My name is Jaden Riley. I’m from a small town in central Illinois, and I’m in a program called CEO. CEO is a program for High School Seniors that Creates Entrepreneurial Opportunities and brings experience of the real world to the “classroom.” If you would like more information on CEO just ask and I will be glad to share.

During the second semester of the class we will be starting a real business with real money.

I will be doing a 3D Modeling and Printing service. Right now, my options are limited. I have a laptop that has trouble running the modeling and slicing software, I have to use basic 3D modeling software, and I only have access to the printer at my school. To become more efficient I will need to purchase a printer and a good computer.

I have started a GoFundMe page, and I was wondering if this would be a good place for me to share the link to get the word out.

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Hey Jaden,

This sounds like a brilliant project as most young people aren’t taught about the value of money. This may open their eyes to what business is really like. A project called Young Enterprise works with a similar objective. However this is subject specific to 3D printing.

Would you mind letting me know more as I may be able to help where necessary.

I have quite a knowledge of 3D printers and 3D modelling so could give crucial advise for your project to help others.

Would really like to find out more about this.

Seems like asking for money is a poor business start. How about use the school printer to create things that earn you money to buy what you need or get a job and save your money from that.


It isn’t as bad as you would think. Most businesses start off with a loan, which is asking for money. The program does provide a “loan” so this is not my first option. It is just such an expensive path that the money being “loaned” wont cover my expenses. I do have a job too but, in Illinois, its legal to pay someone under 18 under minimum wage. I only have had 6 months to come up with the money, and the idea just came to me a few months ago. Business plan writing and market research took up a lot of that time.

I have a decent amount of experience also, but I am still learning modeling software. About a year ago my Computer teacher, Mr. Mas.,came to me and a couple other people about using the schools new 3D printer, of course I accepted. Eventually me and classmate got pretty proficient with the slicing software, Slic3r. Mr. Mas. asked us if we wanted to print a hand for a third grade kid, and me and my classmate took the challenge. The story got shared on local news channels, and helped spread my name in my community. Around the same time I started using the printer, I also got accepted into the CEO program, which has helped me learn the business side of things, and has given me the opportunity to start a business out of 3D printing. Right now I do have access to a printer, but only during school hours, when I’m not in class, and when a class is not using the printer for a class project. I would only be able to do one print a day during my lunch period and pick it up at the end of the day, so it is not very efficient.

Edit - Link to one of the local news stories (I’m the awkard one that didn’t talk during that portion of the interview):


You’ve got a really amazing story behind you by helping the kid. It’s great your interested in running a 3D printing based company as the technology could become huge in the years to come.

If you have limited access to a printer then you may want to invest in one of your own, but it can be costly. A funding/ loan could work, but you could always produce products during these times to sell on.

For instance you could advertise your services around school, stating what you could offer to print, but only as long as your school agreeed with it. That’ll benefit you in so many ways:

  1. You gain an insight into what some people are interested in printing
  2. You can get a better feel to modelling, as you learn a lot through experience
  3. You’ll begin to understand customer satifaction as well as what you are capable of
  4. It’ll develop a portfolio
  5. Finally it produces small amounts of profit to go towards a printer.

Would you mind saying what 3D modelling software you are using. I may be able to offer advise if you’d like.

Right now I’m using blender but I really want to change to something a little better.

That’s good to hear. I use Blender myself now and then. It can be hard to use with little experience though. Deoending on what you wish to achieve will determine which software you may need. Blender is great for sculpting characters, but it’s difficult modelling scaled parts like buildings and products as it can be difficult getting measurements correct.

Something like Sketchup or auto CAD would be better for such prints. It all depends on what you intend to do.

If you struggle or need advice just ask and I’ll see how I can help you out.

I too am starting a 3D printing company. I turned 18 back in July and in August we went corporate. Now I’ve got a lot of experience with philanthropy from the past, since 2008 my charity raised over 30 000$ for my local hospitals paediatric and paediatric oncology wards to help purchase the kids toys. I also received the eastern Canada Youth in Philanthropy award as well as an honorable citizen award given to my by my towns mayor that same year. I have to be honest, I started with very little funding. In fact, my first 300$ into a prusa I3 clone was pretty well the only investment, aside from maybe a couple hundred bucks in filament I put in myself. Other than that, I have been building the business off of its own revenues. Mind you, I put a ton of effort in and never take any funds our for personal use. We’re sitting strong now at 5 printers and expanding, I’ve got my own custom printer design just about complete, and a complete automation system in the final design stages that we will be building so it’s quite exciting. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you set your mind to it and put all the effort you can into it you can accomplish it even without any mass amount of funding. Mind you, don’t be expecting to make any money from it right away, but that should be the case with any business startup.

Apologies for the lack of organization on that one, I had tabbing and paragraphs but they always seem to disappear when you send a message on mobile. Just to add in case anyone is curious, I’m a freshmen at the University of Windsor, cuffently studying Computer science at the time of this post, but I’m switching into Mechanical engineering hopefully as of second semester!

This really is inspirational. I hope to get started quick, because of the opportunity in the medical field. I do have a lot of help because of the program I’m in, but it’s an expensive path.

It’s true, but I started with just a 300$ machine. Sure it was more work than buying say an ultimaker, but I didn’t have a couple grand to throw away. It printed the same quality if you put the effort into calibrating and making sure it’s running properly. I guess my point is you don’t need all the bells and whistles to get started. Your setup in the beginning may not be perfect, but that always leaves you something to strive for!

Right. I do have fall back plans as the program does provide a $500 “loan.” The more expensive path was suggested heavily by my mentor. Do you have any cheap printers I can get for around $500?

Honestly this is the part where your own research will bed fit your needs. I’d suggest looking through the 3D hubs printer guide and seeing what is available for that price, honestly it’s most likely going to be a self assembly kit which is good as it will teach you a lot about how printers work and how to maintain them. Once you have one or a few you have in mind, Google it or search on YouTube for some honest reviews about that printer. Once it’s all said and done you should have what will hopefully be the best printer for your exact current needs. Hope this helps! Also I don’t have a link to the printer guide, but I’m sure someone on here could be kind enough to post it :stuck_out_tongue: