I began printing the parts for the Ultrascope DIY telescope designed by the Open Space Agency. See http://www.openspaceagency.com/ultrascope.

All of the STL files for the 3D printable parts are canted 45 degrees. Brackets, tubes, everything I have seen so far. Is there a reason for this? I printed one part last night and simply rotated the part so it would lay flat because I didn't want to deal with supports. I am relatively new to 3D printing -- Am I missing something I should know? Is this a thing?


2 Answers 2


The orientation of the part in the STL file depends on the Software that creates the file. I had a software that would export the parts standing upright instead of laying flat. Depending on the CAD software it can be beneficial for the creator of the model to create in in a different orientation as the one you want to use for printing. Also not all CAD Engineers know (or care) about the best orientation for printing a part.

So my guess is that this is an issue of file export/ STL file creation.

It is totally normal to rotate the parts into a position that is best for printing.

  • $\begingroup$ i see 2 other possible reasons (both intentional) 1. parts were oriented to be printet together so such position conservers space 2. printer for which these file were created had the bed oriented in such position (rot45deg) $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2016 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ @darthpixel: Seeing that the TO wrote 'simply rotated the part so it would lay flat', both of these options do not seem reasonable to me. $\endgroup$
    – kamuro
    Apr 6, 2016 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @kamuro: that was just an option as it could be potential asnwer, that's all :) $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2016 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ Actually @darthpixel might not be wrong. My print bed is 200x200 and if I lay the hexagonal tube parts flat and rotate 45 degrees on z-axis, it will JUST fit the bed. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I've tried, the points closest to the edge curl up. Today I am testing leaving the hexagonal part at 45 degrees (fits the entire space way better) and using supports. $\endgroup$
    – zkent
    Apr 8, 2016 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ @zkent i want to add offtopic comment. It seems your bed's not warm enough. I don't know what's your printer but maybe you can add a coat underneath something similar to this. This will warm up your bed quicker and heat distribution will be better. $\endgroup$ Apr 9, 2016 at 6:20

Layer lines are failure lines.

Sometimes I choose to print a part in a weird or sub-optimal orientation just to minimise the load across layer lines when in use.

That may mean more support material and longer print time, but a completed part that fails is no use at all.


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