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Entrepreneur Alex Hroncich '21 Opens 3D Printing Business

This is the first in a series of interviews with student entrepreneurs at Saint Joseph Regional High School.

 

Sophomore Alex Hroncich has been a member of SJR's 3D Printing Club since he arrived on campus in 2018. He is a prolific printer in the school's Media Center and has taken his passion home. In the fall, Hroncich attended the World Maker Faire in Queens. Recently, he began making and selling custom 3D printed parts.

 

CONCEPT
What got you interested in starting a business? Specifically 3D printed parts?

I got interested in opening up custom 3D prints for two reasons: to use up extra materials and to provide funding for other projects and things I want.

 
How did you get your business started?

I made a name for myself by working on themed projects based on trending topics. This helped me gain traction on my social media accounts. I also joined smaller communities that aligned with my hobbies to meet new people. Not only did they become good friends, but they also provided a way for my content to reach a larger audience.

 
What materials/equipment were needed?

I currently own 3 printers. I also have numerous filament colors, types and a handful of paints on hand for clients to choose from when they place an order.

 

PROCESS

How would someone order from you?

All of my business is done through social media accounts. I'll post an alert stating that commissions are open and showcase previous prints I've created. Recently I’ve been taking advantage of the social media platform Amino for commissions. Amino is a large social media platform made up of smaller groups made for series and hobbies. These groups are small, which allows me to engage with unique content for the users. Anyone interested would DM me directly for information and pricing.

 
What is most common order?

I don’t have a definite answer, but most often people are looking to replace small pieces of a larger item that may have broken or become damaged over time.

 
What is the process of creating a piece?

Once a customer is interested, I’ll ask them for any concept art and ideas they have for the piece. Then I can provide a price and a time frame. I consider the model and print to be two different items.


SALES
How do you generate new business/sales?

I generate new business through social media. I very rarely sell products in person, but I did have a booth at the SJR Craft Fair as well as at my local Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.

 
What is the cost of a custom piece? How are you able to make a profit?

Prices vary. It depends on what the person needs and how long it will take to make. My most recent commission piece cost $30 for the print and model. The materials used in the print were given to me by companies as previous review items for videos. If I used filament I bought myself, the profit would have been around $23 taking into account the plastic I used.