How To Self-Union a Mesh (text with screen captures)

The question comes up every so often: How can you make a smooth topologically good mesh starting with a self-intersecting shape?

Finally, I have been motivated to write a how-to by a question from Kevin Tee. Here is his sketch showing the essence of the problem:


We want to start with an easily modeled low-poly shape, with hard corners and right angles, and end up with a smooth object with nicely joined intersections after applying a subsurface modifier, like this:

So here is how to perform this action. We’ll start with this mesh, made from a cube by extruding faces and scaling:

I hit a limit of three images per post. The images are not large, but there’s about fifteen of them. Now I’m trying to decide whether to write my little tutorial as a series of four or five posts here, or to go write an HTML file hosted elsewhere, and link to it. Posting here would be easier.

Instead of attaching the images, you can use a free image hosting , something like Imgur that allow this

Then copy paste the img url between img tag, by example this :

is coming from copy pasting :
[ IMG][/IMG]
(without the space between the [ and the I )

And so does not put a load on the Blenderartist server, as it’s not attached, allowing for more pictures in a post

I have written some HTML and put it with all the images on my personal website. No mysteries about where the funding comes from! This is just a static page. My “content management system” is ftp and a text editor :smiley:

Please see for the full story. Comments can go here in this BA thread.