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We are currently looking at the scope definition on the Arts & Crafts site. Some 3D subject matter could be on-topic there, and we don't want to steal any thunder from the 3D Printing site. Your "what's on topic" discussion in the Help section covers a lot of subject matter beyond 3D printing per se. It also lists a curious off-topic example (assembling 3D printed parts), although it isn't clear whether that would still be considered off-topic.

  1. It would be nice to be able to succinctly describe what would be off-topic on A&C by virtue of being on-topic here. Does the following accurately summarize what's on-topic here (not a complete scope for this site, just a boundary for A&C)?

    Computer-driven creation of 3D objects, and components for creating 3D objects, (e.g., 3D printing, cutting of flat components used to build 3D objects via equipment like CNC, laser cutters, hobby cutters like Cricut, etc.).

  2. Would this site include non-computer-driven 3D printing via handheld technology? For example there are novelty pens that take a filament and create hand-drawn 3D objects, and a common hobby theme is creating 3D objects using a hot glue gun. My assumption is that this site is only concerned with computer-controlled equipment.

  3. My reading is that this site's focus ends with the production of the parts, possibly with a few extensions, like joining parts into a whole if technology limitations require producing it in sections, or smoothing the surface of the produced part. Would I be correct that the following kinds of things would not be on-topic?

    • assembling a wooden object made from laser-cut parts (although producing the parts would be on-topic)
    • decorating the finished item (or would finishes that bond with the filament material be on-topic? Would surface prep for finishing be on-topic?)

Any further guidance you can provide to help us define what not to ask on Art & Crafts because it's covered here?

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This answer addresses some of the things that came to mind based on your question.

  • Post processing 3D printed objects is on topic, this includes surface treatment, weathering, annealing and connecting parts (the topic "Game plan - What is on-topic?" suggests connecting parts is off-topic, but questions on this topic have been allowed since that old referenced question).
  • It appears that handheld 3D pens (no novelty IMHO) share some topics with this site. E.g. material printing temperatures, cooling, adhesion to build platform, and maybe more related questions, e.g. clogging?
  • Assembly of laser cut parts would not be on-topic, unless the parts are a frame of a 3D printing/cutting machine.
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in addition to 0scar:

Re 1: Note that while CNC is (barely) on topic, vinyl plotters are not. One could summarize us better as "Methods of additive manufacturing and machines that share same or similar motion systems".

Re 2: yes and no: A better term would be "digitally controlled" as printer boards aren't full computers, but 3D pens would be technically on topic as a quite close topic (they use the very same filament as printers usually).

Re 3: The main scope is Assembly and Maintenence as well as Troubleshooting of the machines used. It extends into design and postproduction to the degree it is specific to the tools of the trade. Your first example is usually Off Topic (unless it's an assembly for a printer component), while the second is somewhat careful to look at: How to prepare a surface for further postprocessing is usually filament dependent and thus in scope. We even have the

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We don't get a lot of traffic here on 3D Printing (Beta). I check every day, and often don't find questions to respond to -- and I am prone to over-responding.

Is the intention of SE that questioners (within one particular activity they undertake) will tend to ask questions on one site, or do we expect sites to have very narrow, non-overlapping scopes and place the onus on questioners to determine the correct site?

In other words, if I cross-country ski and also 3D Print, clearly questions about each activity should go to different sites. But, within cross-country skiing, would questions about waxing be directed to a materials science site, questions about packing the snow be directed to a landscaping site? Or, would they all fit within cross-country skiing?

I know this isn't a clear answer. To the extent that I may take a position, I would encourage someone who has found this site to stick here until they clearly can be better served elsewhere.

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  • $\begingroup$ There is quite a lot of traffic actually if you look at the site statistics (unlocked at 10k reputation; compared to other SE sites), what you actually mean that there isn't much user interaction, most is redirected from a search, register (or not) and get their information and leave. Maybe if we would vote more, reputation grows faster and people might stick. Sadly there are too less voters at this site. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Dec 13 '19 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar - Actually, traffic can be realized on the main page of all the sites. 3dP is getting 3.6k visits/day (at the moment). Mech is getting 50k right now, though that's actually pretty low. It's usually well in the 70-80k range. Remember too, during this time of year, sites usually lose traffic until right after Christmas, then it will spike up again. At least that's how I think it happens! :o) $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 15 '19 at 1:18

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