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I found this question, laser is engraving the negative space in the close queue this morning as being off topic. I was about to respond, and through I'd look at the community view on meta. I found this question and answer: FDM printer that can also mill and engrave -- what's in scope?, and this META discussion Is it possible to expand the scope of this site? which suggests that it would be on topic.

What should I do with the question? As a relatively low-reputation participant, I want to defer to the greater experience.

Many of the problems of 3D printing and laser etching are similar, but not all. The equipment is much like FDM 3D printers, with some differences. How finely should we diagnose the nature of the problem before deciding if it is on topic?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for pointing out the FDM printer that can also mill and engrave -- what's in scope? question - I hadn't seen that before, and I will add it to the long list of questions on the Game plan - What is on-topic? page. I had seen the laser graving question, and was unsure why it was off-topic, given the expanded proposed on-topic list. TBH, that list needs to be put into the On-topic help page, and set in stone, IMHO. I'd be interested in seeing the answers that you get to this question. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Mod May 28 '19 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ There was also a scanner question a few months ago that got closed too, and I thought scanners were also fair game now: Resources on getting horus/ciclop scanners to work?, but I digress, and will bring that up in a different meta post - but thanks again for reminding me. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Mod May 28 '19 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ WRT how far should we go, looking at that laser question, it seems to be a g-code related issue - given that it has a g-code tag (rightly or wrongly), and therefore maybe on topic. As you say, as the common mechanics of laser engraving and 3D printing are, mostly, quite similar, then if the question is related to steppers, control, power, etc. then maybe it would be answerable. However, if it starts to ask about the finer points of engraving, then is there actually anyone here, or who comes here, who can answer that? If there isn't, then there's probably no point in asking it here. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Mod May 28 '19 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ Another question appeared after the one you linked. I think we should allow these questions, basically it is a 3D printer that uses a different tool. The only thing is, that voting is lagging behind because people have no affinity with the subject. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Mod Jun 3 '19 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ RE: "However, if it starts to ask about the finer points of engraving, then is there actually anyone here, or who comes here, who can answer that? If there isn't, then there's probably no point in asking it here." - perhaps if we have the questions, we'll attract the expertise. $\endgroup$ – Davo Jun 18 '19 at 12:00
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I say allow them.

To let you know what's out there, I work at Hyrel.

Our printers can take spindle (milling) heads and additional axes, and even diode and CO2 lasers, and they all operate on the same gcode - we tell people E is for Emit as well as Extrude. We even have a TIG welding attachment.

We also run our Fadal CNC machines on our printer software and firmware.

To many people this is a natural progression for a well-built 3D positioning system, and I encourage a broader definition.

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This is a tricky one, as 3d printers are starting to be bundled with lasers. Note those kits will totally blind you. 3d printers are being bundled with everything, really if you look at the things http://diabasepe.com/ is making. (Cool guys btw)

However. To me this is the same as asking about a woodburning kit question in an electronics forum, because they both use soldering irons. If we allow a removal base machines, such as lasers, we will also have to allow discussions about CNC machines.

In the case of that question, they would get bonus points if it was a pure gcode question. Maybe even if it was on a multi use machine.. Instead its asking us to debug their laser setup. Thats not really formatted for stackoverflow anyways. They need to go to a forum. Also as someone that once made a Cheap Chinese laser cutter use a RAMPS 1.4 board, I know exactly how similar they are. But in the end, additive manufacturing isn't this kind of laser (as we have SLA and powder printing)

At first I was this is dead simple not on topic. Thinking about laser and 3d printing is a good counter arguments, but that is not what this topic is. It is not additive manufacturing, and its not being done to a part which was additively made.

I think its a firm off topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have customers who use a 450nm laser to photoinitiate crosslinking in their print media. That is 100% additive manufacturing with a laser, without being a sintering process. Food for thought. $\endgroup$ – Davo Aug 12 '19 at 13:47

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