Expensive is one thing to one guy, and something else to another.
The 3D printer cost $250. Various Filaments; a Filament drier (that may or may not be needed) was $80.00. I have 4 different rolls of filaments now. All are different colors and one roll is of a completely different type of filament to try out.
I've bought some odds and ends of tools and things that I may never need. I'd guess I've got another $200/300 into it now.
I am enjoying learning all the new things that are necessary to do good work.
If someone thought they'd make money with a small printer like mine (Ender 3-V2) I think they would have to come up with some product that would sell to a LOT of people. Even then, each item might take 3 hours or more (some take 20 hours) to produce, so quick production isn't going to happen with only one printer.
I am having a ball, and I wish I would have bought it earlier in my life. Yes, I'd do it again, in Spades.
Very impressive. I too found cad/cam an absorbing hobby, I built a large 3 axis flat bed router. Quickly learned the work is in learning and using the design software. Those are some good lookin stylized Thinkers. No longer have a shop for the router, maybe Ill give your 3d printers a try. It will definitely exercise the ol brain....
I've been wanting to get into it. Keep talking myself out of it. There are ways to make a liitle money with them. You can create a design (requires some cad skills) then put it on site like thingyverse.com and people that don't have a 3D printer can order those items from you. Interesting hobby.
Just print; design it yourseslf; scan...all of the above are possible.
The easiest thing to do is to go to Thingiverse and scan thousands of mostly free designs. Download one and print it in the size you want, with the filament that you want. That is what I did with the Thinker models.
Or, you can get any of many CAD programs, some free, some very costly, and learn how to design and produce an object. That is what I did with the fishing lure I put up here today.
Lastly, you can take 50 or 100 pictures of any object, and feed them into a program (Meshroom) is one of many. That program is supposed to make the model for you. I input 43 pix into it today. I have no idea how to get the model file out of it yet.
Off to the learning room, again...for this old codger.