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Are questions about applications of printed outputs on-topic?

Some examples that I suspect will involve both on-topic and off-topic specimens:

  • Can model X be 3D printed using common materials and machines in a way that is strong enough to hold up Y?
  • What is the largest known example of a Lego model made entirely from 3D-printed bricks?
  • I saw this item out in public <shows picture>. Was it 3D printed?
  • Can one of those 3D printed phone cases really protect my phone?
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  • $\begingroup$ Note that Question 2 likely won't get answers. Question 3 could be Opinion based, if it was very highly postprocessed. 1 and 4 are standard application questions. $\endgroup$ – Trish Nov 11 '19 at 13:24
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Good point and I would point you to Robert's answer.

We've just expanded the on-topic page, with areas that were initially vague and unclear as to whether they were on topic or not, and which, over time, became clear that they should be on-topic. The initial proposal of the expansion was illustrated here, Game plan, and the final update was posted here, On-topic has been updated - finally!.

So, if your questions are on that (new, expanded) list then yes, they are on-topic. Otherwise, if they get posted they may get close votes, but then again people might find the question useful and run with it. It's up to the community really.

Sorry, if this answer is a bit vague and I can't be more specific (at the moment).

However, IMHO, I think that the site is intended to be more about the mechanics of 3D printing and getting something printed, rather than what you can do with 3D printed objects, as the latter is a extremely broad area, unbounded even. But others may have a more broader, and more accommodating, view.

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  • $\begingroup$ No, I'm super-cool with deliberate vague-ness in this area. I've been a public proponent of the "community/audience fit" approach to closing off-topic posts for (checks timestamp on the linked post) almost exactly 10 years now. Generally I would recommend new or beta sites SE sites such as this define their topic area extremely broadly while still building their audience, and then only firm that up after volume increases. $\endgroup$ – Joel Coehoorn Oct 25 '19 at 20:34

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