How do I create intricate designs on a hollow object?

Hi there, i’ve been using Nomad sculpt for about a year and using it to 3d print models. Its been a big learning process but I love the challenge!

I’ve come up against a hurdle now however that I am having trouble overcoming. I want to create a model (that will later be 3d printed) of an engraved egg.

How do I:

  • create a hollow object that I can cut mesh out of?
  • is there any shortcut to use a pattern i’ve already designed to make the cuts? (Ex: if I a have a pattern design I want to “carve” into the egg [aka cut the mesh out] is there any way to do that easily?

Right now i’m playing around with transfering the pattern onto the model with masking, then extruding the masked pattern, and then using a duplicate of the oeiginal egg object to do a subtraction with voxel merge.

The results are just not what I was hoping for. I’m really hoping to avoid having to draw out everything with tubes snapping to the form, as the pattern is so intricate.

do you have an example screenshot ?

  1. Sure, so I want to make something like these

  2. And this is what I’ve experimented with (using a less intricate pattern and a basic sphere primitive)

  3. Extruded the pattern

  4. Then subtracted a copy of the original primitive using voxel merge. It looks ok from the front, but you can see there was weird artifacting that makes it useless to me,

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I would use mask extract in shell mode. Here’s a quick demo. Create egg shape. Make sure you have quite a lot of geometry (subdivide a few times) so that the mask has good resolution. Draw your pattern using mask brush

Now go to mask tool settings, make sure it is set to shell; you might need to play around with shell thickness setting to get what you want

Now click on extract and you should get this (you need to hide the original egg shape once you’ve done the extraction)

To get really smooth edges I think you need lots of geometry -play around with subdivision before you draw the pattern
All the best

Here’s another one with much more vertices, and I used smooth brush after extracting.

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Highly subdivided sphere.
Add layer
Paint your structure (use symmetry options)
When done, go to layer menu → three dots right down corner.
Extract & shell

This way is non destructive to your base painting, instead of using a mask.
With copying layers, you can create multiple versions quickly.

After extract, voxel remesh with very high density and check “keep sharp edges”
Use the smooth brush, but change to dynamic radius in stroke menu.
Keep radial symmetry checked and smooth


Took me ten minutes


Wonderful, thank you everyone. One of my biggest issues (now resolved!) Was I didn’t realize my shell thickness was set way too high to get what I wanted.

Using your screenshot Jim I reduced my thickness from 6.10 to .100 and that gave me the look I wanted. And now I’ll use your tips Jim and Knacki to get the intricacy I wanted. Thank you everyone.


Cool, I’m learning too - I’ve hardly got into using layers yet!

Don’t forget to try the layer extract option with shell checked. You can sculpt&paint and extract this only. Sometimes it seems this works cleaner. It adds some polys for extruding ,so no voxel remeshing for better smoothing necessary.

If you use it with layer brush, you’ll get best results.