PULLMAN, Wash. - It's no secret going to college can be expensive. You need money for books, tuition, food and living expenses. Many students find a side job to help cover costs, like working at the local bookstore or at a restaurant.
However, one student at Washington State University has found a way to take his schooling to the next level and make a profit.
Most of that profit comes out of his hallway closet in his apartment.
"These are the three printers I started making the Cougkie Cutters with," said Connor Weller, founder of Cougkie Cutters.
Every student has their side hustle in college. Cougkie Cutters is Weller's.
"This is something I've always wanted to do. I always wanted to start a business. I just didn't know it was going to be selling Cougkie Cutters which is really cool," Weller said.
Weller is an engineering student. 3D printing is his hobby. The hobby that just so happened to make him an entrepreneur overnight.
"Think of it as a computer controlled fancy hot glue gun. So all it is it's a little nozzle that moves around and it puts out a little bit of plastic," Weller said. "Then it moves it and draws a line, and it draws out your shape. It goes up a layer and does the shape again it just keeps doing that until you have a single, solid part like this."
Each batch takes Weller about four to six hours to make. When he's not in class or working on school assignments, he's creating product for his company.
"Right now, it's taking that red filament on top there that's going through that middle part, heating it up, and extruding it at a very specific amount and tracing the outline I programed it," Weller said.
The junior at WSU started making the cutters as a freshman in his dorm room. Not to make money, but as a present.
"Made a few for my mom and she absolutely loved them. She was on the WSU Parents Facebook Chat, and she posted it on there and they all loved them," Weller said.
Fast forward a couple years, and he's made more than 1,000 of the cutters, selling them at $11 a piece on his website.
"The WSU community is amazing, they really want to go out and support a student who is trying to make something and is trying to create a business while in college," Weller said.
Cougkie Cutters has become so successful, Weller's been able to help pay for his education and living expenses with his profits. Even putting money towards forwarding his business.
"They talk about in school and that kind of stuff, you really don't know until you actually do it - like how do you work with customers, how do you price things," Weller said.
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