3D printers take a lot of punishment. A single print can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 15 hours. A heavy printer can spend between 30 to 80 hours a week printing. Working for 30 hours a week, a printer will last up to 10 years.
If a 3D printer has such a long lifespan, why would you want to sell it? It could be because of an emergency. It might be that you’ve learned how expensive and complicated 3D printing can be.
There are several reasons why someone may want to sell their 3D printer. If so, how would they go about it? Considering that 3D printing is still somewhat of a niche industry, where could you sell a 3D printer? Will your local pawn shop take it and if so, how much can you expect to get for it?
Can I Pawn My Printer?
Pawn shops buy nearly anything from jewelry to electronics. They also give out loans while holding an item as collateral against the loan. Selling a 3D printer to a pawn shop is highly likely to recoup far less of the value as compared to selling on an open market. This is primarily because pawn shops are resellers. They buy solely for resale.
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A pawn shop owner will figure his markup on the printer when negotiating a price. This means you get a lower price on the printer than if you sold it to someone who wanted one for their own use.
Alternatively, you can take out a loan using the printer as collateral. In this case, the printer is still yours, unless of course you default on the loan.
You need a small amount of cash but still want to keep the printer. Here are few options,
What Can I Pawn For $100?
Jewelry is one of the easiest things to pawn. The advantage of jewelry is that it has no moving parts and does not carry the same amount of risk as electronics for example. In this case, all a pawnbroker needs to do is have the jewelry upraised to estimate its value.
What Can I Pawn For $50?
Small items like tool sets and handheld electronics typically sell for a lower price in a pawn shop. They do not have as much resale value. They also carry a higher risk for a pawnbroker as they are more likely to sit in storage without finding a buyer.
Can I Sell My 3D Printer?
A frequently cited reason for selling a 3D printer is to upgrade to a newer model. 3D printing technology has rapidly improved in the past 15 years. A five-year-old printer will likely be missing a few features that make printing easier or prints turn out better. For example, newer 3D printers support printing over WiFi which older models do not support.
3D printing has evolved since the early 1980s when the first 3D printers were made. Back then, SLA (Stereolithography) was the primary 3D printing technology and 3D printers were only used by industrial companies and research institutes.
Today, 3D printing has changed dramatically. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is now the most dominant printing technology and printers are available to everyone from professionals to hobbyists.
3D printing continues to grow. Newer printers can print faster, more efficiently and with a wider range of materials. It makes sense then to upgrade your printer to something with better capabilities every few years.
In such a case what do you do with your old printer? The first logical solution would be to sell it.
Where Can You Sell A 3D Printer? (Where to List It?!)
Despite it being a niche industry, there are several thriving marketplaces where used 3D printers are sold. In this case, the old saying holds that wherever there are people, there is a marketplace. Here are a few places:
3D Printing Forums and Groups
These are especially good because there is a higher level of interest. Forums consist of people that have deliberately sought out a space where they can find information and connect with other people that are into 3D printing.
They also might be in the market for cheap equipment like a used 3D printer. This is especially the case for beginners who want to buy their first printer but do not want to spend too much or professionals looking for a backup printer.
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The biggest advantage to Ecommerce sites is they are a much larger marketplace than forums or groups. Where forums expose you to tens or hundreds of thousands of potentially interested buyers, Ecommerce sites expose you to millions.
With that said, Ecommerce sites will be less focused. It will be a lot harder to find a targeted audience looking to buy a used or even non-functioning printer. Depending on the condition of the printer, it can be sold on:
How Much Can You Sell A 3D Printer For?
This is determined largely by the condition, age and brand of the printer. A newer printer from a good brand and that is still in mint condition will fetch more than an old, damaged or unrecognized brand name. Taking these factors into consideration reselling a printer will recoup anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of its original value.
What Can You Do With Old 3D Printers?
Old 3D printers should be recycled to avoid creating electronic waste. 3D printers can be sustainably disposed of by donating them, trading them in or by converting them into a CNC machine.
Consider donating your old machine to a young child or a school in your area. It is a great way to inspire beginners who might be interested in getting into 3D printing but just cannot afford one. Charities such as the Giving Centre take donations of electronics like computers and 3D printers. Source
There are also some organizations that will take your old printer and exchange it for a fee for a newer upgrade. A few companies that do this include Airwolf3D, Robo3D and TriTech3D.
Another option is to convert your printer into a CNC machine. A 3D printer is essentially a CNC machine so it is perfectly suited to making a few modifications that will change its functions.