I am attempting to create a 3d model for printing that will be a small plaque with embedded text (the text will protrude a little and be a different colour). As I have a one material 3d printer, I need the plaque to have the letters engraved into plaque and, later I will print the letters in a different material (very slightly smaller) so that I can stick these in the engraved lettering.

I am at the point of creating the engraved plaque. However, using boolean difference for the plaque (called Cube) and using Difference for the text (Text 001), the result strangely appears to be the Text 001 letters only, rather than an an engraved plaque.

The images below show:

Cube selected

Text 001 selected

Boolean difference with Cube as object and modifier of Text 001


I have also saved a copy of my blender file at:


Cube selected Text 001 selected Boolean difference Result

  • $\begingroup$ Your text object is total rubish ... check edit mode. It doent make a sence to clean up, just write text again. To see graved text in a board you have to hide Text object in Outliner. $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ It locks up Blender (3.0.1) here unless I remove the modifier. I agree that the text is diabolical. Each letter appears to be made with 3 connected objects, one inside the other so it's no wonder that the boolean modifier doesn't work! $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ Don't hold back! Fair enough, I can sometimes get in a pickle with Blender objects and guess I have managed to completely mess up the text. I will redo that and make sure I carry out the simplest actions to ensure the text topography is clean. $\endgroup$
    – stain
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I have created text that does work and it has created the engraved text on my cube. However, I have an issue which I thought might occur. As I want to print the text letters in a different colour, I need to make them very slightly thinner to fit inside the engraved letters, otherwise I expect to be trying to force them in.. Font size will not do it as this changes width and height I need the solid letters to just be thinner. Saying that, I have not printed yet so maybe exact same size may work?? Anyone have experience? $\endgroup$
    – stain
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


If we enable face orientation and look at the cutter, we can see some strange issues with its normals:

enter image description here

Everywhere it's red, something weird is going on with its normals, and its normals are how the boolean knows what's inside and what's outside-- the difference between a cave and a rock-- and so with these weird normals, the boolean doesn't know what to do.

If we zoom in on the problem areas further, we see stuff like this:

enter image description here

Well, that doesn't make any sense. It looks like its been solidified, and then had some faces deleted. Let's look at the whole thing in wireframe:

enter image description here

Well, some faces have been soldified, and some haven't.

Whatever techniques you've used to create your text object have led to a wildly non-manifold mesh that is not appropriate for use as a boolean cutter. It does not have clean normals that allow Blender to tell what the inside is vs. what the outside is. I can't tell you more about why those techniques weren't good for this application without knowing what those techniques are.


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