How to split an image?

I have inkscape, photoshop, and illustrator but am still very much a novice with all of them.
I have been searching for a tutorial all day and cant seem to find one so I was hoping someone here could offer some assistance.

I have a square image 18" x 18"
I created a 4 piece puzzle image and I would like to “cut” or “slice” the image into the 4 pieces so that I can cut and engrave each one individually.

Can anyone share any insight or help point me to a resource?

1 Like

I actually wrote an explanation for doing that a while back…(a long while back). :smile:


I actually saw your guide prior to posting but I’m not sure that it will do what I was hoping to achieve…I apologize I’m an idiot and am not sure of the proper terminology to pose my question, but I was hoping to use the puzzle piece layer as a “cookie cutter” to crop the overall image into 4 separate images. Does that make sense?

As usual, @Jules beat me to it, but it is a good classic for how to have only one cut line instead of many.

first I go into Gimp and fill diagonal squares :

Then I bring it into Inkscape and trace the diagonals:

then in the node editor, I select all the nodes on the corners; and open the line using the icon noted.

And then finish it with a rectangle around it all:

And then save the SVG:

This will cut as just one set of lines. :smile:

There really isn’t any reason to split it if the puzzle is going to be small enough to fit on the bed as a whole. If you make sure that the interior lines are singles (not duplicated), then you can just place the whole puzzle over the image, engrave the whole thing first, then cut it into pieces.

It looks like it is 18x18”.

Make 2 copies of your puzzle and 2 copies of your image. Top puzzle / bottom puzzle / top image / bottom image

Crop top image to below the interlocks in the middle of top puzzle.

Crop bottom image to above the middle interlocks.

For top puzzle, delete the lines at and below where you cropped the top image.

For bottom puzzle, delete the lines at and above where you cropped the bottom image.

Move the bottom puzzle and bottom image together to a new art board.

That doesn’t do exactly what you want as far as engraving and cutting each individually, but will work just fine.

I’m not sure of the engrave limits, will it go 18” wide?

You could adopt the same method though and split it into 4 pieces, just do the same process vertically.


that was what I thought he was asking and I was showing how to make sure they were not duplicated. If there is even a very thin line trace will ad a line on each side, but if it is a big shape as shown there will be only one line around the shape. but the corners would be duplicated if there so I showed how to remove that part, and then the outer rectangle cuts out the whole thing. :sunglasses:

The finished product will be too big to fit on the bed at once.
It is actually going to be a monopoly board, 18" x 18" .

This is what I have…the board paths are blue, the jigsaw paths are pink, when I load them into the GF interface they are separate so can set the board to engrave and the pink to cut.
Theoretically if I shrank the entire thing down to fit on the bed it would do what I need it to do, but I want the overall size to be 18" square and the 4 pieces to lock together when playing.
I am fighting the urge to just split the board in half and set them next to each other.

1 Like

In that case, you will want to break up the board as two pieces. making each half separately and that way duplicate the horizontal bit

I was going to do it for you (would take a couple of minutes), but noticed you uploaded a PNG. :slight_smile:

Just use the instructions I posted above, but you’ll have to make 4 copies instead of 2.

The only thing you have to be careful of is that your piece doesn’t exceed the Y-space of the machine. Can’t tell the size of your interlocks. You have to make sure the piece, with the interlock, is under 11”.

1 Like

I feel really stupid now…I was so hung up on actually cropping the image of the board into those 4 individual shapes I didn’t even think about this…that is so much simpler. God I have so much to learn…thanks to all of you for all of the quick responses, another reason I am so happy to be a member of this helpful community.

1 Like

Don’t. I have to set something up like this whenever I make a new product. I do it with print and cut, but it works the exact same way with engraving. It’ll take a couple minutes longer because of engraving the “gutter” but that’s pretty negligible.

It will be way easier on you, especially with 4 pieces, if you organize things into layers so that you can easily turn them on and off in your design software. Much easier to know that you’re working on the right piece.

1 Like

Ughhh I feel like im so close…the only way I could find to crop an .svg in inkscape was the draw a rectangle over the part you want to save, select all, and click on object->clip->set which appears to do what I want it to do. I saved 4 separate images that look like this for each quadrant

Now when I upload that to the GF I get a popup saying the image contains a clip path and that it is converting it to a path and I see the entire uncropped image again.
What am I missing?
I know all of you could just do this in 30 seconds but I hate to ask someone to do it for me, I would love to learn how to be self sufficient, but I am about to throw this laptop across the room lol…

For reference, here is the uncropped .svg

So, a clip path is basically a mask but they don’t work in the Glowforge interface. Rather than denying the job or anything, it just removes the clipping mask, which reveals everything that was clipped.

