Creating a grid of touching shapes in Adobe Illustrator without duplicate cutting paths?

I’ve been separating my shapes from each other in order to ensure that there aren’t any duplicate cutting paths, but that leads to material waste and extra cutting time. If I could butt them up against each other into a grid it would make things easier, but I can’t figure out how to do this without it creating duplicate cutting paths, which 1. could do damage to the material or the glowforge (I assume), and 2. doesn’t save any cutting time.

Does anyone know a method by which these shapes (and others) can be converted into a single cutting path, or some other way where a grid of shapes might be cut with single passes? I’ve tried combining the shapes, but doing so removes the lines that differentiate the pieces.

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Thanks so much! Sorry for asking something that had already been solved. Really appreciate the link!

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No worries. It’s not obvious.


This is literally what the forum is for, no apologies. Searching for something this specific can be tricky.

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particularly, when you clearly recall reading about something, but not having the wording right when you go back to search for it.

then you post “hey wasn’t there a …”

and the reply has the exactly thing you were looking for with completely different wording from what you remembered it having, and were search on. :slight_smile:


Another possibility is to try nesting software. Deepnest is supposed to merge common lines. I never had a lot of luck with it though (I didn’t try very hard, to be honest).

The only reason I remembered was because I had posted the info about the Inkscape extension that does this in that thread. Still use it. Still only works on <1.0 version.

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