Using Instagram for laser cutting & 3D printing businesses blog by Hobarts


Laser cutting and 3D printing is awesome, but if you find yourself without inspiration at some point, then you might head to Instagram to see what other people are up to. Rather than being pulled into an hour of mindless scrolling each time you open the app, using Instagram with purpose can really help you to expand your business, as well as finding posts that spark ideas for new products. 


Creating a good Instagram feed


Instagram can most definitely suck up your time, especially if you don’t curate your feed to show you what you actually want. The Instagram algorithm serves you more of what you look at, like, and share regularly. That means if you look at, and like funny cat videos once too often, that is what you’ll keep on getting. This means that following accounts that are like what you actually want to see is the way forward, since that teaches the algorithm what you want to be seeing.


Instagram accounts to follow if you love laser cutting


There are way more Instagram accounts out there than we’ve listed here that you’ll want on your feed, but these are just a few that are worth the follow to get you started.


Hobarts Instagram


Well, obviously we can’t talk about Instagram on a post on our website without inviting you to follow us on Instagram! We share where we’re installing Universal Laser Systems, as well as posts about new products we’re offering and when we’ve got special offers on certain lines, as well as introducing members of the team.


Follow Hobarts on Instagram at @hobartslasers.


Maker Design Lab Instagram

Maker Design Lab

Theresa at Marker Design Lab is a lover of laser cutting and wood, and she created the Maker Design Lab website and her Instagram feed to document her adventures with both. There are some pretty great makes and designs using her laser cutter on her Instagram feed, including the monster treasure chest we featured on our Halloween makes post, some sweet little wooden birds, and a wooden notebook that shows just how fantastic laser engraving can be.


Follow Maker Design Lab on Instagram at @makerdesignlab


Flux Inc. Instagram

Flux Inc.

Flux Inc. was founded in Taiwan in 2014, and are the team behind the world’s smallest CO2 laser cutter, the Beamo, and their mission is to empower people to be able to enjoy their creativity with the best crafting tools. As you’d expect, the Flux Instagram feed is full of brilliant ideas for things you can make with a laser cutter – whether you’ve got a tiny desktop one, or you have access to a platform laser.


Follow Flux Inc. on Instagram at @flux_inc.


Accounts to follow if you love 3D printing


There are some awesome 3D printer users that are posting on Instagram and sharing their makes with the world – and when you’ve created something really cool that you’re proud of, then perhaps you might want to do the same. When you’re starting out, adding these to your account to follow will almost certainly give you some inspiration, and as you like the posts they share, Instagram will give you more of the same, so you can keep adding accounts you like, as you stumble upon them.


MyMiniFactory Instagram


MyMiniFactory is a huge, and well established community that has grown massively over the last decade. On their website, you’ll find both amateurs and professionals connecting, seeking feedback, sharing their designs, as well as tips and tricks for a better 3D printing experience. The MyMiniFactory Instagram account is updated infrequently, but there are loads of information and cool posts on there, so it is well worth the follow.


Follow MyMiniFactory on Instagram at @myminifactory.


Thingiverse Instagram


The Thingiverse Instagram account seems to have largely been abandoned, which is a shame – the most recent post was 221 weeks ago, as we checked it in July 2023. But we’re listing it here because there is still some amazing inspiration to be found on there, and as we’ve already mentioned, by following accounts like this, you’re teaching the algorithm what you want to see.


Follow Thingiverse on Instagram at @thingiverse.


MatterHackers Instagram


MatterHackers are a well-known business in the world of 3D printing, and so it makes sense that they’d be on Instagram showing off their wares. Much of the MattherHackers Instagram feed is posts about special offers that they’re running, but there are also posts that might inspire some of your next 3D printer projects too.


Follow MatterHackers at @matterhackers.


Should your business be on Instagram?


Having social media accounts is pretty much non-negotiable for businesses these days, and so there are a lot of businesses that set up a Facebook account, and maybe post on Instagram a few times, but then it falls by the wayside when things are busy. But even when things are busy, your social media accounts continue to bring business in, and help you to maintain momentum so your business carries on growing.

The most important thing about your social media is that it needs to be ACTIVE. If you’re not posting regularly, your existing customers won’t bother to follow you, and prospective customers will doubt whether you’re even still in business. While posting now and again will help you to keep some followers, it won’t help build your business in the way that posting regularly will. But regularly doesn’t necessarily mean daily – even posting once or twice a week can keep your followers engaged, but ideally, you’ll post at a similar rate each week.

