Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackerspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries, they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies, and tools, and more.
Back in 1961, the American automaker Chevrolet released a short film titled American Maker, it profiled a certain type of people who were dubbed “Makers.” It stated that Makers build for use as well as building for fun. While the video focused more on industrial engineering and model making, the spirit of making was the same then as it is now.
Here’s a great article for more on what being a “Maker” is CLICK HERE
CafePress.com CafePress is one of the oldest print-on-demand services online and they offer one of the largest catalogs of products on which you can print your logo or designs. From apparel, like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats, to calendars, posters, mugs, water bottles, stickers, stuffed animals, buttons, messenger bags, and even clocks, CafePress offers hundreds of different products to sell and its thriving community of users creates over 45,000 new items each day on the site.
Zazzle.com Like CafePress, Zazzle offers a huge number of customizable products including t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, ties, and even aprons, jackets, postage stamps, and shoes. They offer both custom on-demand printing and embroidery on many of their clothing products, and also offer a range of non-apparel items, such as skateboard decks, calendars, magnets, and postcards. Zazzle users have created a mind-blowing 19.5 billion items.
Spreadshirt has a focus on t-shirts and sweatshirts, but they also offer a range of accessories that can be printed with your designs, including bags, aprons, buttons, and neckties. One of Spreadshirt’s strengths is the ease of use of its online product designer, making is really easy for anyone to make or customize products that can then be sold to the public.
Pikistore.com Pikistore does t-shirts and a few other customizable items, such as mugs and mousepads, and does it with a flair that other print-on-demand publishers would be hard-pressed to match. For those who want a really great looking storefront from which to sell their t-shirts, perhaps one that matches the look and feel of an existing web site, then Pikistore might be a good option to check out. For authors and photographers (and musicians and filmmakers), Lulu offers an amazing service. Lulu is a great way for anyone to publish a printed book (in either hard or softcover, perfect bound, spiral-bound, or saddle-stitched), CDs, or DVDs. One of the best things about Lulu is that they can help you get your products listed for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in bookstores, as well as tools to help you sell and promote your work through social networks like Facebook.
CreateSpace.com Owned by Amazon, lets authors, musicians, and filmmakers create print-on-demand books, CDs, and DVDs. The main advantage to using CreateSpace is that because it is owned by Amazon, your products’ inclusion in the Amazon catalog is guaranteed. That means you can also sell on the Kindle, via the Amazon MP3 store, and offer movie downloads (which means availability on the Xbox 360 and certain TiVo players). Being guaranteed a spot in Amazon’s marketplace can mean a huge boost to your potential sales.
Blurb.com Blurb just does books, but they do books beautifully. Blurb specializes in creating printed books that definitely don’t have a print-on-demand feel, and because they create such great photo books, the site has attracted many artists and photographers. As a result, many of the books they create are right up there in terms of design with those coming out of the major publishing houses. Blurb also makes it easy to automatically create books with your content from Flickr, SmugMug, Picasa, and TypePad.
TasteBook.com If you’re creating a cookbook, then TasteBook might be for you. TasteBooks are stunning hardcover, spiral-bound cookbook binders that hold up to 100 recipes. But what really sets TasteBook apart from other print-on-demand publishers is that users can upload their own recipes or choose recipes from a large number of third-party providers, including Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Food Network, Better Homes and Gardens, Epicurious, Recipezaar, and more.
CDbaby.com Over 200,000 indie artists already sell their music through CDBaby. It’s not exactly a print-on-demand publisher since they really just handle warehousing, selling, and distribution of your CDs (though they do offer disc duplication services as well), but it is so amazingly popular among indie musicians that it would be hard not to mention it here.
Spoonflower.com Anyone who watches Project Runway knows that the right print can make or break a good design. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to have your own designs turned into printed fabric? Spoonflower, a print-on-demand fabric seller, does just that, letting designers create and sell printed fabrics on either quilting or upholstery weight cotton or organic cotton sateen, with prices ranging from $18 – $32 per yard.
DeviantArt.com deviantART is one of the largest art sites on the web, with over 81 million submissions. Every member of the site is also eligible to sell their art through the site’s store on mugs, mousepads, coasters, magnets, puzzles, prints and other items. Prints can be offered in a variety of sizes and with a handful of different frame types.
ImageKind Any artists out there? Want to easily sell prints of your work? Then check out ImageKind. This site, which is owned by CafePress, specializes in prints and cards with a variety of different material, size, and framing options. For photographers who use Flickr, you can easily import your work to ImageKind and offer it for sale with custom framing.
deviantART deviantART is one of the largest art sites on the web, with over 81 million submissions. Every member of the site is also eligible to sell their art through the site’s store on mugs, mousepads, coasters, magnets, puzzles, prints and other items. Prints can be offered in a variety of sizes and with a handful of different frame types.
TheGameCrafter.com The Game Crafter is an awesome new service for making and selling your own board games and collectible card games. Just upload your artwork and game rules, and pick out which pieces (dice, pawns, etc.) need to be included and go! The Game Crafter will print, package up, and mail out your game every time it’s ordered. It won’t be quite as polished as a traditionally published game (game boards are printed on heavy clay-coated card stock rather than the even heavier chip core that game companies usually use, for example), but the results are still very playable and The Game Crafter’s service is bound to get better over time.
Shapeways like Ponoko, Shapeways lets you upload 3D designs and turn them into real products using 3D printing technology. The site then lets you sell your products via a custom storefront. People are using Shapeways to sell art, toys, jewelry, and other gadgets, and some people are using the site for rapid prototyping of products.
Pinshape is a thriving 3D printing community & marketplace full of quality 3D printable files. Sell & share your designs, or download 3D files to print now!
Turbosquid has an impressive list of high profile clients. As a buyer, you can find practically anything you need via this platform. As a seller, it is difficult to set yourself apart on Turbosquid. This will require a lot of active marketing and a lot of talent. The upside is the massive user base of Turbosquid. Ones you stand out here, you can have a very good business via this platform.
GrabCAD is the biggest free model repository. You can connect with over 3 million members. They have the largest community of designers, engineers and manufacturers to access their library of CAD models and tutorials. It can be hard to find “ready to print models” on this site.
Sculpteo is a company from France that primarily focusses on 3D printing services. But, Sculpteo also offers an excellent marketplace for designers to sell their products. Having a similar business model as Shapeways, their marketplace is a lot less crowded. This can be seen as an advantage for those of you who wish to sell your models.
Ponoko.com Pronko takes your 3D designs and turns them into actual products using a variety of materials, such as MDF, bamboo, cardboard, leather, acrylic, and felt. The result is that you can make toys, housewares, furniture, jewelry, and even electronics and put them up for sale in your own storefront.
Thingiverse.com Thingiverse is a place for you to share your digital designs with the world. We believe that just as computing shifted away from the mainframe into the personal computer that you use today, digital fabrication will share the same path. In fact, it is already happening: laser cutters, CNC machines, 3D printers, and even automated paper cutters are all getting cheaper by the day. These machines are useful for a huge variety of things, but you need to supply them with a digital design in order to get anything useful out of them. We’re hoping that together we can create a community of people who create and share designs freely so that all can benefit from them.