How to Hollow Out Objects in 3D + Bonus - the Many Ways | SelfCAD

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There are many ways to hollow out objects in many CADs, and the same could be said about SelfCAD, but just because there are many ways to do something, doesn't mean that every single one of them will be optimal to use in every situation. It’s important to know the unique uses for different tools and choose the correct ones for every task.

In this inscrutable, I’m going to show you 3 ways to hollow out objects in SelfCAD, as well as explain their advantages and disadvantages.

Supplies:

SelfCAD's free account and access to the internet - the software is both browser and cloud-based, which means you don't have to download anything to use it.

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Step 1: The First Way

The first way to hollow out objects is by using SelfCAD’s tool Stitch & Scoop.

Step 2: Create a Copy

To do this, you need to create a copy of an object you want to hollow first

Step 3: Scale It Down

Then scale it down (I advice using the Keep Proportion option - it will proportionally change the model on all 3 axes)

Step 4: Position

And then position it correctly. It’d be helpful to use the Center Object option - when you use it on both models, you'll just need to pay attention to the Y-axis (the height)

Step 5: Stitch & Scoop

When you’re satisfied with the placement of the objects, you can use Stitch & Scoop’sDifference option, to delete the smaller model from the bigger one.

Now just like you saw, for this method to work, you need to pay close attention to the measurements of your models as well as their placement on the workspace to get the results, and that can get tiresome if you have to work on some complicated, multi-edged models. This method may have its uses, but because it's rather complicated and it takes a lot of time, I'd recommend using one of the other 2 methods I've prepared for you today.

Step 6: The Second Way

The second way is by using Face or Polygon selection tools.

Step 7: The Face

You can choose to select either the Face of the model (individual segments)

Step 8: The Polygon

Or the Polygon (whole sides) of the model.

Step 9: Delete

After selecting interesting you parts just press the Delete button and you're done.

Now as you can see, choosing Polygon selection is way quicker and faster than the previous method I explained, but it's not perfect. It's best to use these methods in similar circumstances I presented - Polygons while working on flat surfaces, and Faces while working on individual segments. If you have a huge surface to select that’s not a square, it would be very tiring to use this method. And that's where the third method comes into play.

Step 10: The Third Way

The third way is by using another selection tool - Cube Selection.

Step 11: Cube Selection

It allows you to select a part of the 3D model either by using sliders from the panel on the left side of the screen or by manipulating spheres you can see inside the model itself. After selecting part of the figure you’re interested in, just confirm it at the top of the panel, and follow it up with the delete button to hollow out the object.

As you can see, this method is the fastest, the most reliable, as well as the most versatile of all of them, but still, it does not make it perfect for every situation - when working on square surfaces, it’d be better to use the previous method instead.

Step 12: Bonus

In the end, I have a promised bonus for you. Oftentimes, when you hollow out objects it might be a good idea to add a little thickness to your object - it can make hollow objects just look better if you’re interested in just modeling, and if you’re interested in printing, adding thickness will add depth as well as functionality to your objects (just think about containers).

Step 13: Add Thickness

To do it, you just need to select your object, move your cursor over to the Modify drop-down list in the menu bar, and select Add Thickness tool, following by selecting thickness you’d like to add to the object.

Now, as you can see, just because there are multiple ways to achieve something doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are optimal. Knowing the limits of different methods is the key that will allow you to work comfortably around difficulties you might encounter during modeling.


After this episode, you should know how to hollow out different objects depending on their structure in the most efficient way.

We prepared a video instruction for you as well:


You can check out the software here: SelfCAD

You can find more guides here: Tutorials

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