Skip to Content

How To Rotate a Model in Simplify3D (Step-by-Step)

3D enthusiasts rate Simplify3D highly for how it allows more control. You can easily manipulate your axes and place your supports where you want them. However, this slicer takes some getting used to, and basic functions like rotating a model don’t come intuitively to users.

Written by:
Last updated:

3D enthusiasts rate Simplify3D highly for how it allows more control. You can easily manipulate your axes and place your supports where you want them. However, this slicer takes some getting used to, and basic functions like rotating a model don’t come intuitively to users. 

Here’s how to rotate a model in Simplify3D: 

  1. Select the model. 
  2. Hold the right shortcut keys for rotation. 
  3. Rotate the model side to side. 
  4. Use the “place surface on bed” function. 
  5. Enter scale values for precision. 

Let’s walk through these steps together and rotate that model! I’ll also cover other essential controls for Simplify3D that will improve the accuracy of your prints. 

1. Select the Model

To select the model in Simplify3D, you have to click on it. If you’ve accurately chosen the model, it will change color in response to your selection. 

If your model is not responsive, wait a bit until it’s responsive. Alternatively, you can quit and restart the session after saving your print if the model takes too long to respond. 

2. Hold the Right Shortcut Keys

After selecting the model, hold CTRL and left-click and drag the model around the virtual build table. Mac users have to hold CMD and left-click. 

Once you hold the right shortcut keys, you’ll find it easier to move the model around as you deem fit by dragging your mouse in any direction you choose. 

3. Rotate the Model Side-to-Side

Switching from CTRL-left click to ALT-left click will allow you to drag the model from side to side to side a lot more easily. Using this combo is better if you’re interested in design elements positioned towards the side of your model or want to move your model very slowly to check things over.

4. Use the “Place Surface on Bed” Function

A faster approach to rotating models on Simplify3D is to use the “place surface on bed” function. This feature will automatically flip or turn the model if you want to change the orientation. 

You can execute this function by going to the edit menu and choosing the “place surface on bed” function. Alternatively, you can use the CTRL key (CMD in Mac), right-click, and select the surface for the same results. 

5. Enter Scale Values for Precision

Sometimes, you may not get the model positioning you’re looking for through hand rotation. You can use the custom positioning window to ensure precision and enter exact numerical values. However, you’ll need to read the model dimensions to use this approach. If it doesn’t work for you, consider using the methods above and rotating as slowly as possible. 

Find here a short video rotating the model in Simplify3D

How To Scale a Model in Simplify3D

You can scale a model in Simplify3D in two ways. 

First, you can use the standard method of moving your mouse up and down by holding CTRL and then right-clicking (CMD + right-click on Mac). 

Alternatively, you can use the more accurate option, which involves digging into the model settings panel. Double-click the model and select the “change scaling” option. On Simplify3D, you can choose to scale by exact size in millimeters or by percentage. 

In the settings panel, you can also change position by axis, which will give you more control. However, you should be careful when changing the Z setting. If you move any part of the object below the print bed, it won’t get printed. 

Other Important Simplify3D Settings You Should Know

Rotation isn’t the only way to improve your 3D printing results. Other necessary settings that you should know about include the following: 

Retraction Distance

Are you struggling with filament oozing or stringing? It’s a common issue that will leave extra unnecessary stringing, artifacts, and lumpy blobs between the various parts of your model. 

In many cases, you can trace oozing to improper retraction settings. Changing the distance by 1mm or 0.5mm will usually remedy the issue. If one increase doesn’t work, you can slowly increase the retraction distance until you get the desired results. 

Retraction Speed 

The retraction speed setting allows you to determine how quickly the nozzle lifts from your print.

The recommended speeds for retraction are either 30 mm per second or 60 mm per second. 

The best speed setting to use will come down to your choice of filament for the project. With retraction set too low, the filament may still ooze from the nozzle after it has lifted, leaving strings and lumps. 

However, setting the retraction speed too high may cause the gear to eat through your filament. The retraction speed also doesn’t need to match your travel or print speed. 

Ideally, you should ensure the speed of retraction on any project matches your printer’s supported speed level without causing friction between the drive gear and the filament. 

Advantages of Choosing Simplify3D

While the settings on Simplify3D can appear too layered for newbie craft makers, it holds a lot of significant benefits over other slicers such as Cura. Some of the advantages include the following: 

  • One-time cost. Paying the one-time fee required for Simplify3D may be prohibitive for some users, but in the long run, the price works out cheaper compared to monthly payments if you’re a regular user. 
  • Practical options. As we’ve seen briefly above, Simplify3D has tons of micro menus that will allow you to print more accurate and detailed objects. Granted, newbies may find the loaded navigation options challenging at first, but once you get the hang of the settings, you can enjoy unparalleled control over your prints. 
  • Thin resource usage. You only need 2GB of Ram to use Simplify3D. The powerful software doesn’t overwhelm computers. 

Final Thoughts

Simplify3D is one of the best slicers for 3D printing. One of the software’s key features is that it’s highly customizable. Therefore, there’s almost always a setting to tweak to correct any problems you may be experiencing. 

As is the case with rotation, the tweak can be as simple as pressing a few keyboard shortcuts or delving into the model menu and device settings. If you need more guidance when working with the software, you can dig through the selection of videos and articles on the brand’s support page.

Written by:
Last updated:

About Ben

I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.