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Our topics page has been sorely lacking for a few years now, and in need of an update, in order to reflect what the site has become, and to take into account what people has been asking for. Note that, the core concept is still the same - 3D Printing. However, the scope has been widened in a number of ways/directions. For example:

  • to include technologies which aren't strictly 3D Printing, but where there is overlap
  • to cover 3D Printing related tools, such as scanning, and tools/software used
  • to cover 3D printing related areas, such as modelling, legal issues,
  • and so on.

After the suggested expanded topics list had been sitting around for about a year now, on Game plan - What is on-topic?, and changed/modified throughout the year to accomodate comments/feedback/requests, the proposed list has been moved on to the actual On-topics page, in the Help Center: What topics can I ask about here?

Yes, it will still need a little tidying up, as it is basically a copy and paste and some additional formatting to make it fit, but at least it's there now - just rough around the edges.

Please, if you have any comments/suggestions/improvements/disagreements/anger, please post it as comments or answers below. Feedback, any feedback at all, will be more than welcomed.

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I like the expanded definitions, but there is probably an issue with some of the things you'd put into "just rough around the edges" portion of what you state.

For instance, "Print Services" are mentioned as far as on-topic and what is allowed. To what extent are Print Services on-topic and allowed? In and of itself, as you've stated it, it could be anything from what to expect to giving them service recommendations (ie: What's a good place to get xxxx done? or Who provides to best services in the Dallas, TX area?) This isn't the only place where it could be done. If you don't want questions like this, throw a little more specification in there as far as what would be acceptable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, thanks Paul. I realised within about an hour of posting it, that I may have opened up a can of worms, with the open ended-ness of some the topics listed - with the recent fastest MDF printer question being a good illustration of this issue. I may have been a little premature with the update and not thought the whole thing through fully. I might pull it briefly, while I rethink and clarify. Thanks for pointing it out. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jun 9 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Greenonline - I don't think I'd pull it back ... let's just get it cleaned up. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 9 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ regarding the print services, many questions can be locked as "Opinion based" asking for best or good place. $\endgroup$ – Trish Jun 13 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish - While that is true, if you state up front it's not allowed, it will preclude them getting asked in the first place ... not all of them, but from a moderator's perspective, it's a lot better to catch a large percentage of them before they become questions than it is to rely on running them through the review queues. Human intervention is tiresome to say the least. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 13 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish and Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 many thanks for the input. After some thought, I have added a bit more to the topics page. See my answer below. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jun 16 at 8:33
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I have updated the on-topic page which some further explanations that came to mind, as well as some hopefully not to wishy-washy small print. The points below have been spliced into the on-topic page in (hopefully) the appropriate places.

If anyone has any other suggestions of further expansions to the explanations of the new on-topic topics that they feel are left a little too open ended and would like to see spliced in, then please add them below (to either this wiki answer or post their own answer) and I'll edit them in.


  1. Recommendation-based questions really are off-topic, unless very specific indeed - and even then they may still end up being closed.

  2. We want to try to answer as many questions as possible, but they do need to be answerable, and not require opinion based answers - some questions will only be able to attract opinion based questions, so again, don't be surprised if they get closed...

  3. Print services questions, should not be asking for recommended service suppliers, but rather is it reasonable to ask such and such of a print service, or what do they usually provide, or is this a reasonable request to be made of a print service - again, these may only be able attract opinion based answers so again these questions are likely to be closed.

  4. One thing to bear in mind is that a lot of questions can only be answered by opinions, but those opinions are usually based in, and backed up by, fact and empirical results. A question asked that requires supposition and thought-experiment type answers are generally purely opinion, and not really (and can not be) backed up by hard facts.

  5. Legal issues may be asked, but as we are not lawyers then I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL) should always apply. Generic legal questions can also be asked on SE.Law.

  6. Given the fluid nature of this nascent beta site, the following list of topics has been added, after evaluating demand from the community. Some topics such as CNC, and Laser engraving, whilst are not 3D Printing, they share a lot of commonality. Where such questions are regarding such commonality then they may be considered to be on-topic. As always, all topics are subject to community discretion. For further explanation see Game plan - What is on-topic?

  7. This list will eventually be integrated into the Common Topics section above.

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  • $\begingroup$ These are great updates and definitely on target! $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 27 at 1:08

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