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Questions like:

x 3d printer is good?

or

if it is my first printer, which model would you recommend

or

What printer model to buy?

are on-topic?

I think if you ask

I can not do x with my 3d printer, what printer to do x?

Can be on-topic

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  • $\begingroup$ Those questions don't strike me as the best examples, but the best way to figure this out is to ask first, so we can get examples and even make role models for these types of questions. $\endgroup$ – Zizouz212 Feb 7 '16 at 16:51
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These are shopping questions, plain and simple. They are such obvious broken windows that it is important that they are closed as quickly as possible.

On Robotics I have the following canned response for shopping questions, and I would highly recommend adapting it for 3dprinting:

Welcome to *robotics* XXX, but I'm afraid that *[shopping questions](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping/)* really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer *[practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face](https://robotics.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask)*. Take a look at [ask] and [about] for more information on how stack exchange works, and the [*Robotics* question checklist](https://robotics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1302/37) for details of how to write a good question.

This renders as:

Welcome to robotics XXX, but I'm afraid that shopping questions really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Take a look at How to Ask, tour and the Robotics question checklist for more information on how stack exchange works.

I then close the question as "Primarily Opinion Based". These questions are almost never edited to adhere to community guidelines, but at least I have done my best to welcome people to the community and minimise the risk that they will leave and never come back.

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  • $\begingroup$ In some circumstances, do feel that the OP's question I can not do x with my printer, what printer can do x? fits within scope? I feel that it's kind of in the grey area, somewhere between a shopping question and a technical specs question. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Mar 7 '16 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ It is almost always better to ask "How can I do X? I have tried doing this with my printer, but I had these problems". This may result in "you need to buy a printer which supports Y, which will allow you do do X", nut could also result in "I do X with printer Y, this is how", "You need to do Z in order to convert your printer to do X" or even "You can do X with your printer, try this". All of these could help both the OP and other readers. The less closed a question is, the more scope for good, varied answers and novel solutions. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Mar 8 '16 at 14:01
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I don't think any of these types of questions should be on-topic. They're all heavily opinion-based. I think even the last one ("What 3D printer can do X?") isn't a good question, because possibly very many printers might be able to do it, and then the answers quickly devolve into subjective recommendations.

It would be better to ask something among the lines of "I want to do X with printer Y, is it possible?" - but even that might turn into a subjective discussion quickly.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point - they are opinion-based. It could be useful to have a guide for others - that tells how people should choose their printer (figuring out criteria, and finding various features, basically a how do I choose a printer). We could make this Community-Wiki, and make any recommendations dupes of that if they are not objective. Ideally though, I'd want to see some examples before we outright reject (or allow) recommendations. $\endgroup$ – Zizouz212 Feb 7 '16 at 16:50
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In general product recommendation on SE sites is off-topic since they're opinion based and can easily end up with a long discussion.

However there is special site dedicated for that: Hardware Recommendations SE (tag: 3d-printer), so it's actually on-topic there. And similar for software, check for Software Recommendations.

To read more about product recommendations on SE sites, please check:

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    $\begingroup$ Would the downvoter care to comment? $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Mar 3 '16 at 21:46

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