How To Use The Shrink or Fatten And Poly Build Tools in Blender

Updated on: November 30, 2022

Every time you model something new, you can use more complex methods and techniques to improve your skills, just as artists do daily. So, to go to the next level of 3D modeling, you should know some of the craziest tools that allow you to do whatever you want: The Shrink/Fatten Tools and the Poly Build Tool.

Shrink/Fatten Tools

When you have a Torus Mesh, which is a kind of ring, you cannot use the Scale Tool to make it thinner; it only changes the size. So how can you transform it? Take it easy; for that kind of situation, you can use the Shrink and Fatten Tools.

So, you can access these tools by going to the toolbar on the left hand and searching for an icon that looks like a cube with arrows inside and outside.

Image 56.1

After clicking the icon, you will see a yellow manipulator you can click and drag. Notice that if you pull it out, the Torus becomes thicker; if you pull it in, it will be thinner.

Image 56.2

In addition to all of that, when you click on the Shrink/Fatten tool and hold, you will see the Push/Pull Tools, which combine the Scale tool and the Shrink/Fatten Tools to transform your Torus.

Finally, only to understand how you can use them, you need to know that all of these tools move selected vertices, edges, and faces along their own position on the Mesh without taking into account the pivot point.

Poly Build Tool

You can find it just above the Spin Tool, and its icon is like a distorted green square with some points around it.

Image 56.3

Once you enable the tool, you will have a highlight over your cursor that allows you to: Firstly, move whatever vertex you want to select and move it freely (Of course, if you want an accurate movement on any axis, you only need to press the letter of the axis on your keyboard). Secondly, if you click on an edge, you will extrude it; however, if you press the Ctrl key and choose an edge, you will see an Extrude preview (it also works for a single vertex). And finally, to delete any of the selections created, you just need to click on the faces to remove them (notice that around the face you can see a red outline around the face)

Image 56.4
Selecting the points with the Poly Build Tool
Image 56.5
Selecting the edges with the Poly Build Tool
Image 56.6
Selecting the edges with the Poly Build Tool
Image 56.7
Selecting the faces with Poly Build Tool

Try it yourself! And remember: You don’t need to be an expert to become a great artist. Good Luck!

Lorena M. Rodas leverages her experience across film, writing, and production to make complex tech concepts accessible through storytelling. With a background spanning sci-fi, AI, and emerging tech, Lorena translates her depth of knowledge into engaging, educational content. She is an expert at decoding high-level topics to reach broad audiences.
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