I have a model of a canoe in Blender that's about 12' long - I wish to break it up into 12 sections so that I can print out each individual cross section and set up the forms so that I can cedar strip my custom canoe! Is there a way to break up my model into these cross sections?

Also, I would really appreciate if somebody could show me how to take these cross sections and get them onto paper somehow, or maybe I'm asking too much now? Sorry


Can't figure out how to attach Blender files in comments but here's what I did

My canoe :

enter image description here

I actually went a different route and decided it would be way easier to make a Stand Up Paddleboard, so I modified the canoe (shrunk it) and played with it a little until I got the shape I liked

Then I used the method outlined by AliasGuru to create the cross sections!

I'm going to put them into Photoshop and resize them to what they should be, and then export them as PDFs so I can print them on a large size plotter.

I can only post two pictures because I don't have enough reputation, but it looks really nice! Currently trying to get Blend Exchange to work so I can post the actual blend file.

Thanks for the help !


Got it:

Be aware that the cubes are not correctly numbered.

Still can post only two links so I'm going to have to get rid of another picture, sorry!

  • $\begingroup$ Can we see an image (or better the exact file)? $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2016 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ Done! Sorry for the delay $\endgroup$
    – squeegene
    Jul 20, 2016 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


depending on how sophisticated you want to go, there is a few solutions to this. If you manage to create a closed volume from your boat model (the hull I guess is the part needed), you can do it using the Boolean modifier.

Create the volume first. If your canoe is only a shell, you can use the solidify modifier to generate some thickness. if the volume is closed, you're good to go.

Create a cube and scale it so in one axis it is really flat. This will be the thickness of your section:


Add a boolean modifier, set it to 'Intersect', and choose the boat hull as the object to cut with (in the former screenshot my object is the 'Dragon'). If you now hide the boat hull, you should see the first section.

first section

Now you only need to duplicate this object across your boat with constant offsets. Press Shift+D, X (if you want to go along the X-Axis) and then type in the amount (like 0.1) Enter. You should now have a second section in place. If that worked, hit Shift+R, which repeats your last operator (duplicate and move), and do this 10 more times to have 12 sections in the end.

These objects can be now individually selected (that's why I did not use an array modifier) and put on layers if you like. If you select one of the elements, you can see the dimensions of the bounding box (I made it visible in the screenshot) in the Transform tab:


This you can use to resize the section images later on to correct size in Photoshop or Gimp (unfortunately no way to do this out of the box afaik). Getting the images is a matter of setting up Blenders viewport and do some openGL renders. Setup a new World, make it white, and set Blenders viewport to show the world and only render:

enter image description here

Using the 'render OpenGL Image' button marked in the screenshot above gives you an image in the resolution set up in the render settings, so you can go for really high res templates if you need to.

complete model sections

For scaling the images to correct size you'll need to consult the image editors manual.

  • $\begingroup$ This was really great, and exactly what I needed! Thanks so much for the time you put into this $\endgroup$
    – squeegene
    Jul 19, 2016 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ would be cool if you could post a photo of the model once you're done! $\endgroup$
    – aliasguru
    Jul 19, 2016 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Will do! Can't do it now but I'll start working on it later tonight $\endgroup$
    – squeegene
    Jul 19, 2016 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking of a picture of the boat after you built it for real, might be in a couple of weeks :) but anyways, promising 3D model! $\endgroup$
    – aliasguru
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:20

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