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I would like to add a 3D border to all edges of a mesh, such that the border is a "cylinder" that wraps around the mesh. The effect would look something like this:

2D Bone Mesh with borders

My object is very similar to the white-textured part of the above image, it is a fully 2D mesh. However, differently to this mesh, the object is entirely one face, so I just need this effect applied to all edges of the mesh, and there's no edges in the middle that could get in the way.

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One simple way is to duplicate the object (press Shift D, then Esc), enter edit mode, select all and press X to delete Only faces, then add a skin modifier, set the size of the quad border with the "Mean radius" X and Y values of every vertex, then add a subsurf modifier to get the resolution and roundness you need.

Afetr applying all modifiers (always starting from the upper) you can rejoin the two meshes into one single object (Ctrl J).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ When I try to apply the modifier, it says can't apply to a mesh with shape keys. The only shape key is "Basis". Can I remove it? $\endgroup$ – Aaron Franke Jan 12 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, just remove it with minus button. $\endgroup$ – josh sanfelici Jan 12 at 23:42
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A non-destructive solution, provided the object is only one face with no inside edge :

enter image description here

  • Add a Wireframe modifier
  • Check "Boundary"
  • Uncheck "Replace original"
  • Set Material Offset to 1
  • In the materials tab, make sure the material for the inside is in the first slot and the material for the boundary is in the second slot.

  • Add a bevel modifier

  • Set segments to 5
  • Set width to a big number and make sure "clamp Overlap" is checked

All the vertices should be coplanar else the bevel will become wonky.

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