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Best Practices for Publishing Prints  

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Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Famed Member
RE:

suppose I have a part I want to print, but have not been able to print successfully - can I not publish that model and ask for advice on getting it successfully printed?

Yes,but do that here, on the Forum, you will get no help from Printables.

I have published a print, and then in response to feedback published one or more additional related prints.

That's reasonable a long as the original is a complete project in itself.  For example, we are seeing a lot of Lucky 13 skins which seem generally acceptable.

Scenario one : I publish a print of the letter "A". Nobody is interested. Why bother to publish B thru Z?

Unsurprising, what use is an 'A' by itself?

Scenario two : I publish a print of the letter "A" and many people like it. It takes me a week to design and test print a letter. Should I make people wait another 25 weeks before I publish again?

No, 51 weeks or you will really piss-off Azreal, which is never a good idea.

The testing issue is also not straightforward. I do make an effort to test my prints, but what works for me may not work for you, so arguably a print has to published and used by others to thoroughly test it.

Yes.  Get it working for yourself then print extras and give them to friends to beta test.  After publishing be prepared to modify in the light of user experience.

When you publish a print explain whether and how long you have tested it. Explain both the negatives and the positives about the print.

Agreed.

Cheerio,

Posted : 07/10/2022 3:47 pm
kennd liked
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

I actually just ran into a situation that highlighted for me that offering both STL and 3MF is probably the best option. I downloaded a model, for which the designer had only provided 3mf files. So I load them, and there was no print profile information at all in it, no support placements he talked about on the Details page etc. I communicated with the designer, and it turned out he used 3mf because the files are smaller than STL but didn't include any of the information I was expecting from a 3mf file. I don't know for sure but he may not even be using Prusaslicer. So for one, just because someone uploads a 3mf doesn't mean you'll get the settings information you may expect from a 3mf file. But also on the flipside, the 3mf may contain information that other slicers may not properly interpret. I suddenly remembered that a while ago when I was still using Cura on the side, loading Prusaslicer 3mfs into Cura created all sorts of havoc. Maybe this has changed now, I don't know. My point is, 3MF is not really a standard, as it allows the addition of brand-specific information that may or may not work if opened by a different slicer. So also offering the STL seems to me playing it safe.

Posted : 07/10/2022 6:07 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Famed Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

In my far from humble opinion, if you're going to publish a font, you need to, at minimum, publish the upper case A through Z and numerals 0 through 9 in one shot.  Nobody wants to download 36 files just to get the font.

Sure, you may get some kind of credit for 36 uploads and so many downloads, but it adds to the clutter in the Printables site and burdens anyone who wants to use your font.

Posted : 07/10/2022 6:24 pm
Ringarn67 liked
pickworthi
(@pickworthi)
Eminent Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

 

Posted by: @diem

The testing issue is also not straightforward. I do make an effort to test my prints, but what works for me may not work for you, so arguably a print has to published and used by others to thoroughly test it.

Yes.  Get it working for yourself then print extras and give them to friends to beta test.  After publishing be prepared to modify in the light of user experience.

It seems to me that this looses sight of what Printables.com (or any other online repository) actually is - a repository of free stuff. So, free stuff rules apply - i.e. caveat emptor.

Best Practice is something for a publisher to consider - based on why they are publishing. If it's just to share - why on earth would anyone go to the time and expense of doing a full QA exercise on their model? If you are interested in building up a reputation - do whatever QA you think is needed.

If, as a user, you download something and just print it, and then find it's not suitable, well - caveat emptor. It's not hard to examine a downloaded design file to see if anything makes it inappropriate for your use. If you expected anything else form a free repository, well.

To me - best practise would define what gets published, and that's it. Especially if it gets embedded in repository rules. So, Printable.com already will not let you publish a model without at least one picture, one model file, some keyword tags and a license statement. That would be the low tide mark for best practice then. 

If there is sensible advice on what model files make sense that would be helpful. But guidance. Best practice is a minefield - take it from an old Lead Engineer.

Posted : 07/10/2022 9:20 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Famed Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

A test should be simple.  You print it and it turns out usable, or does not.  If it does not, you refine it until it does.  Then and only then do you publish.

I always appreciate it if the author includes a brief discussion and instructions on how to print, assemble, and use.

I did just this for one of the few prints I've posted, and the accompanying sheet is on line here: https://web1.letis.com/modelrr/64boxcar.pdf

This will show the printed pieces, any tricky items, and the finished item which has been assembled and tested.  Anyone wanting to print it can then be confident that the print will give the expected results.

Posted : 07/10/2022 10:09 pm
RandyM9
(@randym9)
Reputable Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

suppose I have a part I want to print, but have not been able to print successfully - can I not publish that model and ask for advice on getting it successfully printed?

