I have a part that I would like to cut out of an object. however, the part is going to be 3d printed so it needs to have a small gap so that the actual part can slide into the cut space.

The solidify modifier with boolean works perfectly for cutting the gap to be a specific thickness. However, the mesh being solidified was already manifold, this means that when the boolean is cut, it only cuts out the gap and not the part that needs to be cut. I know that I could apply the modifier and delete the internal geometry but I don't know if the gap will be the right size so I would like to keep it modifiable.

Is there a way to make the result of the solidify modifier a solid object without applying the mod and deleting the internal geometry?

example setup desired outcome actual outcome

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you can create a second 'cutter' object to serve as the boolean, which uses a linked duplicate mesh from the first object and add solidify modifier only to the second object? $\endgroup$
    – zippy
    Aug 24, 2020 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ While true that this is a solution, it quickly becomes messy and time-consuming when multiple cutting objects are needed. I might end up doing it this way but I was hoping for a simpler solution. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Aug 24, 2020 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't work to do the Boolean first? Put the Boolean above the Solidify? Maybe a picture would help. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Aug 24, 2020 at 21:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You could use a displacement modifier on the cutter object instead of a solidify modifier. $\endgroup$
    – bstnhnsl
    Aug 24, 2020 at 22:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @bstnhnsl Could you restate that as an answer so that I might credit you and close the question. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Aug 25, 2020 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


You can use the Displace modifier without a texture to widen your cutter object along the normals. If you don't use a texture, the modifier defaults to 1.0 (white).

It's not as convenient as the Solidify modifier, as the strength doesn't directly translate to Blender units, but if your cutter object is in fact just a cube, you can use the dimensions in the transform panel to get a somewhat accurate result.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Saved my day! Very useful when you have a 3D model of a real object and want to add a tight-fitting (but not too tight!) accessory to it. Let's say accessory = cube - displace(real_object, config). Lack of real-world units doesn't hurt if you wanted to judge by your eye anyway. $\endgroup$
    – cubuspl42
    Feb 14 at 13:00

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