Model re-orientation to help 3D print quality


I’ve imported an .stl file to start with a basic model, in this case a toy soldier. When I print the natural orientation (soldier standing up), the back doesn’t print well since there are some pieces “hanging” in mid air from the backpack.

I’d like to rotate the model to have multiple points of contact with the base and/or have any free floating pieces anchored to lower printed pieces.

How do I do this? I can rotate the object around easily, but I can’t verify that multiple parts of the model are touching the base at the same time or are even in the same plane.


If you give me a link to the .stl file, I can take a look.

The software will automatically place the model on the build plate, but it may only be a tiny portion. If you generate the GCode, a slider will appear on the right side of the model view. You can drag that slider up and down, and it will show you each layer. Look at layer 1 to see what’s going to touch the build plate. I generally like to move the slider around to examine any steep overhangs or parts that might be unsupported.

It’s a common problem that 3D printers can’t start printing mid air. Some models are going to require some scaffolding to give something for the print to rest on. You can enable that by customizing the Printing Settings, and enable Support > Generate Support. This can cause some surface finish issues that you might need to cut or sand off.

Sometimes I can rotate a part around the X or Y axis to generate without needing support, but most of the time complicated models will need support. Sometimes I rotate a part that requires support because I want the rough surface on the side or top instead of the bottom.