What topics can I ask about here?

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for 3D Printing Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

Common Topics

The following topics are merely suggestions, topics are not necessarily limited to the following and all topics are subject to community discretion.

We want to try to answer as many questions as possible, but they do need to be answerable, and not require opinion based answers - some questions will only be able to attract opinion based questions, so again, don't be surprised if they get closed...

One thing to bear in mind is that a lot of questions can only be answered by opinions, but those opinions are usually based in, and backed up by, fact and empirical results. A question asked that requires supposition and thought-experiment type answers are generally purely opinion, and not really (and can not be) backed up by hard facts.

  • Troubleshooting. Questions involving systematic analysis of a faulty system. Systems that may be related to 3D Printing:
    • Control Systems
    • Hardware (Mechanical or Electrical)
    • Software
    • Material
  • Repair/Maintenance. Questions requesting proper procedures for repairing or performing maintenance on 3D Printers.
  • Best Practices. Questions involving the identification or outlining of common procedures.
  • Technology. Questions requesting an explanation of how a particular 3D printing technology may work (Within appropriate bounds).
  • Material. Questions regarding technical specifications of 3D printable materials. This includes:
    • Proper use of a material in a given situation.
    • Identifying the proper material for a given situation
    • Standard printing preparation.
    • Material capabilities (Only related to 3D printed materials).
  • Capabilities. Questions verifying the capabilities of various 3D printing technologies for a particular style of object. For example, Is it possible to print a ball inside of another ball? (Yes, it's a simple question, but not everyone knows the answer. That's why they're asking the question.
  • Services. Questions requesting details about related 3D printing services.
  • Part Design. Questions related to optimizing 3D designs for machining.

Additional Topics

Given the fluid nature of this nascent beta site, the following list of topics has been added, after evaluating demand from the community. Some topics such as CNC, and Laser engraving, whilst are not 3D Printing, they share a lot of commonality. Where such questions are regarding such commonality then they may be considered to be on-topic. As always, all topics are subject to community discretion. For further explanation see Game plan - What is on-topic?

This list will eventually be integrated into the Common Topics section above.

  • Recommendations (Hardware and Software)
    • Note: Recommendation based questions are usually banned from SE - with the exception of SE.Hardware Recommendations. Recommendation-based questions really are off-topic, unless very specific indeed - and even then they may still end up being closed.
    • General Shopping - opinion based
    • First printer - opinion based, see "Best first printer" wiki/blog/closed-question
    • Best printer
      • Overall - opinion based
      • For specific task - opinion based but may be allowable (see note above), although speed as a task is in a very grey area... this question Fastest FDM printer? was closed for being opinion-based
    • Best software
      • Overall - opinion based
      • For a specific task - opinion based but may be allowable (see note above)
  • Software issues
    • Firmware
    • Tools
    • Coding/Compiling firmware (see Misc - Coding)
    • 3D modelling (same as CAD?)
  • Websites (could come under Software and/or Tools)
    • Recommended sites
      • for knowledge
      • for models
      • for online tools
    • Issues with web based tools
  • CAD
    • Blender - whilst there may be some overlap with SE.Blender, if the question is related to 3D printing then it is on-topic
  • Printer DIY
    • Repair and maintenance (both commercial and DIY repair of both commercial and DIY printers)
    • Construction
    • Mechatronics
  • Components (could come under Printer DIY)
    • Thermistors is a good example, see note 1 below
    • Help and Recommendations
  • Electronics
    • Printer related electronics
    • Common electronic gotchas
  • Print Services
    • Print services questions, should not be asking for recommended service suppliers, but rather is it reasonable to ask such and such of a print service, or what do they usually provide, or is this a reasonable request to be made of a print service - again, these may only be able attract opinion based answers so again these questions are likely to be closed.
  • Scanning
  • Bio-printing
  • 3D Models
    • Feasibility
    • Availability
  • Sharing recommended settings
  • Legal issues
    • Copyright (i.e. Lego)
    • Guns/Weapons
    • Insurance (i.e. fire damage)
    • Legal issues may be asked, but as we are not lawyers then I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL) should always apply. Generic legal questions can also be asked on SE.Law.
  • Manufacturers
    • Best manufacturer - opinion based
  • Materials
    • Filament
    • ABS
    • PLA
    • PETG
    • etc.
  • Makerspaces
  • Medical
    • Materials for medical use
    • Medical quality printing
    • Medical applications for 3D printed objects
  • Health
    • Closely related, and may overlap with safety
  • Safety
    • Fumes
    • Print material suitability for foodstuffs
  • Non-3D Printing related
  • Misc
    • Not strictly 3D related, see Non-3D Printing related above
    • Anything 3D related
    • Other
      • FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
      • FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
      • SLA (Stereo Lithography)
      • DLP (Digital Light Processing)
      • SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
      • DLMS (Direct Laser Metal Smelting)

I don't know if my question is On-Topic.

Feel free to ask if your question is valid on Meta. Please also refer to the What types of questions should I avoid asking? section for more information.

I have other questions regarding the site though...

Please regard the Help Center if you're new to the site or are unsure of what to do