Isn’t that what these forums are for?

Cheers

Posted : 07/10/2022 11:24 pm
kaje
 kaje
(@kaje)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

I'm don't agree that this forum is necessarily the right (or maybe only) place to ask for advice on a part which has been designed and printed, but needs improvement. Printable is set up for publishing prints, so it seems to me that Printables is the right place to make print data available. If the question I was asking was about a hypothetical print, that would be a different story.

In response to the question, "What use is an "A" by itself?" -  Ask Alice, Andy, Albert, or Anne.

With regard to "best practices" in general, I am thinking in this context :

  • I have a print which I think might be of use to other people, and I would like to share it. What is the best and most useful way to do that in a way that will provide all the data and advice necessary for someone else to make a successful print, with the least amount of bother?

I do not see Best Practices as a rigid set of rules which must be followed to the letter, but more along the lines of useful advice and guidance for people who want to publish prints in the most useful and least aggravating way.

Posted : 07/10/2022 11:55 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Famed Member

I'm don't agree that this forum is necessarily the right (or maybe only) place to ask for advice on a part which has been designed and printed, but needs improvement.

Leave the goalposts alone.

In response to the question, "What use is an "A" by itself?" - Ask Alice, Andy, Albert, or Anne.

Who will, between them, be looking for b, c, d, e, i, l, n, r and t.

Here's one, tell me how thrilling you find it: https://www.printables.com/model/290645-letra-a

Several posters here are overlooking the thread title;  "Best practice" not "The bare minimum practice" or "The least I can get away with practice".

@pickworthi said:

If, as a user, you download something and just print it, and then find it's not suitable, well - caveat emptor. It's not hard to examine a downloaded design file to see if anything makes it inappropriate for your use. If you expected anything else form a free repository, well.

And he is, in essence, right but a significant number of, er, recipientes; that's probably not accurate but neither is emptor*, a significant number do expect considerably more and are disappointed.  We see some of them here attempting to print files the originator clearly never tried to print.  It's newcomers who are most inconvenienced, those who have not yet learned to examine a file for purpose.

Cheerio,

* Does anyone know the latin for "downloader?"

 

Posted : 08/10/2022 2:31 am
RandyM9
(@randym9)
Reputable Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

advice on a part which has been designed and printed, but needs improvement

Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s not what you said originally…

suppose I have a part I want to print, but have not been able to print successfully -

This is from your earlier post. Posting a print that you yourself have not been able to print successfully, I think, doesn’t fall under the banner of ‘best practice,’ nor is it particularly useful to the community, in my opinion.

And I’m not suggesting that the forums are the best or only place to ask for help with a design you’re struggling to print successfully, although there are many topics devoted to just this and many forum members with exceptional knowledge here, willing to dive in and help.

I’m sure there are other resources out there that may be better suited to the specific type of feedback you seek; I simply, don’t agree that ‘Printables’ is the appropriate avenue.

Cheers

Posted : 08/10/2022 4:19 am
kaje
 kaje
(@kaje)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

Diem - I don't think I'm moving the goalposts. The whole point of the original post was "Where should the goalposts be?" Or maybe better - "Should there be goalposts at all?"

My original post set out some thoughts I had about the effectively publishing prints. Based on the discussion this topic has generated, I would now modify that list in a number of ways. For example, I find the argument convincing that 3mf does not work for everyone, and that stl is still necessary - but a few years from now that may not be the case.

I certainly don't take the position that I am setting out rules that other people have to follow or be considered "bad actors." Perhaps instead of calling it "Best Practices" I should have said "Things to Consider When Publishing Prints", with the understanding that general guidelines may not be applicable in all cases.

I am also thinking that there may be technological solutions to some of these issues.  For example, the "problem" of items of a set (for example, letters of the alphabet) being published as separate items, making download them all difficult. Printables already supports Collections; it should be possible to add an option to download an entire Collection at once.

In addition, Printable already provides other tools for helping to improve the situation - when you see a print published that is missing useful things like photos, etc., you can always add a polite comment to let the publisher know. I'm sure I made mistakes in the way I published stuff when I was just starting out - I'm probably still making mistakes!

For me, at least, this has been a helpful discussion and much to think about. Thanks to all of you who took the time to add your replies.

 

Posted : 08/10/2022 1:50 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Famed Member
RE: Best Practices for Publishing Prints

I really don't care where the goalposts are.  I'm for about anything that will give the Prints section (or Printables or whatever it's called this week) more wheat and less chaff.

And I certainly can't see any print that has never been successfully printed by its developer falling into the wheat bin and not the chaff bin!

Posted : 08/10/2022 1:56 pm
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