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Those vector shapes have the same stroke configuration, and on the pointy end there's only 1node.

So why this happens?

enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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The Miter Limit for the corner.

The Stroke Panel has a field to adjust the miter limit titled "Limit". If the angle of the corner falls below the limit, the corner is butted rather than mitered.

miter 1

If you increase the miter limit, you'll see more miters appear.

miter 2

I'm not 100% certain what the number actually relates to (what unit). I think it's degrees of angle. So, an angle of less degrees than the Limit does not get mitered (it may be 'more than' however). I really haven't tested it thoroughly enough to understand the direction of change. I merely know to change the Limit field if I'm not getting miters when I want them. A minute change of .5° in the angle can be the difference between a mitered joint and a butted joint.

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Having narrow miters fall back to a bevel join always struck me as being really icky behavior. I wonder if there's any particular reason it wasn't defined to clip the point with a line drawn perpendicular to the bisector of the angle being drawn, or if whoever wrote the spec didn't think of it. –  supercat Dec 12 at 19:12
    
@supercat just a random guess, but I think the spec was written back in the 80s and hasn't really been altered since. It may have been a limitation in 1982 :) –  Scott Dec 12 at 19:13
    
The mitering behavior was part of PostScript which came out in the mid 1980s. The maths to implement a miter cut as described would not have been difficult to implement if anyone had indicated that miters should be cut at the miter limit. As it is, the only way to draw e.g. a zig zag whose spacing is compressed toward one end, but whose apparent width remains constant, is to use rounded joins; it seems curious that nobody has thought that was a problem worth fixing. –  supercat Dec 12 at 19:40

What is happening is that the angle of this point is creating too large of a cap for illustrator to display properly. You must either widen that angle or consider using a rounded point.

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