Non Destructive Bevelling

Bevel with a Modifier – Part 2

In the first article of this Bevelling series, we looked at Destructive Bevelling in Blender. If we want to change our bevel at a later stage, then we need to use a modifier instead of the Bevel tool. (Click here for an explanation of Destructive vs non Destructive modelling in Blender). Let’s start with our old friend, the cube. Make it 2m x 2m x 2m. Select it and add a Bevel modifier to it:

Bevel Modifier Panel
The Bevel modifier
Adjust the Amount to 0.1m and the number of segments (faces per bevel) to 5

Every edge gets beveled with 5 faces:

Beveled cube on all edges

Just for fun, adjust the Amount and the Segment count and see the effect. When you are done, go back to 0.1 and 5

Next, add a cylinder in the middle of the cube Shift KeyA Key and change it’s parameters to:

Set Vertices to 32, Radius to 0.5 and Depth to 2.5

Notice, the cylinder is not beveled because it is a separate object from the cube and therefore the modifier has no influence over it:

The cylinder is not beveled it just has the 32 faces that make up the tube.

Now we will apply the Boolean Modifier to the cube and subtract the cylinder from it. (See this article on Booleans). So that we can see what we are doing, we’ll make the cylinder appear as a wireframe by selecting the cylinder and then clicking the Object Properties tab Object Properties Tab and clicking the Viewport Display drop-down, click Display As, and choose Wire:

Display cylinder as Wireframe

Select the cube and add a Boolean modifier below the Bevel modifier. Click the eyedropper icon in the Object field and click the cylinder :

Boolean Modifier below the Bevel Modifier
The cylinder is subtracted (Boolean Difference) from the cube
Notice the circular edge is not bevelled even though the cube has a Bevel modifier on it!

Delete the cylinder, and the hole disappears. Undo Ctrl KeyZ Key the delete action, and the cylinder and its hole is back.

Move the cylinder around and the hole follows the cylinder. Undo Ctrl KeyZ Key to get it back where it was.

Now, apply the bevel modifier:

Apply Boolean
Apply the modifier by clicking the down-arrow button and clicking Apply

And now that the Boolean modifier has been applied to the cube, the subtraction becomes an actual cut-out, and that top circular edge is bevelled. We can now delete the cylinder – it has no further effect:

Beveled hole

If you again adjust the Amount and the Segment count, you’d see that you still have control over the bevelling even though we performed a few steps between now and when the Bevel modifier was first applied. When you are done, go back to 0.1 and 5

This is called Non Destructive modelling because we can change the bevel characteristics at any time provided the modifier has not been applied.

Now we need to see if there are any imperfections. We’ll change the Viewport Shading to an unforgiving glossy matcap:

Red Matcap
Set the Viewport Shading to a Red Glossy matcap

Select the cube and right-click Right-Clickthe viewport and select Shade Smooth Shade Smooth:

Cube with Matcap

Click here to read the third of 3 articles on the subject of bevelling.

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