The rotation of your model is one of the critical steps of the whole slicing process.
It can have a huge impact on the model surface quality and even the success of a print.
As a rule of thumb you need to keep these rules in mind:
- Avoid as much as possible to orient the most detailed parts of a model (like a face or delicate parts) toward the build plate as you will have to put supports and possibly damage the surface of your model.
You can also orient the faces you can easily clean toward the build plate.
- Orient the more massive part of the model toward the build plate.
- Avoid as much as possible having vertical or even worse, horizontal parts or print directly on the build plate.
Tilting your model by even a few degrees will reduce the surface of each layer and the forces that pull it off the fep between each layer and can deform or even rip off the print from the supports.
- Try to use most of your printer height to have a better resolution on your print.
It will improve the print quality but also the print time.
- Avoid cups that could have a suction effect during the printing process, if you can’t use a different orientation keep in mind that you can add drain holes.
These are guidance, depending on your model you will need to find the correct balance.
Sometimes cutting a model into multiple pieces can help reduce damage to the piece.
The rotate tool, located in the Layout section on the left of the viewport let you rotate the selection of 3D models around the three different axes, X, Y, Z, or the screen space and use some more advanced tool too.
Click on the tool icon to launch it or R on your keyboard.
A gizmo 3D will appear at the center of the selection with the default manipulator. (You have no way to change the manipulator placement)
You can access the other rotate tools by hovering the rotate icon:
Click and drag on each colored arc to rotate the object on the X, Y, and Z axis.
The white outer circle lets you rotate based on the screen orientation.
You can also use the tools option at the bottom of the screen:
- to edit the values manually
- reset the orientation
- quickly access the auto orientation feature.
On plate #
On plate tool let you pick a point on your model and it will be oriented toward the build plate automatically. Handy to orient a model with a single click.
Orientation to object #
Similar to on plate, orient object to object let you pick a point on the object you want to orient and then pick a point on another object.
It’s handy to transfer quickly a rotation to a similar object by clicking on a base for example.
Auto orientation #
Auto orient will find a new orientation for the object based on its feature with a single click.
You may have to retry multiple times until you have an orientation that suits your needs.
It can be a good starting point to quickly search for the orientation needed, you can also manually tweak the result at any point.
Reset will revert all the rotations value back to 0 and go back to the orientation of the model when you imported it into the slicer.
Tip: Pressing the Shift key will click and dragging the manipulator will rotate by an increment of 15 degrees (you can’t change the spacing).