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"Absolutely 3D printing changed my way of business, it has surpassed what I thought I could achieve. I didn’t even know anything about 3D printing or designing 18mths ago and now I love spending every free minute designing and printing. My customers are amazing and so many have been with me from the very beginning." Said Tammi Williams.
Tammi Williams, a resident of Western Australia, has run a Bath and Body shop (TMK Moulds & Colourants) in Mandurah Western Australia for 12 years. 18months ago she was thinking about how to make her shop more attractive and the idea of creating her own moulds and using those moulds to make unique bath bomb products came up to her. Can you make money with 3D printers? Let’s follow Flashforge to see how Tammi found success in 3D printing and starting her business online selling 3D printed moulds and unique body care products all over the world!
▲Cutomized bath bombs 3D printed by Tammi
“The idea to use 3D printers to print my own moulds came about as not only a way to save money but also fulfill a need for custom mould designs. While I had so many mould design ideas at the beginning, no one could help me make those ideas into a 3-dimensional model and then into a physical 3-dimensional mould. So, I had to learn 3D design and 3D print on my own. While the world stood still for COVID, my learning began and here is where my business started.
Once I had ideas, I made 2-dimensional sketches and then created 3D mould forms using designing programs. I uses Fusion 360 and Blender to design models and then uses Flashforge 3D printers to print models. My first printer was an Adventurer 3. Adventurer 3 3D printers are very simply constructed and have helped me to fully understand how a 3D printer prints layer by layer. I’m very glad that 3D printers helped me realize my ideas.
▲Tammi designing and 3D printing
I pressed the bath bomb mix into the printed moulds and hopefully unmoulded to make the shapes, while successful moulds not only mean you get good 3D printouts but also mean those 3D printed moulds can be successfully applied in creating bath bombs. A bath bomb is made using a mix of dry ingredients and a small amount of liquids to create a damp sand like texture that can be compacted into a mould to create shapes. Moulds need to have the right amount of angles and soft edgers to unmould properly and to take on crisp clean details, so I need to adjust and test the moulds repeatedly on my 3D printers.
Finding this balance takes a lot of practice and experience from creating bath bombs over many years. Anyway, with testing and all going well, I got successful moulds, succeeding in using those moulds to make bath bombs of different shapes.
▲Tammi using 3D printed moulds to make unique Bath Bombs
I sell my moulds to other artists, who can select their favored shapes and unmould bath bombs of unique shapes. What’s more interesting was that it can make bath bombs unique not only by shapes but also by painting. After unmoulding the bath bomb, people paint using cosmetic micas. Yes, people paint in their own way. “I love that we all may use the same mould shapes that I create but that we all have our own style.” Said Tammi.
▲bath bombs of pear and pizza shapes
"I am turning 50 this year and starting to think about what retirement might look like from my retail store. 3D printing and design will be a massive part of this.” Said Tammi Williams. Tammi’s passion for 3D printing soon turned her business into full-fledged. She enlarged business online, selling her 3D printed mould designs worldwide and creates vacuum-formed LDPE moulds for soaps and bath bombs, as well as silicone moulds made from her 3D printed designs. Now, she has 12 units of Adventurer 3 3D printers, 3 units of Adventurer 4 3D printers, and with the view to add a Flashforge Dreamer 3D printer model sometime soon.
▲Tammi's 3D printers
Writing in the end
Tammi's business wins great support from her family. Her son helps her run the business by handling the mailing of orders, while her husband supports her by cutting plastic and encouraging her ideas. The success of Tammi's business has surpassed her initial expectations, and she is now planning for retirement by incorporating 3D printing and design into her future plans.
Tammi's story highlights the potential for anyone to succeed in the 3D printing application, even without prior knowledge or experience. With dedication and the right equipment, 3D printing opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs like Tammi to turn their ideas into successful businesses, to make money with 3D printers, and to gain accomplishments in life.
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