I don't get what I'm doing wrong.

I'm subtracting a simple cylinder from a larger cylindrical object to hollow it out. I've done this dozens of times in this same scene with other objects (Piston 1 worked fine) and had no problems. For some reason, on two of these objects (Pistons 3 and 4), taking the difference acts as if it's taking the intersection instead.

  1. Piston 2 - My cylinder-like object.
  2. My simple cylinder to subtract from 1.
  3. I select Piston 2.
  4. I select Boolean.
  5. I select Difference.
  6. I select the simple cylinder.
  7. I get an object that appears to be the intersection of the two.

It doesn't matter if I select apply or not; I still get this intersected object. This is exactly the same procedure I've done dozens of times right here on other virtually identical objects.

I've retried this a dozen times, each time trying something different and double-checking every step. I even restarted Blender and opened the original untouched file to be sure it wasn't some glitch.

The only thing I can think of now is to scrap my carefully constructed object and rebuild it from scratch.


  • $\begingroup$ Could this be caused by having edges too close together? I tried it with a big cube and it worked 4/5 times - the one time it failed was when it looked like two edges were co-incident. When scaled the cube a little, it succeeded. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2020 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


A little more experimentation after getting over being stumped, and I have found the answer. It was indeed the overlap of surfaces. If two surfaces of two objects are exactly aligned, boolean operations can result in ... unexpected behaviour.

I moved the subtraction object by .01m and it worked fine after that.


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