Horizontal nozzle orientation

newbie:wildly dumb question!

printing a model in a vertical orientation appears to give much better quality than a horizontal orientation …I assume this is because the nozzle is also in a vertical orientation.

presumably if horizontal nozzle orientation were supported then print quality would be as good as current vertical prints. Is this true?

I suppose theorectically that the slicer and bed would also be horizontally orientated.

Has this been tried or perhaps even exist?

The simple answer is gravity.

There are experiments being done on the space station to figure out the benefits of printing in zero gravity.


There is some asymmetry in print resolution. In the X/Y direction, the smallest feature is 0.4mm (the size of the nozzle). In the Z direction, the smallest feature that can be printed is the layer height. The print head can be positioned just as accurately in all 3 dimensions, but can print finer detail in the Z dimension.

You can rotate your model, and change which direction is considered Z for your print. That’s effectively what you’re suggesting, but with less complications from gravity. Keep in mind that because of the layering, the print is strongest in compression and shear in the Z direction, and very susceptible to shear in the X/Y directions. It’s very easy to get the layers to separate. So if you’re printing something that is weight bearing, or subject to torque or offset static forces, it’s worth thinking about which orientation you want to print in.

thanks to both. just curious what , if any, alternative axis setups have been tried.

I guess I’m still trying to work why horizontal prints with inscriptions are so poor compared to those printed vertically …

There are different axis setups in other printers, one use case is for an “unlimited” print length as shown in this YouTube video. I think this usually appears in dedicated machines and used for specific reasons, so probably not doable with the SnapMaker, though I’d love to be proven wrong by one of the incredible modders in this community.

As stated by @clewis, there are different resolutions in different axes due to how 3d printing works, but it might also come down to calibration as ghosting can be a big factor in making some features like text look better in one orientation over another.

I’ll also add that extruding-based 3d printing prints in layers, slants might look better if printed as a wall rather than a top/bottom as in the x-y directions they can be smoothly extruded, but in the z-direction, they tend to have a staircase look.