around the world are hoping that 3D printing technologies could help the millions of people who are in need of artificial limbs and braces. The newly popularized technology resulted in the democratization of prosthetic design and creation.

3. Availability of Replacements 24/7

You can use 3D printers to produce replacement parts for everyday objects. This saves you from going to the store to get a replacement or purchase online for a part that will take days or weeks to arrive at your home. Many 3D printing websites offer blueprints to replacement parts that are free for download. This will enable more household-level production of some things.

4. Helps Reduce Plastic Waste

Most plastics available in the market are non-biodegradable and end up as waste, posing a threat to the environment. Additive manufacturing utilizes filaments which are recycled plastics. Coca-Cola’s Ekocycle initiative collaborated with 3D Systems and music artist will.i.am to develop the Ekocycle Cube, a printer that only accepts recycled plastics. [4]

5. Enhances Science, Research, and Education

The decrease in price and size of 3D printers paved the way for the incorporation of the technology in the classroom setting. There are several advantages that education can reap from integrating 3D printing into their curriculum including improved learning methods, new learning materials and aids, and enhanced student learning.

The 3D printer has many applications in the classroom including printing out molecules in chemistry, production of replacement car parts in automotive class, designing intricate molds for pastries in cooking class, printing out historic artifacts in geography and archaeology classes, and creating 3D versions of artworks by graphic design students.

6. Localized Production of Apparel

3D printing is slowly becoming prevalent in the design and production of clothing, accessories, shoes, and more. Many companies involved in this industry have factories that are based in developing countries to reduce production costs. Soon, they could build factories equipped with mass production 3D printers without moving jobs to other countries.
German sportswear company Adidas partnered with Silicon Valley startup Carbon to produce the midsole of a new line of shoes. Adidas will be utilizing Carbon’s unique additive manufacturing technology to produce a line of shoes at the scale of 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018.

7. You Can Print Food Instead of Buying

3D printed pizza? You bet! There are now machines that can be used to print out foods such as candies, chocolates, and even a pizza. 3D Systems has developed a printer that can print chocolates and candies in complex shapes. Another company called Natural Machines designed the Foodini printer which can print out pizzas and ravioli.

8. Fabrication of Nano and Micro Structures

Researchers from Harvard University designed and 3D-printed a lithium-ion battery that is the size of a single grain of sand. This kind of battery could be used to power miniature medical devices, tiny robots, and compact electronics. [5] The Harvard study forwards the value of 3D nano-printing to rapid prototyping of micro and nano structures.

9. Touchable Pictures

Wolfprint 3D, an Estonian company, offers a 3D imaging machine that allows expectant mothers to create 3D models of their unborn babies. Pirate3D, a California-company, has made possible for blind and visually impaired people to see photographs via an affordable home printer called Buccaneer.

10. Stronger, Safer Vehicles

Aircraft manufacturers are now using 3D-printed components to make their planes lighter and stronger. In 2012, Airbus used 3D printer to produce removable brackets needed to place between the aircraft’s systems and structure. The American company saved an average of 44 days on the bracket supply lead time after producing 1,300 parts in fourteen months.

References:

[1] The Economist. February 10, 2011. Print me a Stradivarius
http://www.economist.com/node/18114327

[2] Ian Gibson, David Rosen, and Brent Stucker. 2015. Additive Manufacturing Technologies:
3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping, and Direct Digital Manufacturing
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4939-2113-3

[3] BBC News. How Dutch team is 3D-printing a full-sized house
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-27221199/how-dutch-team-is-3d-printing-a-full-sized-house

[4] June 19, 2014. Recycling Fashion: Will.i.am,Coca-Cola launch new brand
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/press-center/press-releases/recycling-fashion-william-coca-cola-launch-new-brand

[5] Dan Ferber. June 18, 2013. Printing tiny batteries
https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2013/06/printing-tiny-batteries