I'm thinking of setting up a 3D printing/laser cutting service and would appreciate anybody's suggestions.


Firstly, although I work in IT infrastructure I have no recent knowledge of the CAD/CNC industry but figure I can start just by accepting completed production files and selling print/cut time. Later I'd get into design assistance and from-scratch designs. I plan to do a few short courses on the equipment, and an Autocad course but start simple.


I'd be targeting one-offs and small run sets, with preferably better-quality equipment (so nothing you can do at home on a $500 printer). So for example, a laser cutter that would take no larger than a 1/2 size plywood panel (600x1200) but perhaps half this size. I have an idea of selling services to the marine industry (won't go into details but see similar custom stuff in the USA). I'd also want to print and cut vinyl in a limited capacity but don't want to compete with full-fledged sign writers.


I'd also target students (try and be physically near a certain campus), hobbyists, TTRPGers, and so on, plus sell a few of my own ideas retail.


I fully expect to be working out of a garage to start with! But one day I'd like to have a small shop with a street frontage, so that passersby can see the printers in action, think to themselves "actually I have something I want made!" and wander inside.


Later I'd want to do vacuum forming and even CNC milling, but I understand that's a lot more intensive. I'd lease as much stuff as I can and use subscription software to limit initial capital outlay. I'd probably run it as a limited liability company. I have a good company name for it and the domain names are free :-)


So other than the obvious things (heck, including the obvious things) what would your advice be?