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I am trying to model this hammer. I used Looptools instead of Boolean as less destructive but it seems these artifacts are inevitable. I included the .blend file.

It was mainly a combination of Looptools and insetting/extruding parts that caused this mesh to be a bit of a mess.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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You should observe what effect Subdivision Surface modifier has on different geometry. In this case the topology you modelled is just not good for it. If you have concave faces in your model the result of Subdivision Surface modifier will often be undesired:

enter image description here

This problem can only be fixed by modelling correct geometry for the modifier. You can have the modifier added and model things with it visible to see what results you get in real time while modelling. In some cases adding edge loops(ctrl + r) will help you, in some cases joining some vertices(j) or using the knife tool(k) in order to avoid concave faces might improve the situation. I cannot describe all the possible scenarios in this answer because of how many of them can be so my advice would be to experiment and see for yourself. Don't forget that you do not have to use Subdivision Surface modifier at all and can also achieve the same results using other modelling techniques. In many cases modelling inorganic shapes one can get better results simply using bevel(ctrl+b) operation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Yes I have tried using the 3 methods to fix the messed up geometry but it didn't work really. I suppose I am gonna have to get rid of subsurf and just manage with bevel as you said. I find working with subsurf on makes things a bit awkward but Ill try starting over without it and just add a bevel modifier instead. $\endgroup$
    – Goop
    Mar 1 '21 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ I have tried adding a bevel modifier whilst removing the subsurf. It does not seem to be working. I have already tried merging by distance and recalculating normals. Any ideas? $\endgroup$
    – Goop
    Mar 1 '21 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ I was talking about bevel operation, not the modifier. There is no single action that you can do to fix the problems so there is nothing that could 'seem not to be working'. I was talking about the whole modelling process. If you fail, you just need to try again even if it means starting from scratch, I am afraid. $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '21 at 12:01
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That artifact mostly is a result of booleans, or other modelling tricks,bad bevels, but mostly booleans.

I just found this out too, but you can just add a modifier named

EDGE SPLIT

enter image description here

for me, it solves that artifact resulted by booleans or bad bevels

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  • $\begingroup$ I gave this answer a downvote because it is just not a very good idea to fix bad topology by introducing even more bad topology. This is a bad advice that will lead to even more problems and does not explain or attempt to solve the actual issue. $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '21 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ So what you're saying is the bad topology is a result of a bad method for modeling? As in better off using another approach to the modeling. $\endgroup$
    – Goop
    Mar 1 '21 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ Since there is a blend file attached it's easy to find out that Edge Split is not the general solution for everything. Like this case - it may also cause problems with the Bevel modifier on this model. Anyway, this is bad geometry that needs cleaning up, taking an Edge Split modifier is just another "modeling trick" to cover this up. $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '21 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I wouldn't even call Edge Split a modeling trick. It does not solve anything, it just makes even more mess if later is applied. This is not a good answer at all. $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '21 at 7:33

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