I use this technique all the time, it’s a fast and easy and almost foolproof way to do a kerf-corrected cut of an odd shape.
- Have a vector shape that needs to be cut out.
Copy (control-c) the shape.
Break the shape apart (Control-shift-K). It’ll fill the pieces and look like it’s busted. Don’t worry, push ahead.
- Union (control-shift-plus). Now it’s one giant black shape.
- Ditch the fill and add a stroke.
- Set the stroke width to be your desired kerf correction. I chose 0.007" here.
- Stroke to path (control-alt-c). I’m showing the nodes here just to illustrate that it’s a filled shape now.
- Break apart (Control-shift-K)
- Union (control-shift-plus)
- Set stroke, ditch fill
- Paste in place (Control-alt-v)
And you’re done. Yes, there are lots of ways to do this, but I doubt any are faster. I routinely do this with almost no mouse interaction, it’s very effective and efficient.
The short version:
Control a, control c, control-shift-k, control shift plus, mouse for path and stroke, control-alt-c, control-shift-k, control shift plus, mouse stroke and fill, control-alt-v. I just timed it, and the entire thing took 29 seconds.