When trying to apply a 3D filter to some text in Illustrator CS6 the panels of the shape breakup and overlap. A warning message stating "Bevel self-intersection may have occurred" is displayed in 3D extrude and bevel box.

I am not doing anything complicated, simply rotating the text slightly. What causes this and what is the best way to avoid it?

text object to be transformed

3D Bevel Self Intersection Error

  • 1
    It would be helpful if you showed the text you want to extrude. Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 22:30
  • Possibly use the outer bevel rather than the inner bevel. But without seeing artwork it's very difficult to say.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 0:06
  • 2
    I have updated original post with screenshot of text with 3D applied.
    – slaterio
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


This has to do with one of the settings creating a shape that illustrator may have issues rendering. If the object has small or intricate details the bevel height or capping will cause this. Try changing those options under "Extrude and Bevel".

Though if you the output looks ok to you (sometimes its good to experiement). Run with it and ignore.


Simpler is better. Try a different font. Try not using Plastic Shading. Play with different bevel options.

I found 3D extrude in Illustrator very buggy at times

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