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On the edge of my model I'm trying to eliminate the tri face it's making. If I do a knife cut vertical, it'll make a quad, but if I go horizontal it'll make a tri face. When I add the subdivision modifier, it seems like a much cleaner topology. Is there a solution when it comes to avoid the mesh from making a tris?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have a answer for that specific case, but the whole Topology Guides are a must-read and should give you some directions : topologyguides.com/archive $\endgroup$
    – thibsert
    Oct 22, 2020 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ Suggest add another support edge on the side (which is needed for the subsurf anyway) and I think the problem might goes away automatically... see Jachym's answer. $\endgroup$
    – brockmann
    Oct 22, 2020 at 14:35

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You don't need the knife cut at all :).

Just inset the corner slightly, it'll move the ugly quad out of the way.
The corner is now smooth, and you can add more loopcuts to make it sharper.

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