Managing your Instagram posts is much easier to do if you do it in batches, ahead of time, and if you can catch snaps while you work, that makes it simpler to think about the point of your posts too. Then when you’ve found your photos, you can use free design software such as Canva to make them look great, and use scheduling software such as Hootsuite to queue them up to publish on the dates you want them to. This means that rather than worrying that you can’t come up with something to post about on the spur of the moment when things are busy, you can just let those scheduled posts go live, and enjoy the likes, shares, and comments, and the additional business that will be coming your way.

Of course, grid posts aren’t the only way to increase the reach of your business, and if this is your aim then you should certainly be posting video content in the form of Reels and Story posts. These are simple to create using smartphone videos, and you can add branding, music and stickers to encourage engagement too.


If you want to make sales on Instagram

On top of that, you can make your Instagram a shop front for your business – quite literally – with Instagram shopping. These features allow potential customers to shop for items from your business, without needing to navigate away from the Instagram app. While this won’t necessarily gain you loyal customers, especially if they have found you in the Discover tab – it will almost certainly lead to additional sales if you’re selling cool products that customers want.


How to get more views on Instagram


Once you’ve set up your Instagram account, it isn’t just about posting – you need to grow your following if you’re going to get more business from your activity on the platform. Here are a few of the tips that we know work when it comes to getting more views on your Instagram account.


Use different types of content

It depends on when you’re reading this post, since the Instagram algorithm is constantly evolving. In July 2023, the algorithm was prioritising video content as of the last few weeks, when still images have started to show up in people’s feeds more consistently again.

Photos and videos aren’t the only types of posts that you can use either. Let’s say you’re also posting on Twitter/X, Threads, or LinkedIn, and you post something really funny, or relevant to your particular audience on Instagram. There’s absolutely no reason that you can’t screenshot that post, crop it to Instagram image size, and then post it on your Instagram feed, or Story. If you’re going to do this, make sure the caption makes sense and gives context to the post.

With this in mind, it is a good idea to have a mix of still images, videos on your grid, Reels, and on your Stories. We know, it can get complicated – but that is why it is a good idea to try and create your Instagram content in batches.


Hashtags and more views

Using hashtags can mean that your posts can be found more easily when people search for those terms, or for terms that are related. So, if you’re creating a post about something you made with a laser cutter, you might use hashtags such as #lasercutting #lasercut #laser #laserengraving. You don’t have to think about this too hard – there are websites that will generate related hashtags for you, and you can copy and paste.

Not only can you use hashtags to help people find you, but you can encourage customers to tag you in their posts with your handle, and a brand hashtag. A great example of this is where clothing brands with a younger audience might create a hashtag to get customers to share their purchases, to tag them, and to then use a specific hashtag to enter a competition.  This type of engagement might not be quite right for your business, but it certainly works.


Encourage engagement

On top of that, it is absolutely OK to encourage your followers to give you a like, share your posts, and to save them if they find them useful. All of these ways of engaging with your content will help your posts to be seen as more relevant by the algorithm, so it is more likely to be seen by people searching for, or who like and follow similar things on Instagram. When they see your posts, they’re more likely to follow you, and then engage with your business.


Which other social media platforms should laser cutting and 3D printing businesses use?


There isn’t a single correct answer to this question, and many businesses take the approach that they should be on ALL the social media platforms. But even with using automation to make it easier to create and post your content, it can get time consuming. Your social media platforms need to work for you, so you’ll need to establish where your target customers are likely to be, and post on the platforms they are most likely to be. This means you’re not simply posting into the void where nobody is going to see it, or care.

You’re most likely to want to post images and video, so you’ll want to make sure your posts are created at the correct size for the platform. Canva Pro is very affordable and does this automatically for you – so if you create an Instagram post, you can resize for other platforms quickly and easily.

For businesses that will grow from visual content on social media, a good combination to start with is Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Each platform has their own nuances though, and so it isn’t a good plan to just duplicate content, even if you use the same graphic or video. LinkedIn, for example, is business focused, so is great if your customers are other businesses. If you want your social media content to be evergreen – that is, found forever – then Pinterest is a great place to be, since Pins can be returned for relevant searches eternally. 


Our final thoughts


While Instagram isn’t the one and only way for helping you to make more money from your laser cutter or 3D printing business, it most certainly shouldn’t be ignored as a way to increase brand awareness, and trust in your business. We’re sharing on our Instagram account, and so should your business. Make sure you’re also on the other social media platforms that are right for you, and post thoughtfully and regularly – however often you feel is appropriate. While you’re on Instagram scrolling, don’t forget to follow us @hobartslasers.