Inkscape Trim/Crop Trouble


I’m fairly new to inkscape, and trying to figure out something that should be pretty straightforward. I used the trace bitmap function, to isolate a honeycomb type pattern. I am trying to trim said pattern, to fit into a shape outline, and nothing seems to be working. Anybody maybe have any tips? the clip and mask functions dont seem to be doing anything, so am scratching my head on this one. Have attached a photo of what I’m trying to accomplish. Any help appreciated =)

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Sure but to give you the best advice I’ll need to take a look at your svg. Can you upload it here?


sure thing


OK one sec


hmm…thought I had it, drew a bezier around it, and clipped. seemed to work, but when I upload to interface it says “contains clipped path” and doesnt work how I need it to.

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Yeah clip paths are not supported by the GF UI,

This is a pretty common tactic, and it uses what are called Boolean actions, specifically intersections. Your SVG has some challenges so it took an extra step or two, but here you go:


Explanation to come.


So your original SVG has quite a few things that I’ll collectively call “jankiness”. I assume you got the shapes from somewhere on the web, and I hope I am not offending you. That said, here we go:

It starts like this.

You can see that the lines in your wu tang logo and the honeycomb hex pattern are “uneven” and have flat sides. It’s probably the result of a trace that didn’t go very well, or a bad translation between file types at some point.

That aside, it comes in as 2 paths, which is what we need. You can see that it’s two paths by isolating each one in node view:

So far so good.

Now what we want is the part of the honeycomb that is fully inside the Wu Tang, and in order to do that we need to take a few steps. First up, make a copy of the wu tang logo. You’ll want to place it right on top of your existing, so I tend to do a copy/paste-in-place. it’ll look like nothing happened, but that’s normal – you have two copies right on top of each other.

Next up, we need to get just the inside track of that Wu, so we select the W and doPath->break apart. This will take the inner and outer paths and separate them into independent paths. It also sets the fill to be black, so it looks really bad:

You only want the interior path, so first things first I tend to set the stroke to a color and turn off the fill so you can see both paths:

I’ll do it here separate from your main drawing so you can see what I mean:

break apart →

Ugly, right? set the path stroke and fill →

Aha, you can see now that we have 2 paths. Cool.

What we want is only the inner path so we end up looking like this:

So now you select that inner path and your honeycomb and do Path->Intersection. This will only show where the two things overlap, and you get a nice clean honeycomb insert:

And you’re basically done.

The thing is, as I said, this file has some imperfections. That may be by design, but if it’s not I might be tempted to try to source cleaner vectors before going much further. You can see it when you zoom in:

If you’re making something on a small scale you might not be able to notice it, or like I said, if it’s by design, sometimes rustic is good. Your call! :slight_smile:
Anyway, let me know if any of it was unclear.


thanks so much for the help, and explanation!!!


The best part is that once you get familiar with this kind of trick (and all the other boolean actions in the path menu) you can get really fast at them. They’ll come in handy all the time, I really think this sort of thing is a core skill to designing for the laser.


absolutely! super helpful!


First-class community support there Dave, as usual.


Hey, how’d this project turn out?

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