"We get to know the people, and their vision," he said.
3D Hubs is another company betting that there are people who are interested in 3D printers but don't own one. The site operates like an Airbnb for 3D printers, by helping people find 3D printers that are owned by other people or businesses nearby.
3D printing is already a crucial element in some large companies' manufacturing processes. But for smaller companies, the technology's biggest obstacle may be a lack of awareness about when it's right to use it, said Pete Brasiliere, an industry analyst with Gartner.
Though the desktop machines may not be as advanced, their popularity within the "maker" culture could provide that knowledge to the business world. "The hype around the consumer market has made senior management aware," Brasiliere said.