Map of San Francisco

Here’s a 30"x40" map of San Francisco,made from painted draftboard mounted on foam board. I made the svg file on Illustrator and broke it into six pieces. The seams can be seen in the final piece. I had some trouble using the clipping mask to divide my image into six pieces - doing so leaves all the hidden nodes and strokes in the file, so the file was too big for Glowforge to handle.

The ugly hack that worked for me was to draw a 10.5"x18" rectangle in Illustrator, “group” it with the underlying map, then carefully using “erase” to remove all the nodes and strokes outside the rectangle. That made the resulting file size small enough for the Glowforge to handle.

Now that I know how to do all this it would be a lot easier the next time around, but it’s still about six hours of total cutting time to make one of these.


Stunning! (Well worth the time it took!)

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huge!!! love it

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So for future reference, I think you’ll find that boolean actions are the way to go for dividing something like this.

There are lots of ways to do this – I’m using Inkscape here – but they boil down to the same process. It goes like this:

Get your map. (I took a chunk of Atlanta out of openstreetmap, exported as SVG and converted the roads to shapes, then combined them all into one mega map path)

Make your dividing shapes. I just made 4 rectangles and snapped them together:

Now align those rectangles on top of your map. I group the 4 rectangles, then used centering tools to align the group of rectangles to my map path.

Make 4 copies of that.

Ungroup and remove the rectangles that you don’t need.

Now select a map and an overlaid rectangle do an “intersection” in inkscape (it’s called something else in illustrator…)

And voila, you’re left with your map chunk.

Repeat with the other 3 quadrants… and you’re done, 4 neat chunks of your map.

It won’t speed up your cutting process, but your map division work will go to a matter of 1-2 minutes.


We call it “Pathfinder/minus front”


You sure?

In this case, I wanted to preserve what was contained in both. Judging by the icons, what’s the one in the third slot, to the right of what you pointed to?

You’re think of “divide” I believe. That would leave excess anchor points and can behave unpredictably. Minus fronting on 4 copies is more reliable. The most reliable thing in AI to do this tho is the Shapebuilder tool.

Lol I am not thinking of much of anything, I don’t use AI at all. Don’t listen to me :stuck_out_tongue: