I'm trying to create a gravestone with chiseled text on it.

I have a cube (the stone) a text for which I added some depth and bevel, and then converted to a mesh.

I positioned the text so that it's partly "inside" the cube and tried adding a boolean difference modifier on the cube (cube - text), so that the text would be chiseled in the stone.

This gets Blender crazy. Initially nothing worked. I used a decimate modifier on the text to reduce its complexity, and now A few letters are chiseled, the rest are not.

This is how things look when Both the cube (headstone) and the text (now a mesh) are visible (there's another grave base object, but we can ignore it):

Both gravestone and text shown

The gravestone has the boolean difference modifier, and if I hide the text, this is what I see:

Gravestone with some chiseling

What can I do to make this work? I don't actually need to render this scene, I want to convert it to an STL file and 3D print it.

More info: As stated in the comments, this is due to the text being non-manifold. Actually, it has 2000+ non-manifold edges!

If I try to remove doubles, it just deletes the entire text. No matter what the double threshold is (tried 1mm, 0.1mm, etc. - I'm working with metric units).

Any suggestions on this?

The file with the issue can be found at: this location

Another file can be found at: this location.
This time, I've used the remesh modifier, but it only worked for one text object (converted to a mesh and remeshed), not the other two. The difference between the one that works, and the others that don't is that for the first one I used Octree depth = 7, and for the other two I used Octree depth = 8 (as 7 wasn't smooth enough).
To test this, just replace the object used in the boolean modifier of the cute from 'RIP' (which works) to either 'iGoogle' or 'years', which don't work.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Most likely it's because the text is non-manifold. Try selecting the text in edit mode and pressing W > Remove doubles. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Sep 17, 2014 at 20:53
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Also, make sure all you normals are correct(Edit mode > Select Everything(A) > Ctrl - N). $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2014 at 21:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Boolean operations will sometimes fail if one of the objects is super low poly. You could try sub-dividing the head-stone once or twice. $\endgroup$ Sep 18, 2014 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hm.. Is it possible you could you upload your .blend? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Sep 19, 2014 at 18:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ for this specific requirement I would be using a displacement modifier with a bitmap. It works like a bump map but creates/modifies real geometry. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Sep 23, 2014 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


Try adding a remesh modifier to the text:

enter image description here

Then the boolean modifier will work as expected:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This definitely works. The end result still fails the manifold test in the 3D printing tools, but the result STL can be sliced for 3D printing (tried slic3r). $\endgroup$
    – Barak
    Oct 12, 2014 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ The solution seems to only work for the word 'RIP' ;-) Tried another example with 3 text objects, but only one worked. Uploaded the file. Thanks for the great help so far. $\endgroup$
    – Barak
    Oct 12, 2014 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ The normals are off on the other text objects, but Ctrl+N won't work because for some reason they are still non-manifold.. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Oct 13, 2014 at 3:29

Correct the normals of your text.
Select the text, enter the Edit Mode, Select Everything A, and press CtrlN, then go back to object mode.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You know how stack exchange works, but yet you used an answer to try to @reply to two other users. You must know the @ ping system does not work in answers, and answer should not be used as comments. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 11, 2016 at 3:55

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