I made half of this NES cartridge shell and as you can see from the screenshot it has created all kinds of odd shapes that do not reflect my mesh. I tried remove doubles, triangulate, and flip normals but nothing seems to work. How can I fix it to look like the mesh?

Here's the look in object mode:

enter image description here

Here's the mesh:

enter image description here

I have attached the .blend

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    $\begingroup$ Checking the Even Thickness option in the modifier helps. Honestly though, I see no need to use Solidify to model an NES cartridge. Why don't you just model the bottom "mouth" (or whatever you want to call it) that interfaces with the console manually? It's pretty simple geometry, not requiring such a modifier IMHO. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Mar 8 '17 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ I'd apply scale $\endgroup$ – kilbee Mar 8 '17 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ The even thickness option made it more distorted unfortunately. I'm using the solidify modifier so that I can apply the fracture modifier (i.e. so it's breakable). $\endgroup$ – lakerice Mar 8 '17 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ Scale? As in simple "s" hotkey? $\endgroup$ – lakerice Mar 8 '17 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ Applying scale is done with Ctrl+A > Scale and is likely a culprit here. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Mar 8 '17 at 22:48

Ok, so I looked at your model and everything seems to be plain wrong:

  • you add triangulate modifier at the end of the modifier stack, that does literally nothing to help the situation - order of execution is important
  • topology is just wrong - overlapping vertex and faces

enter image description here

  • two solidify modifiers, two boolean modifiers (one unused)

  • ngons that just can't solidify properly

  • also boxes inside that cut have inverted normals (that doesn't affect the solidifiy modifier, but just so you know)

This is how your topoly looks like with your modifier stack: enter image description here

One important note: solidify modifier after boolean is very likely to give you weird results.

You need to learn how to model simple shapes like this without booleans, I'm guessing it would take you less time than you spent trying to fix this solidify result.

You generally took the right path: simple shapes, then add (but not apply!) modifiers (like solidify, bevel, subsurface etc.) is a good way to model things like that - it really helps with quick modeling and further editing. But you must start off with clean topology.

  • $\begingroup$ normals definitely will affect the solidify modifier. It adds the thickness along the reverse of the normal. $\endgroup$ – David Mar 10 '17 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Inverted normals are on different object, that has no solidify modifier. $\endgroup$ – kilbee Mar 10 '17 at 14:04

Thanks everyone and thanks @kilbee for the detailed breakdown...I spent several hours cleaning everything up. All modifiers off, tried to make everything in triangles and rectangles, and most importantly used ortho front/back/side/bottom/top/left/right to make sure everything aligned perfectly. It's amazing how many vertices can look fine in one perspective but totally off in another. Also, as @kilbee pointed out overlapping vertices and faces were a huge issue.

I'm still pretty new to proper topology, but I still managed to get it almost perfectly with the boolean and solidify modifier, with some careful tweaking.

One thing I found that helped to keep all the angles and faces looking right with solidify was to use very low thickness and no offset. You can scale it for further thickness later. All that matters if you now have a solid object.

Here's my revised version:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Congrats! Glad to see you persisted and got the result you were after. It's a learning process - never give up. One little side note (a Stack Exchange thing) - it feels like this follow-up would be better as an addendum to your original question than as an answer. Posting it as as answer is like saying "this is the information that solves the problem", but in this case it is not. (Although the tip about thickness is helpful.) $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Mar 10 '17 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ SE does not work like a forum. Please only use the answer section for answers, not replying to others or posting your update. $\endgroup$ – David Mar 10 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @David, sorry but I wanted to be able to post the result (picture) so people reading this could learn how I used the solutions offered by others. I also thought that my solutions were valid and actually very much an answer with regard to the boolean modifier and using ortho perspective for topology as was demonstrated by the proper result. I will however, refrain from posting updates as an answer in the future. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Mar 11 '17 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Mentalist thanks very much! The encouragement goes a long way. Definitely will stick to the format in the future. Wish there was a way to post results in comments though. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Mar 11 '17 at 0:18

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