I've created the model below for 3D printing, but when printed at my desired size, each piece is too thin and flimsy. I was expecting it to be larger when I modeled it. Is there any quick and easy way to "bulk up" all parts of the model at once without scaling it? This is hard to explain, but hopefully it's making sense. I'd like the overall width of the piece to remain the same, (or very close to it) while each of the long, thin sections gets thicker. It would be a major pain to do by manually moving or scaling individual sections, and it seemed to me like the kind of thing that there might be a modifier or sculpt tool for. (I'm not very experienced, in case that isn't clear, so I think there's a good chance I just don't know about a tool that would be perfect for this)

(If someone understands what I'm getting at and can offer a better way to explain it, I'll happily update my question)

3D model with thin pieces


2 Answers 2


Well, it turns out I should have kept trying for another half hour before posting.

For anyone else with this problem, select all in edit mode, hit Alt+S to scale along normals, and then, while scaling, hold Alt or press S to use something called Even Thickness to keep it from "bubbling" out.

I'll wait a while to mark this as my answer, in case someone else has another option that works better

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You can also use "Displace Modifier" to achieve similar effect, and it could also use a custom normal, and vertex weight as well. $\endgroup$
    – HikariTW
    Aug 4, 2020 at 1:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For single-sided meshes the "Thickness Modifier" works too. $\endgroup$
    – KYL3R
    Aug 4, 2020 at 12:39

For others finding this question who are building block-based/right-angle models, another option is to select a face going one direction, then use the Select Similar command to select all others facing that direction. Then you can just move those faces further in that direction, resulting in a thickness increase.

This of course only works for a subset of model types, but there are cases where it can be useful. (like mine, where the scale-along-normals/shrinken/fatten approach, as well as the Displace Modifier approach, were not working properly, due to my model being grid-like and thus causing normal-based thickening to ruin the right-angles)


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