Which is a bigger problem? N-Gons or Poles

I’m making helmet designs with the goal of exporting either to a NURBS modeler like Rhino or as an .stl file. I’m also new to Blender. Here’s one model that I feel is pretty good (quads mostly and they’re mostly square. simple. good poly flow. low poly. easy to modify.) I have some poles next to creased edges and a few N-gons. When I was using Modo, I was told to ALWAYS have a ring of edge loops surrounding creased edges and never to have poles on a crease. But then I read other opinions about how it’s OK to just have a crease and no extra ring loops around it. Should I be more concerned with N-gons or poles/spiders? What should I change to make it ‘perfect’?

ngons are much worse. Poles are unavoidable on many (most) models. Ngons are especially bad if you plan on deforming the mesh. But if possible, use all quads. In that case I would probably create a 5 pole in the middle and add another edge loop running all the way around.

If you are planning on outputting to .stl, then it will ultimately be triangulated anyway. :man_shrugging:

I assume it’s not going to be animated, so both are fine. Dogmatic ideas about dos and dont’s in 3D are everywhere, but often, the real ‘rule’ is: it depends.
as for how this will export to Nurbs, I couldn’t say, but @SterlingRoth is right about .Stl!

Thanks everyone. I guess it call comes down to “it depends”. It certainly won’t be animated and I absolutely want it smooth as a baby’s bottom, so I’m going with as few polys as possible, all quads wherever possible and edge creasing in place of edge loops.

To say “it depends” is like saying ‘should i put windshield fluid in my car?’, ‘it depends!’

In the rare case that the ngon is flat and has containing loops, then ok. But in virtually every other situation quads are better. Deforming a mesh doesn’t necessarily mean an armature, if you ever plan on experimenting with slightly different shapes with proportional edit then you are deforming it. Subdivision and smoothness will always be better with quads. Models for sale emphasize ‘all quad’ as a valuable attribute.

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Understood. Thanks.