Design Help Using Adobe Illustrator

Hello! I’m just creating this thread in hope that someone can help & that way it’s here and if anyone else is running into the same problems they can find a quick fix!

I am using the GlowForge Pro Model and creating some pretty intricate designs for my business, the files are taking forever and half the time fail when preparing for printing. Customer service reviewed the files and it is due to the software having a difficult time with the file because it has so many nodes, and recommended that I use the design software to simply and reduce the number of nodes. however, I have no idea how to do this. If anyone has that knowledge please respond below! I’m using Adobe Illustrator. Thanks in advance!

someone will be along soon. Sorry but I use everything but AI. The good news is that every vector program has some type of simplify command I just don’t know the keystrokes for AI.

The simplest way is Object > Path > Simplify.

But, it sounds like at the root of things, you may need to evaluate why you are ending with designs that have that many nodes. Are you auto-tracing stuff? Making your own designs? Importing designs from other programs?

Have an example file that you can zip and upload?

And to add to what @jbmanning5 said, do you need to have a full vector file? Is it something you can rasterize and just leave a cutting line around the object?

Lots of ways to skin the cat.

Also, if you use the Object > Path > Simplify. method above about 93% seems to leave the image intact and reduce the nodes substantially.

Good luck!

Thanks for the quick response! Ill try the simplify method and see if that makes the difference I need. A lot of the designs are a mix of source methods from original designs to traces of images I have commercial licenses for. Ill update you guys shortly once I hear back from Tech, my GlowForge Exhaust has stopped working correctly =[ so I can’t test anything yet! Thanks again!

Object > Path > Clean Up is also great to use in conjunction with simplify to get rid of any stray points, etc.


the Smooth tool is another option, and can be used in specific areas instead of across an entire design. Select a vector with the Direct Selection tool, and then select the smooth tool and click & drag along the path. (You can also double click with the smooth tool on a path and it will do the whole path, although it is often not the result you will be looking for: sharp corners may get rounded off, text can become less than uniform.)


You might also want to look at all of your anchors. If you have a straight line segment with a ton of anchors you can just use the delete anchor tool and get rid of them. You should only have two anchors in any straight line segment, one for the start and one for the end. I notice a lot of time when using the pathfinder merge tool, you end up with a ton of extraneous anchors. I always go back and delete extra points where I can. I hope that helps.

That one I didn’t know! :+1:

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Just used this! I like it! And you are right about the potentially unexpected results or oversmoothing. It went a little crazy… but then I remembered that I had the smooth tool set to smoooooth. If you double-click the tool, you can adjust how smooth you want things.


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