Top Stories From 2016; Vote For What’s Coming In 2017

Time For You To Decide What We Write About This Year

Top Stories From 2016 & Vote For What’s Coming In 2017

In 2016, we published 110 blog posts. Everything from customized laser cutting for tech geeks to whether Shopify or Etsy is the best place to sell laser cut products. We launched a 12-part series on the Immutable Laws Of Event Marketing Swag. We even told the amazing story of a maker who wants to change the world one plant at a time. And of course we showcased new materials to expand your making capabilities.

The goal was to show the possibilities you have for making laser cut designs whether you sell your creations on Etsy or Kickstarter, use them as a brand or agency to market yourself or clients, or you make simply for the pure enjoyment of it.

Looking back at all of the stories for the year, we had some favorites. And you did too. Here are the six topics you loved to read the most.

So we can create more content you love, vote for what you’d like to read about in 2017. (We’ll publish results after voting closes at midnight on Monday February 13.)

Creative Inspiration: Design Ideas For Laser Cutting

Design Ideas For Laser Cutting

Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Sometimes you need inspiration from other makers to see all the things that can be designed and made using a laser cutter. In 2016, the majority of makers continually came back to this post about 10 Coolest Laser Cutter Stories.

For jewelry makers, it wasn’t a surprise to see the story 100 Laser Cut Jewelry Designers top their reading list.

For the tech-savvy makers who create electronic enclosures, what was their go-to resource in 2016? Making Enclosures For Electronics, naturally.

Brands and agencies wanted to know more about marketing to travel executives in this post and learned how to reinvent their promotional giveaways with The 12 Immutable Laws Of Event Marketing Swag.

Do you get inspired by articles that feature design ideas for laser cutting? If you want more stories like this in 2017, cast your vote here.

Technical Expertise: How To Design For Laser Cutting

How To Design For Laser Cutting

When creating laser cut products, the design is imperative for success. While there are a lot of laser cutting pros out there, the growth of the maker movement means there are more and more individuals making for the first time. One of the fave beginner resources last year was 6 Resources To Get You Started On A Laser Cut Cardboard Project.

For the more advanced maker, you turned to articles such as how to turn 2D designs into 3D products. Some of your must-reads in 2016:

How To Make Laser Cut Interlocking Acrylic Designs
How To Make Laser Cut 3D Forms Super Easy
How To Make Snug Joints In Acrylic

Whether you need advice for getting started or advanced tips for laser cutting pros, is this kind of content helpful? If you want to see more of these kinds of stories in 2017, rank this as your preference here.

Makers’ Foundation: New Materials For Laser Cutting

New Materials For Laser Cutting

Materials are the foundation for any project. Having a steady influx of new materials not only gives you more opportunities for creative making but also allows makers who sell their items to design something different from their competitors.

In 2016, we introduced 36 new materials: 28 in the USA and eight in New Zealand. While we love them all, there are a few that really stand out as our favorites.

Matte acrylic is wildly popular and makes anything from light fixtures to jewelry to electronics enclosures. With the introduction of matte red, blue and purple acrylic as well as matte turquoise, yellow and pink acrylic, there are even more possibilities for colorful making.

Ultrasuede is special for so many reasons. It’s soft and has amazing tactile appeal. It’s a synthetic microfiber fabric that’s made from recovered from pre-consumer waste, so it’s appealing to vegans and those with environmental and sustainability concerns. And once you see some of what can be made from black, bone and red ultrasuede, you’ll love it as much as we do.

Green glass acrylic is a hot material because it is smooth on both sides and transparent, making it perfect for projects where the objective is to have the look of glass without the high price and pesky breakage issue. It’s also appealing for it versatility. Make products from jewelry to terrariums and anything in between.

For 2017, we’ll continue hunting for new materials that not only make beautifully but are also priced right. And we’ll write about new introductions every month. If you have suggestions on what you want to read about materials, have your say here.

Smart Money: How To Reduce Your Laser Cutting Costs

How To Reduce Your Laser Cutting Costs

No matter whether you’re independently wealthy, costs are always a consideration. Being smart with your money is, well, smart! So how do makers ensure they are designing and configuring their products for maximum impact at minimum cost?

This year, you tapped into this nugget of knowledge: Top 10 Ways To Reduce Laser Cutting Costs. Additionally, the support doc Materials For Laser Cutting In Order Of Price got a lot of views.

Do you want more content developed around this subject? Have your say here and let us know any specific questions you have about cost control in question two.

Business Intelligence: How To Profit From Laser Cutting

How To Profit From Laser Cutting

Going directly to market has never been easier for makers. From opening a shop on Etsy or crowdfunding a project on Kickstarter, you can easily start a business selling custom designed products.

It’s always inspirational to see how other makers grow a business from scratch. So stories such as how this maker crushed his Kickstarter Goal by 2087% or how this maker found success in the $300 billion wedding market proved to be great educational pieces in 2016.

For those makers who sell the products they create, articles on how to price your products for wholesale and retail as well as how to keep minimal stock using on demand laser cutting were important throughout 2016. The two resources that makers who sell their products for profit tapped into the most:

10 Rules For Maker Businesses By Wired’s Chris Anderson
10 Simple Steps To Make & Sell Your Custom Products

Want more articles on how your Etsy store, Kickstarter, agency or brand can profit from laser cutting? If so, rank this as a priority here. And if you have specific business concerns that would make for great content, let us know those ideas in question two.

Digital Making: The Future of Manufacturing

The Future Of Manufacturing

When it comes to desktop laser cutting tools, readers flocked in 2016 to articles like these in our archives:

Pricing Guide To DIY CNC Mill And Router Kits
Make Prototypes For Laser Cutting At Home

This got us thinking. Does this mean you’re interested in topics such as how to design, make and sell from home? Are you also interested in downloadable designs for laser cutting? Or something else futuristic? If so, vote to have more content like this in 2017.

Cast Your Vote For Your Maker’s Reading List Of 2017

Vote For 2017 Content

Makers: Vote for what you want to read in 2017. Help us create the exact content that will help you succeed with all your making projects this year.

Results will be published after voting closes at midnight on Monday February 13.

Then we’ll have completed our content plan for 2017 – phew! 😉

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