This one might need an Inkscape expert, which I’m not. Illustrator actually has a proper crop function for raster images, which is what I use.

One thing that might work for you is to rasterize the clip mask after you’ve cropped the image. I think in Inkscape that is make a bitmap copy? That should effectively eliminate the clip mask. Or, you may have to delete the clip mask and the image it was clipping, and use the copy it made? Sorry, I’m not sure exactly what it will do. One of the two though :slight_smile:

Also, it helps to use guides so you can crop/clip/whatever each image exactly to the guide.

1 Like

This isn’t raster. It’s all vector and it’s complex enough that it’s crashing my extremely expensive computer that isn’t supposed to be crashed by things like this.

Will let you know if it can be done…trying to rasterize it now and it’s hanging up.

1 Like

Nope. Going to have to tackle it some other way…my computer can’t handle it.

Buy a Mac :slight_smile:

Or, close some of the 10,000 Glowforge community tabs that are open. :wink:

I have it rasterized.


(I’m going to bed.)

1 Like

So, I have it opened up.

It opened as 24x24" for me. I know you want to do this yourself, so I’ll hold off on doing anything to the file.

But, I’ll throw a few things out there at ya.

First thing, the right interlock going across, you’ll need to resize that a bit smaller, or move it up. It measures about 11.2" from a hair below the bottom of that interlock up to the top of the board, so you’ll need to resize, or move it so it goes below the 10.95" threshold. You could maybe leave it like it is, and then rotate the elements to fit the bed when you’re done. Up to you, those are the two options though.

The other pieces look like they’ll fit OK the way that they are.

Then, I’d hide the puzzle paths themselves, which leaves you with just the monopoly board design. The best thing here, would be to rasterize it, I believe. Especially, because somewhere in there are 7 open paths, and if you go to engrave those, it could ruin the entire project (trying to engrave open paths can lead to funky results).

Select everything that’s left of the board, and rasterize it (At least 300DPI). That leaves you with one game board sized image.

Start creating some new layers for organization. I’d probably do something like:
TL Image
TR Image
BL Image
BR Image
TL Puzzle
TR Puzzle
BL Puzzle
BR Puzzle

FWIW, here is how I organize my puzzles for the most part:

A little different than I told you, but I have some extra stuff in there that you don’t need for your puzzle.

Select the image and duplicate it in place 3 times (leaving you 4 copies). Move one copy to each Image layer.

Unhide your puzzle pieces and duplicate those 3 times (again 4 copies). Move one copy to each Puzzle layer.

I like working with guides when cropping the puzzle images. One of the big reasons is so that I can use the measure tool and make sure that where I’m planning on cropping will actually fit into the bed space. That’s how I noticed that your right interlock wasn’t going to fit into the y-space.

From there, I guess you’ll need to use the Inkscape method of cropping, however that goes. You’ll need to crop the 4 pieces of the puzzle to their respective guides. If this involves clipping masks, you’ll have to rasterize the clipping mask.

Once you rasterize the 4 pieces of the board, you can break apart you puzzle pieces. I use a plugin in Illustrator that makes it really easy, but for just 4 pieces, it won’t be too bad for you. Just break the path at the respective guides, and delete what you don’t want to remain.

You’ll have 4 different pieces now. Just select, for example, TR Image and TR Puzzle, and drag those off to the side. I use separate artboards in Illustrator but I’m not sure if that is an option in Inkscape. Perhaps create a new document and paste them in there. You’ll need to upload 4 different files to do the engraves/cuts anyways (easier this way, I promise).

One thing here, is that you could do this in just two pieces if you wanted, rather than 4, I believe. If you slow down the engrave just a bit from full speed (1000 down to 800-900), you should be able to fit the 18" engrave into the workspace. I would personally do it this way. Maybe there is something I’m not seeing that is stopping you from doing it?

Does that make sense? I’m not much of a tutorial writer (my mind jumps around too much, so I go back to insert something, but I forget to delete something and end up with a mess, ha!).


What you need is a raster that is the correct size. I split it in half in Gimp. You can save the Inkscape clip as a raster. I use clipped Images all the time but make sure all the area outside the clip is white only. It is very handy to have Inkscape treat the clipped shape as the shape, and not the whole size of the image.