The vast majority of 3D printer operators never think twice about changing the orientation of the model to be printed. This begs the question, should they? Desktop 3D printers typically have 3D models with flat bottom surfaces, making it easier to print. This is a crucial component of the 3D model because without a bottom that guarantees easy sticking to the print surface, the print would almost always fail. There are, however, some situations exempt to this matter in which the printer operators may want to consider altering the 3D model’s orientation for printing.


One of these situations concerns objects with tilted top surfaces. Tilted top surfaces can cause problems in the 3D printing process as the layers grow continuously higher in visibility. The graphic below illustrates the layer by layer extrusion of a flat surface.

If you have an object with a tilt at the top surface, it will look much like the illustration below. Problems can occur here in the 3D printing process because the changes in layers are inconsistent and vary.

However, these inconsistencies can be eliminated by changing the orientation of the surface. The layer changes blend in more visually and allow for a smoother printing process. This methodology may not work in all situations because it could potentially compromise another portion of the object, but it can serve as a good solution on some cases. Operators could also print in smaller layers or complete further processing after 3D printing your object by reducing layer effects. The image below shows the same object illustrated above, just with the surface orientation altered. The layers are clearly more visible and appear much smoother.