Making holes in a sphere

Hi Guys,

I’m designing a ball that will have hexagonal holes cut into it. Basically hexagonal depression in the surface. How do I go about cutting hexagonal shapes on a curved surface?


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You can simply project hexagonal sketches to the sphere and pish them in.

That works if the ball is hollow with a thin shell and you’re trying to make holes. What if it’s solid, or at least has a thick shell you don’t want to push the whole way through? Doing it as you described would leave an uneven depression. Is it possible in this app to do this with an even depression?

Not sure I get it, but do you mean making extruded cuts to the sphere?

I don’t know if this is what the OP was talking about, but I mean depressions in the surface of the sphere kind of like a golf ball. The extrusions wouldn’t push the whole way through. As you can see in these pics, the depression varies in depth due to the flat bottom.

Yes this is exactly what I”m looking for. So quantitatively
Case 1) Sphere radius 10cm
Solid shell 2 cm (radius 8 to 10cm)
Cut hexagons / other shape from radius 10 cm to 9 cm.

Case 2) Also solid sphere and shapes cut into it
Sphere radius 10cm
Cut shapes from radius 10cm to 5cm

Case 3) Sphere radius 10cm
Have spikes emerging from sphere (so cylindrical projections outwards) from radius 10cm to 13cm.

These are for a ball design that I am developing so trying to get a 3-D drawing to the mold maker…thanks for all the help!

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This looks like a great start - if I wanted to do this uniformly across the sphere - i.e multiple hexagons - how would I do that? Ie. a bunch of uniformly spaced hexagons across the surface of the sphere.

Thanks so much guys - you’re really helpful!

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If a completely uniform depth of depression (what I was trying to get at in my first post) isn’t a concern, then yes, it’s just a matter of evenly spacing hexagonal sketches around the surface and then extruding them down into the sphere. I’m brand new to this, though, so I can’t give you any pointers on doing that. If a completely uniform depth is important, I’m still hoping to hear if that’s possible and if so how.

You have to project the sketch to the sphere, then push it in as I said. It will give you the result you are looking for.

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That seems like a hugely manual process with a lot of angles and placement issues?

isn’t Shaper able to distribute objects across a plane or sphere uniformly and automatically?

Does this answer your question:


That page ( is no longer valid; it leads to an “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.” page.

isn’t Shaper able to distribute objects across a plane or sphere uniformly and automatically?

That seems to be one of the persistent missing links in Shapr3D. Copying and manually moving a few objects isn’t cumbersome but distributing dozens or hundreds — perhaps thousands — of them can be a major waste of time as well as introducing the possibility of error and limiting the potential of the designer to try out various alternatives.

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In Shapr3D, surface modeling is a problem that bothers me. It feels very difficult to make a soccer with the Project tool. When it comes to surfaces and angles, who can help modeling ideas? Thank you very much!

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Thank you! I’m just thinking about how to model Soccer in Shapr3D. Looking forward to your advice.

Somewhere on this forum, a soccer ball has already been modeled. Well more than a year ago. Maybe someone else recalls who did it?

Thank you.I’m glad to hear that. I really want to learn the modeling ideas and methods of soccer.

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It is feasible to get acceptable result but not immediat.
I will post a video this week-end if I can.

Here are a few hints :

  • use a mix of hexagon and Pentagon
  • a little bit of math gives the exact angle to rotate the hexagon around axis: 138.19 degree or 20.905 degree, depending on the method used
  • create the separation between the faces, not the faces
  • use subtract (but not project tool) to avoid distorsion


I look forward to your method.
From what I can tell doing a direct projection of a hexagon or pentagon on the surface of the sphere is distorted. Here I projected each line of the hex separately which made for a true hex on the curved surface. The outer hex is a direct projection and note the curved lines as compared with the inner hex.
Let me know your thoughts. BTW, the size if the hex with respect to the sphere is arbitrary.


A continuation of my post above. I projected the correct hex lines back onto the plane. Then it’s a matter of rotating and projecting back the new hexagons onto the sphere. My arbitrary hex size was pretty close as it doesn’t quite fit at the end. Knowing the exact length of the hex leg with respect to the sphere is needed if this method is to be used. I’ll bet that @PEC has a better method. :grinning: