One thing I observed. I can see how the layer steps can be affected be the orientation of the object too. For example printing the horse on it's side causes the stair stepping because the curves in the rib cage area go from gradual to sharper (makes me think of the old days in computer animation of the ragged edges on shallow curves with low resolution images). Is there a rule of thumb you use when printing to decide which will give a better look?
Will you be going over ways to smooth out printed objects? I've seen acetone "pens" for ABS. Is there something for PLA?
Still have 16 days until I get to open my Christmas present. I want you to know- You are making the waiting difficult.
LOL. There are several ways, but I tend to go with the tried and true sandpaper (lighter grit). I find it works well enough specially if you plan to paint afterwards. I am learning as I go as well on non standard geometric objects. They are indeed tricky at several levels.
Orientation is more about getting the object to print without issue more than anything.
I plan to spend more time over the winter (after Christmas) adding to this series. I will also be the subject of my Q1 Tractive Effort article.