PREVENTING points in close proximity from Merging By Distance?

I’ve got a situation where I want to prevent some points in close proximity from being Merged, while others do need to be Merged. I also need to APPLY an Array, and have appropriate points merged when the Apply happens.

In LightWave 3D you can prevent points from merging by spacing them apart in an Endomorph/Shape Key. Unfortunately, this is not possible in Blender because you cannot Apply an Array Modifier in Blender if you have any (even just ONE(wtf???)) Shape Key on an object.

Prevention is always hard :frowning:

However, fixing the thing, in this case, is rather simple:

Most of the steps I take there are just for clarity, the crux is to split the non-manifold edges and then merge the base verts back.

Or, you can rebuild it taking advantage of the fact that all fingers have the same number of sides (Fill Holes + Extrude Individual):

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I’m guessing you got the original blend file?

Ye, from here:

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Just thinking about prevention for cases similar to this: you could use the Array without the Merge option, and select only the base verts before applying the Array, apply it, which should propagate selection to generated copies, and so you’d have nice selection for merging. Or you could e.g. put them in a vertex group and then use that with in a Weld modifier.

Blender generally only operates on selection, so in this case you can just unselected the ones you want to exclude from the merge

What seemed to be happening was that the Array merge option was causing points in proximity to one another to be merged globally, at least among the newly generated (although possibly not within the original mesh). Or something: I’m disinclined to investigate, things to do.

Thanks for everybody’s help.

BTW, and sorry if I’ve asked before: is there a way to prevent points from ever being merged? To designate points as “thou shalt not merge”? This would simplify workflow in various case. (In LW it is possible to create a dedicated endomorph/shape key with points separated spatially – such altered points will never merge in any of the endomorph/shape key versions.)

The only way I know is to hide them.