Outline in Illustrator or Inkscape?

Hi all, is there a function in Illustrator or Inkscape that works like the outline function in the Glowforge app? I’m still really new to svg design, and trying to outline them by hand hasn’t led to great results on my end. The outline feature in the pro trial was great, but I can’t justify the price if I am only using the outline tool.

Yes, absolutely.

In Illustrator (for vector objects): Select the object, then Object > Path > Offset Path. Ungroup it and delete the original.

For raster objects, you will need to first do an auto-trace and clean it up, then offset the vector path.

(The unusual thing about the Glowforge outline function is that it works on both rasters and vectors. Really big time saver, even if you know what you’re doing. I buy the Premium subscription largely because of it. And the mirror functions and shapes…they come in mighty handy for quick kerf adjusting.)

It’s a little bit harder to pull off a perfect vector offset in Inkscape as I recall…you might have to use the stroke width and then expand the stroke, otherwise the rounding function tends to hit you and mess up the offset shape. For that, rasters would also need to be traced first, then the originals deleted and the remaining vector path offset.

But it’s definitely doable. :slightly_smiling_face:


Great information, thank you so much!

Here’s a 1 minute video that shows what @Jules described


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