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Say that I have two intersecting cones:

intersecting cones

Is there an easy way to cut the contour of this intersection into the mesh of one of the cones?

While I do have a functional workflow (see answers), it is quite cumbersome for complicated geometries. Are there any other workflows to achieve this "3D knife cut"? I could see potential for this as a 4th mode for the Boolean modifier.

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Here is one solution, though it is destructive and quite convoluted:

  1. Duplicate the base cone
  2. Boolean "difference" one copy with the intersecting cone
  3. Boolean "intersect" the other copy with the intersecting cone
  4. Join the two cone halves together
  5. Merge vertices and delete interior faces

Here is the resulting geometry, as desired:

desired results

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say it's convoluted - I was able to reproduce your result in less than 2 minutes by following your steps. Well done! $\endgroup$ Aug 12 '21 at 1:50

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