We’ve been talking about making some changes to improve these forums — and I was wondering what ideas were out there? Any communities and forums you think work particularly well (or not?)
Perhaps a community hints & tips section with practical hints and tips for printing several types of parts. For instance; printing cylindrical parts (which tend to be more difficult to print), or extremely small parts (just examples).
I know there is a support page on the Formlabs.com page which is very explicit and absolutely usefull. However, These are more general tips for succesful printing. There are a lot of experienced users on this forum which have come up with different methods for their prints to succeed (mostly by trial and error). Right now these tips and guidelines are scattered throughout the forum and can be found by using the search button. Gathering all these information sheets and tips from the more experienced users and posting them as different threads to help out the members who have just bought a Form1+ or are having trouble with a part they’re printing would help them without posting a new topic which might have been discussed multiple times). The members could go through these topics first to help them on their way before asking help which might not be neccessary. Furthermore these topics could contain certain handy STL files which community members have uploaded and can be used without permission.
A good example for me would be different types of STL files that can be used to join several parts because the original model is too large to print for the Form1+. I’ve recently asked this question in a different topic right now and have had several replies (still need to check them). If there are different solutions for joining parts, perhaps these solutions and files could be shared so you can copy/paste and attach the file to the model you are creating yourself. This helps members not having to create parts over and over again.
To summarize; it could be a troubleshooting guide which is specified on certain types of models/aspects rather than the more general support page you have right now!
P.s. The forum should be “closed” for easy moderating. If members have tips/tricks they can send a pm to a moderator asking him/her to post this topic in that section on his/her behalf. That way it’ll be a clean section without topics that don’t belong there. Another advantage is that the moderator can ensure that the tips which are given are true.
How about doing away with the auto-close feature that was just enabled, and instead close all posts that have not been bumped in the last month or two? If Discourse doesn’t have the feature, a simple PHP script could probably do it. Every month or so you could run the script. It would keep the “Zombie threads” from popping back up.
I know this is similar to auto-close, but I don’t like the countdown. And it does close even if the topic is still alive.
Back in the days when Tektronix had a printer division they had company policy that every engineer would spend one week a month doing a rotation in the service group. It might be nice to round robin the engineers onto the forum.
I like @JoshK’s idea about the thread locking.
Re: Zombie threads - i think the biggest source of those is the Suggested Topics section at the bottom of every thread. Might be a good idea to do away with that and see where that gets you.
Yeah, @JoshK — this feature isn’t right. I believe we’re upgrading the forums imminently, which should give us a setting to “Close after X days inactivity.” That should solve much of it. Good call re: Suggested Topics, @Ante_Vukorepa.
@Alex_Vermeer — that’s a great suggestion. One issue we have, anecdotally, at least, is that people are more likely to look through these forums for help, than they are to check out our support pages , and a lot of tips and tricks are buried in there. Some sticky threads or something like that could go a long way.
@EvanFoss — you’d be surprised how many of the folks on the team time on the forums, but that’s a great idea (if perhaps a tricky one to manage…)
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