object rotation/orientation question

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by captainharlock, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. captainharlock
    captainharlock New Member
    When saving STL files from Solidworks, the objects show up as rotated onto their side in Shapeways. I.E. the top plane in SW faces forward in the preview thumbnail generated for that model on Shapeways, so the model appears to be standing on end.

    My question is does that have any relation to how it is oriented in the printer, or do they orient the object at time of print for best results or best support structure? A lot of the materials have a 'grain' and it may matter which way the object is rotated in relation to the built up layers of material for best results, especially when making objects out of stainless where the resulting item is desired to be used as is without painting or sanding. When done right the stainless has a natural cast look, but if you catch the grain in the wrong direction it can be funny.

    This problem can be worked around in Solidworks by re-defining the default view orientations and planes, or by rotating the saved STL file after the conversion but I'm wondering if I should bother in the first place, other than to fix the thumbnail view of an item if I am going to be offering it in a store.


  2. bradykineticcuriosities
    bradykineticcuriosities Well-Known Member
    It has been my experience that the orientation shown on the preview is not the build orientation - each build is packaged for maximum efficiency, and this means some models get rotated to fit.

    I'm all for specifying a build orientation, but it would most likely come at a higher cost (less build efficiency) or a longer lead time (waiting for more models to fill in the build envelope).

    As far as the preview orientation goes, Z is treated as up for most 3D printing.