I'm trying to create a 3D cube with different colored borders and face-transparency(while keeping the borders 100% opaque) in Illustrator. Like so(the dotted lines on the backside aren't completely necessary, but would be nice too):

3D cube with borders

I've made the cube below using Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, with "Draw hidden faces" checked, and making the fill semi-transparent:

Semi-transparent cube

I've tried fiddling with all of the color settings I can find for the original 2D square, but I'm having trouble getting a border to show and not extrude as well.

This is the cube with a border color defined on the 2D square & with the opacity of just the fill reduced:

Cube attempt so far

Anyone know how to do this while keeping the cube/shape unexpanded, without hand-drawing each side, etc, or if it's even possible in Illustrator?

1 Answer 1


With what you've already done just select the cube and then do Object → Expand Appearance and you can fine tune whatever you'd like.

Alternatively you could've just

  1. Draw a square
  2. Duplicate the square
  3. Move the duplicate to your desired position
  4. Use Pen Tool to draw in remaining walls from corner to corner
  5. Adjust to taste
  • You should probably explicitly mention you ned to expand before applying the stroke. (seems obvious but maybe not to everyone)
    – Cai
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:34
  • @Cai you don't need to. Might save a few clicks but once expanded you can just change the colors or delete those pieces anyways.
    – Ryan
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:48
  • I should have specified, but ideally I'm looking for a solution that keeps the cube in the 3D, un-expanded state. I've already resorted to manually drawing the cube as an alternative, but I was curious if the former was possible.
    – dmoz
    Aug 17, 2016 at 20:09

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