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I'm trying to find the name of this highlighted image element to look for similar vector icons. I tried to search by "link", but can't find anything like it.

Image example

How can I recreate this shape using a program like Inkscape or similar?

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4  
Looks like a cell in the telophase of meiosis to me... –  Lauren Ipsum Jul 18 '13 at 13:03
5  
Looks like a segment of a roller chain, maybe search for bike chain icon? I'm not sure why that would exist though, might be easier to just create one yourself –  JohnB Jul 18 '13 at 13:07
    
Hi! I just edited your question so it's a better fit for the site and it's potentially helpful for other people. You will still get ideas for the name, but also the option of learning how to draw it (it's actually quite easy). Please feel free to re-edit. –  Yisela Jul 18 '13 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It looks like the whole shape is made out of circular arcs. Basically, to draw it, you first draw two concentric circles:

Step 1

Then you duplicate them, and move them so that they're a suitable distance apart:

Step 2

Then you draw a slightly larger circle and move it so that it's tangent to the smaller circles, then duplicate it and repeat:

Step 3

Finally, you fill in the area between the circles and get rid of the larger circles:

Step 4

If necessary, tweak the nodes of the resulting path to get rid of any kinks where the circles touched imperfectly.

Note that I just did this quickly and entirely by eye. You can get better results if you pay more attention to getting the geometry just right. In particular, it might be better to first draw the shape in a purely horizontal (or vertical) orientation and only rotate it once it's complete. That way, you can make use of Inkscape's alignment tools and ctrl-dragging to get the larger helper circles positioned precisely.

Also note that, in the complete logo, the two "links" are positioned so that the helper circles for one are concentric with the inner circles of the other, leaving a constant-width gap between them. (In fact, it looks like the centers of the inner circles form a lattice of equilateral triangles.) If you want a similar effect, you may want to first position the inner circles (e.g. using the Create tiled clones tool) before expanding them to make the helper circles.

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2  
well done and nice answer, +1 –  Matt Jul 20 '13 at 16:50

The closest thing I found that is similar to this is on the Noun Project which I am a huge fan of. They have a huge collection of free icon resources available and personally I like the consistency of their style.

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