creating wallthickness on complex surfaces


i tried out few tricks, solidify selection (produces bad results and doesnt work right in my current RC1) and shrink scale function seems to mess up the mess badly.

does anybody know any other way to add/create good wall thicknesses in blender?

I usually use a Plane and extrude a Floor-Plan, then extrude the walls from there. You have to remake the faces above doors and windows but it’s simple, mechanical work.


uff i have many curved surfaces, that makes it difficult plus a hell of polygons.

argh …

I was wondering what you meant with your question but considering the type of stuff you do I kinda figured it would have some curved surfaces/complex angles to it … Your last post made it clearer .

Now when you say “solidify selection” I’m guessing you are trying to use the “extrude by region” from the context menu and by “shrink scale” you mean you are trying to scale down the resulting extrusion … If so the following will work but only if your mesh is somewhat symmetrical along at least one axis .

  1. Go into one to one of the preset views (front, top, side) according to the symmetry of your mesh . And pick a “side view” for your mesh (let’s say along the Y-axis - the default).
  2. Hit E and select “Extrude by Region” . On my version of Blender it always shows an arbitrary axis it wants to extrude by and not along any of the three major axis ??? so you need to hit X, Y, or Z keys depending on the direction/viewport you want to extrude your new inner surface . Enter .
  3. Hit S to scale and hotkey one of the axis you extruded along (X, Y, or Z - in this case the Y) your basic wall thickness .
  4. Go int the “front view” (from above this would be the X-axis) and scale along that axis to even out the overall thickness of the mesh .
  5. You might want to recalculate the normals before finishing and you would get more accurate results if you typed in a number values after hitting the S key (and the E key too)to scale the new surface .

Like I said this will only work most likely best on cases involving a mesh with some symmetry (I used it on a skull I was working on) and the classic “undercut” issues related to mold-making apply here (if your mesh has deep odd angles where you can’t extrude along an axis you should probably do that separately and tweak it on a as needed basis - by which I mean extrude only that part separate it from the whole object/mesh, separate it from the object/mesh - go into object mode rejoin it with Ctrl-J and remove doubles - easier then joining in edit mode ) . But if the entire mesh is asymmetrical you might spend a lot of time trying to divide and fix "undercut faces/surfaces "…

Hope this helps .

it has what you talked about which makes the usual tricks not work.

well I did the shrink trick and than used a lot of scale along 2 axis to align points from different views. uffff

the problem is that even after calculating the normals sometimes the shrink tools works in a way it should not.

blender should get a real add thickness tool which works as it should. wish i could code it.

just restrick yourself to using curves or text and set the extrude setting. Auto thickness right there. lol

Seriously though, the tut on using beziers for wall modeling, including door and window cutiouts, and the setting depth/extrude, give a great wall thickness, with almost No verts.

ah i would love to use curves in blender in case we would be able to use trim surfaces with NURBS!

I hope I don’t get banned for suggesting this. You could download Wings3D and see if the ‘Intrude’ function does what you need.

Doesn’t Wings have an actual thickness tool? Can’t remember.

Here’s another thought, but probably will generate similar results to Shrink / Fatten. Duplicate the mesh and offset, Join the two, connect closest with C-Tools. That might work but for convoluted surfaces the script will probably generate collisions.

Wings approach is really good, but blender’s meshes are very different.

hi marty

i will try it out. thankx

ahah. Thought I saw that around someplace. Found it in the scripts menu under Mesh. Look for Solidify Selection.

Well, not so good for convoluted meshes maybe. Getting errors so never mind.