Proposal: Digital Fabrication

Currently this proposal has the following description:

Proposed Q&A site for people interested in making physical things using computer controlled equipment, including 3D printing & scanning, CNC milling or cutting machines, CAD/CAM software and the use of this technology within the maker & hackerspace communities.

I have been occasionally updating this according to discussions and comments at How can we make the new proposal better for the reboot? and What should we call this proposal?, unfortunately this doesn't appear to satisfy everyone. In order to promote more inclusivity, I would like to hear suggestions for alternate descriptions (or parts of the description) to help better describe the site.

This is not a request to define the site in a sentence, since that will ultimately be driven by the questions asked and voted up on the proposal, but instead I am looking for better ways of representing the questions we have and helping to promote the proposal within the communities we need to get on board to make this site work.

For reference, the description of the original Personal Manufacturing was:

Q&A site for operators of 3D printers, hackerspace communities, and others interested in making physical things with computers.

Note that descriptions can have at most 250 characters after the Proposed Q&A site for boilerplate.

Would we exclude discussions about making electronics such as robotics and Arduino, Raspberry PI etc? – uncovery Dec 18 '12 at 10:00
We don't realy need an explicit exclusion as this falls under the general stack exchange respect other communities philosopy. – Mark Booth Dec 21 '12 at 11:19
Now that this proposal is in the commitment phase and its description fixed, this question is obsolete. – Mark Booth Jun 29 '13 at 13:14

With the switch from Digital Fabrication to Fabrication & Manufacturing (see the votes on What should we call this proposal?), I've reworked the description too:

Proposed Q&A site for people interested in fabricating or manufacturing physical things. Including 3D printing & scanning, CNC milling or cutting machines, CAD/CAM software and how we can share ideas between industry and the maker & hackerspace communities.

(15 characters spare)

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Sounds good, although I'd keep the "digital" prefix to avoid a massive scope explosion. – l0b0 Jul 19 '13 at 12:28

I have been thinking about how to make our proposal description more inclusive, so I have been trying to work out ways to remove the implication that this is just about 3d printers and CNC machines etc.

What I am considering is trying to emphasise that Digital Fabrication is not just about fabricating digitally, but about fabrication in the digital age.

In this day and age, communication (sharing of our knowledge and experience) is one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal.

Proposed Q&A site for people interested in making physical things in the digital age. Including using home/office 3D printing & scanning, CNC milling or cutting machines, CAD/CAM software and how we can communicate & share ideas within the maker & hackerspace communities.

Comments welcome as always.

Does this mean we include questions that go in the direction on "How to setup a hackerspace" and "How can I find collaborators on projects"? – uncovery Dec 18 '12 at 9:52
I like the "setting up" question, it has the thotential for a nice specific answer, possibly one per region, feel free to propose it. The collaborator question is more likely to be considered non-constructive though, with list style answers. – Mark Booth Dec 21 '12 at 11:29

This is what I've got right now for Manufacturing:

"Proposed Q&A site for engineers, inventors, product designers, entrepreneurs, business people, students, and hobbyists, seeking the most economical and effective ways to fabricate physical things."

It shifts the focus to one that gives equal consideration to all methods of fabrication, be it manual, digitally controlled, mass produced, artisanal, whatever... My view is that the digital/traditional dichotomy is a false one; it all comes down to forming and assembling matter. Also think that cutting out professionals by making the site just about '3D printers' or 'Desktop Fab' would not benefit either hobbyists or professionals. Desktop fab will still fit easily under this umbrella however and will likely still be widely represented given its booming popularity.

It's my thinking that making the site more broad and pro focused will increase the number of active users in proposal mode, which seems to have been a problem with previous proposals. – shoul25 Jan 29 '13 at 19:02
You could replace "engineers" through "hobbyists" with simply "people". Much simpler and more inclusive. – l0b0 Jul 19 '13 at 12:10
Including absolutely all physical fabrication would be too broad. Can you imagine the entire space of physical manufacture being crammed into a single Q&A site? – l0b0 Jul 19 '13 at 12:24

I'd add digitally to the first sentence, ``...people interested in digitally fabricating or manufacturing physical things.''

That omits pure hand-work and manual machine operation.

I'd also insert routing/ before milling, ``Including 3D printing & scanning, CNC _routing/_milling or cutting machines...''

Many machinists differentiate between routers for wood and mills capable of cutting steel.

Now that we are in commitment the description, like the questions have been fixed. – Mark Booth Jun 29 '13 at 13:12
If the description (and presumably name) was fixed, how did it get changed? I signed on for "Fabrication & Manufacturing", not elitist, new age "Maker" bull. – WillAdams Jul 19 '13 at 2:53

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