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To start: I'm an amateur and only using Blender for this one thing. I've learned everything from videos, forums, or just tinkering so I don't know a lot of the terms. I did apply scale though so that's not the problem.

I'm trying to create 3D numbers that extrude a bit, then inset the remainder of their depth as seen here. I've created SVGs and for the "1" I just extruded twice and manually moved the lowest vertices inward and it created exactly what I wanted. However, with most every other number this doesn't work and I've tried a few methods:

Inset

Scaling (and scaling individual parts)

And I don't want to move every vertex individually because there's so damn many plus it's impossible to get even remotely clean.

One thing I noticed was the problem with Inset is it creates a mess where the crosshatch-y things overlap and extend past the original shape boundaries (seen in the Inset link). Is there a way to remove the protrusions or contain it within the number shape? Or is there just a way to get irregular shapes that don't scale evenly to inset?

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    $\begingroup$ please edit your post in order to show the pictures here ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    May 16, 2020 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ Hi. Please use the built-in uploader when adding images. See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75491/… $\endgroup$ May 16, 2020 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ The links are to gifs hosted on Imgur because I could not use the built-in uploader due to the files being too large. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 16, 2020 at 9:30

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I don't know how it evaded me the past multiple searches, but I've discovered the solution! Blender 2.8 comes with the Inset Straight Skeleton add-on bundled. Add it under Preferences>Add-Ons>Mesh>Inset Straight Skeleton. It's accessed by searching (F3) and has only two parameters: Amount and Height. Using this I was able to accomplish exactly what I wanted! Hope this helps others in the future!

Screenshot Screencap

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, what a great tool, thanks for sharing :). It can be then found in Face > Inset Straight Skeleton. And a Blender Manual page is here. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2020 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ If you need to inset it further and it's doing that overlapping clipping, you can Select>All By Trait>Non Manifold and delete faces and it creates a clean shape. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 18, 2020 at 11:10

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