Currently, pure CAD questions are out of scope of our Stack, but we have quite some cases that edge, where the question about the CAD is about how to make a model printable or design principles or such.

Where do we draw the line in the sand? This was once discussed in 2016, but no conclusive answer defined.

  • $\begingroup$ The On-topic page has now been updated for clarity. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline Mod
    Jan 17 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any signpost page here on SE, which could help navigate to valid subdomain? There is a search page aggregating questions, but no tags summarized :(. It could be done using brackets, but still the result is questions, not the community. I could find "freecad", "cad" or "technical-drawing" on stackoverflow, engineering, graphicdesign. Global tag search could help navigating a lot - and would be much more constructive for redirecting someone. Btw. there is also "3d-printing" on engeneering site (after quick look I would say most of questions fit there better, but not all). $\endgroup$
    – octopus8
    Feb 2 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @octopus8 there is no meta-tag-search. the tag for us in other SEs is in the nature of the beast: 3D-Printing has overlap with other areas. Blender, Engineering, Arts & Crafts, a little bit into Electronics. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Feb 2 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, I see the same and I agree with overlapping. I puzzle how to pin "where should I go with this" to the process? One idea is to have manually maintained signpost page in help center, but this would be just a workaround. See: being newcomer having a urgent issue, the chance to land at "on-topic" page is minimal. Plus all small widgets always make the site little overwhelming. I discover something every day. My suggestion: could "on-topic" link be added to "Step 1: Draft your question" when asking? $\endgroup$
    – octopus8
    Feb 2 at 23:23

It is good that you found that original question. It was added to the What's on topic meta question, but that area of the topic list doesn't seem to have been particularly well hammered out. If you look at the What's on topic help page, it does state:

Blender - whilst there may be some overlap with SE.Blender, if the question is related to 3D printing then it is on-topic

Maybe the whole line needs re-wording to be less Blender centric..?

Regarding the question that caused this issue to be raised again, How to combine difference with concatinate object, I must admit that initially I agreed with Mick's comment that it was probably on-topic. However, following your comment, I wholeheartedly agree that any CAD question really should have some 3D printing element attached, in order for it to fit on this site (as the On-topic help page implies).

So, in short, you are indeed correct, and backed up by the what's on-topic help page.

In addition, the on-topic help page needs a slight clarification, such as:

If a CAD question is related to 3D printing then it is on-topic. However, general CAD questions, if there is not a 3D printing angle, are not on-topic. Likewise, with Blender - whilst there may be some overlap with SE.Blender, if the question is related to to 3D printing then it is on-topic.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice addition to the on-topic page! $\endgroup$
    – 0scar Mod
    Jan 17 at 7:30

My stance on the topic is:

  • Any CAD question should show how or why they are related to 3D printing, otherwise it is out of scope.
    • Examples: "How to cut up a model for 3D printing" is in for showing relatedness
    • "How to do a plane Cut on a model in FreeCAD?" is out for not showing relatedness
  • Questions about functions of a program are out of scope unless they show how they are related to 3D printing.
    • Example: "How to combine two bodies in Fusion360" is out unless showing how it relates to printing
    • The same question showing relatedness: "I want to print a mashup model of this and this STEP file. I need them as a single STL. How to do that in Fusion 360?"
  • Bug reports are always out of scope. We are not the bugtracker.
  • $\begingroup$ I share this opinion on CAD related questions. There probably should be a dedicated Stack for CAD, but it could well be that there are good alternatives for that, as a CAD Stack would have to cope with all the different software applications out there. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar Mod
    Jan 16 at 22:27

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