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Here is a common situation I run in to:

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I have two meshes in the same object that end up near each other and I would like to join them so that the two disparate geometries are linked and manifold. I don't have a common set of vertices between the two objects that I can use remove doubles on. I think I would usually try to extrude the cube into the larger shape and then use intersect (knife) with self intersection to get a common set of vertices that I can try to join. However, this is inexact and can yield messy results after the knife, along with leaving extraneous pieces that need to be removed.

So my question is: is there an EASY way to join these together? In the exact situation above, the face of the larger object that faces the cube would be split into 3 faces - one on each side of the cube and the one face shared between the two geometries.

EDIT: I made the mistake of not showing an example that is similar enough to what I actually run into. Consider the following:

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There are two answers concerning loop cutting (and extruding) but that doesn't work in the above situation because the work eventually joins back to itself and it's not always a nice square situation when it does.

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    $\begingroup$ The easy and fast way would be to add 2 loopcuts on the long piece, position them for the right size of the second piece, and then extrude a face to make the cube part. $\endgroup$ – Denis Sep 27 '17 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ One easy way can be Boolean modifier set to Union (if objects are really intersecting). It might not generate good geometry, but it will be manifold $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Sep 28 '17 at 8:26
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Since you are asking about the "easiest way"...

In my opinion, the easiest way to deal with those situations is by not creating them in the first place (unfortunately minecraft and other apps seem to have created unnecessary problems when it comes to modeling, by thinking in boxes that get added and somehow have to be connected. You have to think outside the box...).

If you know that those parts have to be connected, create them as connected elements from the start.

In this case create a base mesh, scale, add a couple of loop cuts and extrude.

The shape of your object is the result of it's topology. Topology shouldn't be an afterthought

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  • $\begingroup$ Please see my edit in the original question. $\endgroup$ – Valevalorin Sep 28 '17 at 17:00
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There are two main ways to achieve your desired result, you can either use a boolean modifier with the union option, or use loop cuts. For the first method you simply place a boolean modifier on the larger cube, select the union object and then in the object menu select the smaller cube, this will join the meshes together and create a union into one shape. There is a FAR simpler and easier way with the loopcut method. Simply insert two loopcuts on the larger cube (Ctrl+R+2) then move them to line up with the sides of the smaller cube, then simply extrude out the new face on the larger cube until you reach the desired shape. After that is all done you can delete the smaller cube, no need for multiple meshes. Hope that helps! :)

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  • $\begingroup$ This is okay, but doesn't work in more complex situations. When I wrote the question I messed up and said I end up with two meshes next to each other. But in reality they are part of the same mesh, and even connected to one another indirectly. So, the loop just method isn't going to work because then I would end up in the same situation again. Also, the boolean won't work because they're connected. $\endgroup$ – Valevalorin Sep 28 '17 at 16:42
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I have another way, not really very simple, although could work also with more complex shapes, but you have to work before joining the two objects.

so, if this is your setup

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from the joining mesh select the face that should stick to the bigger one

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then duplicate and separate it to a new object

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and the make this new "face" object a bit separate, here moving it over Y

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now go to side view (here in Y direction) and select first the new "face" object, then the also bigger one in the background, enter edit mode (press TAB) and use "knife project"

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as you see, after this, your bigger mesh has a "perfect" cut, with a new face exactly matching your other object's merging face...

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now you can join them

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and remove doubles

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edit:

thinking to more complex cases, you could quite easily get this:

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this but I might have a qualm. I will test this and get back to you. Edit: I tested it and I indeed ran into problems. In my initial problem I state that both meshes are part of the same object. Knife Project therefore cuts both meshes and not just the bigger one. I'm going to elaborate a bit more in my question. $\endgroup$ – Valevalorin Sep 28 '17 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I said that having them separated was a condition... anyway, thinking better now, what I did is more a sort of manual union... nothing special... $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Sep 28 '17 at 17:35

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