Context: I have absolutely no knowledge of 3D printing other than you need a computer, a printer, some software, and a design. That is literally the extent of my knowledge on 3D printing.

However, I have an idea of something I'd like to have 3D printed. While the idea has a fairly reasonably defined shape in mind, it doesn't exist in any digital or paper format and has some specifics that still need to be filled out (such as accurate dimensions and a few design details).

I need to bridge the chasm of knowledge between my current design and limited knowledge to a fleshed-out design file with chosen materials and other specifics. A good chunk of my problem is that I don't even know what I should know. While I realize that this site is still fairly new and things are being nailed down, how do I ask the proper question(s) to fill in my knowledge gaps that will be on-topic for the site? Is there even a path forward for these kinds of questions on the site?

  • $\begingroup$ I believe beginner questions will have the most value to begin to develop a library of high quality Questions & Answers. The more focused and specific the question faced by a beginner, the more high quality the answers will be. For Example, the question "How Do I insert filament into the extruder?" or "why does printing size/speed/resolution matter?" will be applicable to many new users, have a definite answer, and will have the original question-asker more enlightened in the subject of 3-D printing. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Roibal: I certainly understand all that. My issue is that I'm not a 3-D printer, as a professional or even a hobbyist, at all. What I want to do is to have an idea that I have printed... probably by someone else. But, I have no idea how to go about it and right now, my idea is only generally defined. So, I need to get from "generally defined idea" to "printed example" somehow. $\endgroup$
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


There is a new question on Meta that should help define what is okay on this site.

However, your question is important to address here.

Ultimately, you shouldn't be afraid to go ahead and ask the question. If the question does not meet the conditions of the present site, the general public will be sure to let you know and (hopefully) help direct you in at least asking a more direct question.

If you post a question that is closed, it would acceptable to post a question here on Meta that specifically asks how to make your question fit within the scope of the site.

I would suggest providing as much information as you have and feel free to ask the more general questions about 3D printing. Most people in the community will ask specific questions to try and help you. Some may even be able to fill in the blanks of what you're asking and provide you with very helpful answers.


I think your situation fits for many new users on this site, and saying that "easy" or "semi-defined" questions are discouraged would probably turn you - and many others - away from the site.

Rather, I believe it is the community's job to help you find a proper scope for your question. As long as you follow it up, edit and improve your questions according to feedback (as we all should), I'm pretty sure even the "easiest" question will turn out good.

In other words: ask anyway and stay open to (or even better, request) feedback to help define your question better.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .