Edit: Looks like the "Maker Professionals" name was not selected by the community. It's probably more productive to fix that proposal instead of reviving "3D Printing".

Proposal: 3D Printing

Original text: Please reopen this. The Maker Professionals proposal has a different target audience ("professionals and advanced makers" vs. "people"), and a much broader focus ("technologies like 3D printing & scanning" (my emphasis) vs. "3D printing"). These can easily exist in parallel, like Ask Ubuntu and Unix & Linux.

2 Answers 2


Addressing your original point, I believe that splitting the community further will only weaken both communities.

As I wrote in my response to NEW! Vote for the Name of this Proposal. NOW!:

I want the name of this site to bring these groups together, not tear them apart.

I strongly believe that enthusiasts can learn much about precision and quality (for example) from the professional experts, but I also believe that the professionals can learn about cost reduction and novel approaches from enthusiast experts. The two communities are complementary, and that's where I want this site to go as I hope we are slowly managing with robotics.

I also explained there why I feel the current name is divisive and self contradictory.

Incidentally, there are already places where you can ask many questions related to problems with 3d printing. Electrical Engineering is strong on Arduino expertise and Robotics (where I am protem moderator) covers many of the non electronics questions you may want to ask.

In fact, I started this proposal, then the Desktop Manufacturing reboot, because I believe that the Robotics community was so fragmented that they would never be able to get a proposal into Beta. I thought that a more vertical site might have a better change at a strong, healthy community. Alas I found that this community was too small and too difficult to reach, so I had to slowly encourage the expansion of the remit of this proposal to get enough support to proceed.

Whilst I think it is a shame that my proposal was renamed, I understand and can appreciate that Stack Exchange management are attempting to improve the proposal, and I hope that they are prepared to listen to the arguments I have put forward.

  • I don't know if you saw my edit: I agree, and I've gone away from the original suggestion to wanting to see the "Maker Professionals" proposal fixed.
    – l0b0
    Jul 20, 2013 at 15:49
  • 1
    Thanks @l0b0 I was more responding to your original point than to your update. I've updated to make that more clear.
    – Mark Booth
    Jul 20, 2013 at 15:56

A 3D printing site for "regular people" was already launched about a year ago, but it was after 22 days because of a lack of activity.

Stack Exchange wants to build sites for experts. This does not mean that beginners are unwelcome or discouraged to ask questions. The dilemma is that sites need experts to give the site any sort of credibility. Read more about it on Robert's blog post:

To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!

Yes, Maker Professionals has a much broader focus, but I see that as an advantage. Since you mention them: in Area51's current state, I believe Ask Ubuntu would certainly be closed as a duplicate of Unix & Linux. The requirements for launch were much more relaxed when those sites.

  • I thought SE wanted to build useful sites, no matter who visits them. Experts will join if the questions are interesting, independently of explicit targeting.
    – l0b0
    Jul 19, 2013 at 18:05
  • Also, be very careful that experts != professionals! "Experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field" vs. "A professional is a person who is engaged in a certain activity, or occupation, for gain or compensation as means of livelihood" (my emphasis). A fresh graduate programmer is a professional, but rarely an expert. A great hobbyist is an expert, but not necessarily a professional.
    – l0b0
    Jul 19, 2013 at 18:10
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    @l0b0 Robert's post here may be of some insight to you
    – JohnB
    Jul 19, 2013 at 22:18
  • I didn't know the name change was done against the community consensus. Fixing that is probably more productive then. Thanks!
    – l0b0
    Jul 20, 2013 at 1:16
  • Thanks JohnB, I completely understand and fully support the aim of the change of name, however I don't believe, as it stands, that the new name actually achieves those aims as well as the old name did. Feel free to comment on my full response to Rework the name...
    – Mark Booth
    Jul 20, 2013 at 14:57

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