How to properly read dimensions for a 3D printer?

  • I'm trying to find the correct way to read and understand the dimensions of a 3D printer. For example, if I read the following dimensions for the Robo 3D R1 Plus as 10x9x8 Inch - I want to know what 10 stands for (does it mean print height?), 9 (depth?), and 8 (width?); etc. I'm not sure if I'm assuming correctly.

    I know this should be simple, but I'm not sure where to reference the proper ordering, respective to each aforementioned dimension.


    While looking at Makerbot's Replicator technical specifications, I see them listing their dimensions as follows:

    Build Volume

    29.5 L X 19.5 W X 16.5 H CM
    [11.6 X 7.6 X 6.5 IN]

    So, if I'm reading this correctly, can I infer that 11.6 IN is referring to the length/depth, 7.6 IN is referring to the width, and 6.5 IN is referring to the height. Would this be the universal/standard way of referring to build specifications for all 3D printers?

    LWH is a very common order for measurements, but it's not specific to 3D printing at all.

    Typically LWH is transferable to XYZ dimensions in machine tools (3D Printers, Mills, Lathes, Lasers, etc). ie Length=X Distance, Width=Y Distance, Z=Height.

    The 11.6 value, as L, would be the x direction typically, and therefore the left to right as you are facing the machine. W would be the front to back "depth" or y dimension. Your notation of "length/depth" is problematic, I think.

    Just a thought, that it mostly matters to distinguish the Height particularly. Length and Width are somewhat symmetrical - you can re-orientate the print by 90 degrees with little consequence; you usually cannot do that vertically, and it makes a huge difference to the structure of a print if you do. If your printer has a moving bed, the non-symmetry of X and Y might make more of a difference (I don't own a moving-bed printer: does that actually make a difference to your X/Y positioning choices?).

  • Having the dimensions of your 3D printer ordered in Length x Width x Height is a common way, but nobody actually decided it.
    I think it has something to do with the 3rd dimension being the "new" dimension for printing things, that's why it's appended at the end.
    Additionally, the first axis on a 2D-coordinate system usually is the horizontal one, so writing Length x Width makes sense for me.
    If you are unsure you can always test your printer (if you have one) by writing your own G-Code that moves the printhead on a defined axis.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM