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I would like to solidify a model I am making of a plate, to give it thickness.

Here's the plate:

enter image description here

After I solidify, here's what I get (I increased the values to show the effect):

enter image description here

Solidify makes the outer edge grow, but what I wanted was just to make the object thicker (along the Z axis).

It's hard to know what to look for, but I didn't see any questions that looked like this.

Am I understanding Solidify wrong, or just using it wrong?

Here's the blend file:

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you post your .blend? Maybe I can look at your topology and make suggestions. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Dec 12 '15 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ I added a link to the blend file $\endgroup$ Dec 12 '15 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. Although I did not end up needing it to provide my answer, it did help me to understand what sort of result you are trying for. Here is my edited version that you may find helpful - I only added two "holding edge loops", but you'll notice that it does help define the lip of the plate. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Dec 12 '15 at 16:11
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Maybe you've already got all the info you need from PGmath's answer, but I'll point out that if you add a holding edge loop near the rim and then flatten the outermost faces so their normals point along the Z axis you can avoid the extreme angle.

Edge loop added and outer ring of faces pointing straight up

There's also the issue that this plate is way too thick anyway. ;-) But hopefully that explains the principle at work here.

Update

As requested, I will elaborate on what I described as a "holding edge loop". This term is a combination of "holding edge" and "edge loop".

Holding Edge: Extra edge data added to a mesh that does not alter the basic shape, but serves to fine-tune the way that mesh will deform when modified. The most common example is when we add such edges to a mesh that is influenced by a Subdivision Surface Modifier.

Edge Loop: A series of edges that topologically form a loop. Not necessarily circular in form, but considered a loop if by following the quads it loops back unto itself.

These are just my definitions in my words that I came up with for the sake of adding to this answer. They're not from a '3D Modeling Dictionary' or something.

So how do you add one?

It's really simple to add an edge loop. From Edit Mode just do a Loop Cut CtrlR and move your cursor over a looping piece of geometry in your mesh. You will see a purple edge loop appear bisecting any existing loop of faces. Left Click to add the Loop Cut, then slide the edge by moving your mouse and Left Click again to set its position.

This screen shot shows a Loop Cut being added. The purple edges indicate where it will be added, but the purple is only for previewing purposes before you place the cut.

Here is a side view comparing the geometry before and after adding the edge loop that redefines the normal angle of the faces forming the outer rim:

Angle comparison based on outer rim topology

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Sounds good! Can you add in your answer (a valid answer) how to add a holding edge loop? Thanks! $\endgroup$ Dec 12 '15 at 9:19
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Nope, you're not doing anything wrong, that's the way Solidify works. You can make it solidify in the other direction by specifying a negative Thickness or by adjusting the Offset.

enter image description here

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