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I'm a 3D print farmer and I'm new to Blender. I've been asked by a customer to make a sphere with 600 evenly-distributed, specific-sized holes to hold LED lights.

I have subdivided a cube with 9 cuts to produce the 600 evenly-spaced vertices with a smoothness of 1 to produce a sphere. After that I'm doing select similar with number of adjacent faces to select all the vertices for the holes. Then I'm beveling those vertices to produce diamonds, then octagons of the approximate size I need.
Wide view Narrow view Tight view After selecting the faces for the holes, I'm attempting to extrude those faces into the interior of the sphere, but I can never get the extrusion to go enough of a negative distance to make the holes deep enough. They will usually extrude both directions, in and out of the surface of the sphere.

I'm not sure what's going on, exactly, but one theory is I have is that I'm actually extruding the interior and exterior surfaces, and they are crossing each other in the middle. But honestly, I'm very new at this, so I could be completely off base.

Any thoughts on how I can get around this issue?

Also, is there a better way to make all of the holes a specific, uniform size? This method gets close, but getting that size exact has been difficult.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello. Could you provide some illustrations? What is the hole shape? Hole size compared to the sphere size? $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Nov 28, 2023 at 7:11
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    $\begingroup$ I have subdivided a cube 9 times to produce the 600 evenly-spaced vertices > If you subdivide a cube 9 times, you end up with 1.5M vertices, so not sure what you mean by 600 evenlys-spaced vertices. Please show illustrations. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2023 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ Could posts like this one be relevant? (They're quite hard to find, but may even be duplicates) 'Geodesic' would be a good search-term for this approach, if acceptable. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Nov 28, 2023 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ @HarryMcKenzie I guess he didn't mean 9 times like repeating the subdivide 9 times, it was misunderstandably phrased. He most likely used Subdivide exactly once and set the Cuts to 9 in the tool options. That gives 602 vertices. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2023 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ is that a alt+e along normals instead of the 'e' key alone? $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Nov 28, 2023 at 19:04

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After subdividing the cube with 9 cuts, select faces (There's exactly 600 faces, and 602 vertices), II inset individual, MO Collapse (the same as Poke Faces, but you end up only selecting the new verts), ✲ CtrlB, V bevel verts, ⎇ AltE, F extrude along normals, F9 set negative extrusion until you see the holes pierce through the back, then divide that value by $3$ - for a perfect sphere and infinitesimal holes dividing by $2$ would almost be OK, but on the example below—with less faces for readability—dividing by $3$ is barely enough:

The result is a manifold mesh:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. How would I adapt that for round holes of a specific size? $\endgroup$
    – Ken
    Nov 30, 2023 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Ken Just bevel settings. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2023 at 12:47

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