This is a solution for a low print run rather one-of-kind printing but it works for him.
If you can get your prices competitive, there might be an opportunity for you in thesis printing.
If you could get your prices so low that a professor with a ready-to-go textbook in PDF form could get it printed on demand cheaper than going through regular publishers and college bookstores, that would be a big opportunity right there. By all accounts college textbooks in America are very expensive, but neither authors nor publishers admit to making much profit, so presumably there's a lot of inefficiency there. Could be ripe for disruption.