I feel like questions along the lines of, "my printer is crashing for no obvious reason, what should I do?" may be too broad and open-ended for this format. It's better handled by a forum where people can have running discussions to rule out a series of tests. What do you guys think?


For common problems that get asked a lot, I wouldn't just close these as too broad. A better solution is to create a canonical post like this:

How do I troubleshoot when I have no clue where to start?

These attract a lot of users.

The goal is to create a step-by-step trouble-shooting guide to explain what lights, nozzles, and sneedles to look when you're kwigger isn't going zong.

And don't just answer with a hyperlink to some other discussion group somewhere. Do everything you can to really overkill it. Write a detailed, step-by-step, ultra-clear guide, so when zillions of people with this problem go searching, you stand a good chance of the best possible answer on the web.

This is one of those opportunities to attract some great new users who will add value for years to come.

  • $\begingroup$ and btw, if your kwigger really doesn't zong, no matter how hard you try, you should go see a doctor asap. $\endgroup$ – the third dimension Jan 30 '16 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think there's a couple 'troubleshoot'-like tags floating around. It might help to keep tabs on these and update the definitions to help future posts as the site develops. I vaguely remember saving a definition for a "General Troubleshooting", but we can update/add tags for "Filament Troubleshooting", "Electronics Troubleshooting", "Failed Print Troubleshooting", etc. This way, when they try to set a troubleshoot tag, it provides them with these narrowed results. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Feb 8 '16 at 20:14

In addition to Robert Cartaino♦'s suggestion, I think that there is value in this class of question.

Over on Robotics we find that troubleshooting questions can often lead to interesting and often more generalised answers, and can lead to further, more specific questions. These types of questions also tend to be the kind which are difficult to answer through a google search, as not knowing what to search for is a big part of the problem.

Sadly this kind of question is often a new users first question, poorly written and difficult to answer in it's original form, so we tend to close these as Unclear what you are asking and clarify that with the following comment:

Welcome to *robotics* XXX, but I'm afraid that it is not clear what you are asking. We prefer *[practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face](http://robotics.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask)*, so it is a good idea to include details of what what you would like to achieve, what you have tried, what you expected to see and what you actually saw. Take a look at [ask] and [about] for more information on how stack exchange works. If you edit your question to make it more clear, flag it for moderator attention and we can reopen it for you.

The point of leaving this unrendered is so that you can easily copy the raw text to paste into a comment.

Note that Comments render slightly differently to answers, for instance [chat] renders as 3D Printing Chat in a comment but as [chat] in a question or answer.


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