Following this issue I would like to propose to allow general CNC related questions here as well. 3D Printers are CNC machines, they only add instead of subtract. 3D printers use G-Code, just like CNC milling machines.

3D Printing alone makes for a very narrow community if it excludes subtractive manufacturing questions. For example, there is no python.stackexchange.com or javascript.stackexchange.com, all of that goes into one network: stackoverflow.com. That's just the same level of division.

Navel-gazing has never done anyone good :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are now machines that do both additive and subtractive manufacturing (3D printing and CNC), so the line is not as clear as it used to be. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '18 at 11:58

There are tens of SE sites that deal with programming in some way, shape or form. SO is obviously the most general one of these, but there are many more specialized ones (CodeReview,TeX,Programmers,Drupal/Wordpress/Joomla/Server Fault/Ubuntu/...). If this site had been "Makers StackExchange" or "Digital Fabrication" then your question might have been appropriate (this site being a more general one), but "3D printing" should be seen as a more specialized one (but if you think there is a need for a specific Makers SE or a CNC SE, then you could consider going to Area51).

This site is called "3D printing" and CNC milling is definitely not 3D printing. I think it does very much make sense to limit 3D printing to "additive fabrication". This is not a particularly narrow scope, since there are many types of 3D printer, and not all of them use G-code. Powder printers (binder jetting) and DLP printers are driven with raster images, for instance.

If the scope were extended to cover your question (which is about 2D milling, not even 3D milling, while we're at it) then I wonder if that meant that questions like "How many flutes do I need on my 8mm ball-nose left-hand bit when cutting unobtainium with my feedrate at the speed of sound?" would also be in scope. When I hear "3D printing SE" I would definitely not expect that.

I would add that your question might have been closed on a hypothetical "CNC SE" as well for a variety of reasons:

  • Opinion based/list question

  • Very little own effort

  • Too broad (need to be more specific)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I had proposed the site with the name 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping with the hopes of having my laser cutter questions answered, alas, we ended up with strictly 3D Printing :) $\endgroup$
    – Matt Clark
    Sep 8 '16 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think making it a "Makers SE" or something would be a good upgrade. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '18 at 11:57

As has been discussed previously here, the relevance of CNC questions on this site depend on the questions closeness to 3D printing. So, for instance, if the software you are asking about is the same as a 3D printer would use, I would agree that it can be asked here. However, if the software is dedicated to CNC machines and unusable for 3D printers, it does not belong here at the time being.

If the software you are looking for indeed works for both 3D printers and CNC machines, then perhaps you could specify this in your question to make it more relevant to this site?


You must log in to answer this question.

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