Overlapping vector objects?

So I starting to create my projects now. But before I get to far, I need to know some basics. I will probably do most of my work with vector lines.

  1. Does line width matter? I am assuming not if it is a vector. Even if the miter overlaps?

  1. If vector shapes overlap, do they cut twice?


Correct, Line width, does not matter.

Yes, Two lines in the same place will. You need to clean up your file by removing dupes.
There is no way for the software to know that you do not want the laser to cut twice. And this is something that some people could and do build into files at times.
Many programs have a option to do this. For example, in Rhino, I have a alias that says "! _SelDup _Delete"
This tells the program to select duplicates and delete them.
Not sure what software you are using, but do a search for “deleting duplicates” in the software that you are using.

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I am using Adobe Illustrator. Does anyone know if Glowforge Plugin supports this?

I ended up using the Pathfinder tool and dividing the shapes, then going an selecting each segment and deleting until they disappeared, then undoing the last one. This was a simple tangram, more complex design would get tedious and be prone to errors.

Okay, I think I have better process. I created a style “laser cut”, which is .0001 and red. I selected each segment and apply the style.

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Try this, I just tested it and it seems to work in my old CS 5 Illustrator.
Draw all your shapes in illustrator.
Do a “save a copy” to SVG 1.1.
Open the SVG in Illustrator.

I drew a bunch of squares on squares as a test, and when I brought it back in I had a group in a group. WHen I ungrouped a few times I was left with some squares and some lines, but no duplicates and no overlaps.

@spike Still a manual process.

@jkopel I am using the latest illustrator and export SVG 1.1, it did some but not all.

It would be similar to cutting out pieces of a map or a puzzle. It is the common sides that are overlapping.

At the moment, two overlapping lines will make two cuts. Auto-detecting overlapping lines is definitely a feature in the hopper.


Seems that this has always been a problem…

Removing overlaps can save time and prevent damage to the laser bed.

@dan It would be a nice addition, just in case you miss one.

I am going to have two versions of the file, one “source” to make easy edits, and then an exported one for cutting.

I misread your question as “Does the Glowforge plugin support Illustrator.” Obviously you knew that. You were asking about removing duplicate lines as topic indicated.

I do not use Illustrator (Hate the way the line tools work), But here is a page of scripts that you might try
There is a “WR-removeDuplicates” script worth a try.

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Yeah I played with it some more, and you are right.
The only time it will delete them is if you have snapped all the end points to each other or snapped an endpoint to a point on the line (i.e. the lines have to ABSOLUTELY be on top of each other and eyeballing it does not work).

That said I drew something a lot like your original shape and got it to remove all the duplicates with one export>import. It almost seems as if that the SVG format just ignores the coincident lines so on import they are gone.

I just posted this mini tutorial on removing duplicate paths. I hope it helps.


That did it! Perfect. Thank you.

I had tried divide, I thought I had tried outline too. Works great.

I didn’t know this trick - nice work!