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This question already has an answer here:

What would be the difference of stacking objects into each other and extruding by starting with one single primitive. How does it influence performance and what are the advantages and disadvantages using either of them?

For reference. Between this Image 1

and this Image 2

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marked as duplicate by X-27, user7952, Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny, p2or, Chebhou Apr 3 '15 at 13:24

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    $\begingroup$ The intersection of the two meshes will be much harder to control, and you have extra geometry inside the cube. If you want to add any transparency or volume materials, this is a big no-no. $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 2 '15 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ yes. This is understandable. Let's just say i will be using this as a low poly game object with diffuse, normal and spec map. How about that scenario? $\endgroup$ – RaideX Apr 2 '15 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ For texturing I'd recommend using one mesh, depending of course on the specific use case. $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 2 '15 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ Also you would get really odd looking corner artefacts when light hits the intersection a certain way. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Apr 2 '15 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ those "specific cases" are what i'm looking for. When do i work with what? I just want to find out the most efficient way for my workflow. And the fastest would be just adding a new mesh and joining it with the original in my eyes. $\endgroup$ – RaideX Apr 2 '15 at 15:06
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I would recommend using one mesh. You can easily get the mesh you want in this instance by selecting the desired face, pressing E to extrude and then S to scale. Now press E to extrude again, and you have the desired mesh, created in three simple commands.

Modelling as one mesh

This method works in many other instances, even on N-Gon or Tri faces. This is a good general modelling technique to know for any modelling project.

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