Given this image of a jigsaw with 4 pieces, is there a technique to alter the shapes so they shrink away from each other but retain their interlocking nature?

2x2 jigsaw puzzle

I would describe it as dissolving or receding the edges, or adding a tolerance between the pieces.

Bumping up the stroke width gives me the visual result of creating a void between the pieces, but I'm looking to actually alter the underlying shapes. Ideally looking for a technique that will scale with more pieces.

EDIT: Just in case the SVG is not well visible in your browser, here's a screenshot of the image. The fill colors are selected randomly:

enter image description here

  • You talking about offset
    – joojaa
    Oct 23, 2017 at 9:50

1 Answer 1

  1. Set a suitably wide stroke on all the shapes
  2. Convert the strokes to paths
  3. Break apart
  4. Fill the parts you want with any colour or add a stroke if required

and obviously delete the leftover black filled paths if you don't want them.

enter image description here

Another alternative method is to select all the shapes, remove all strokes and use Path > Inset or CTRL+( several times, until you get the inset you want. It seems to not create so many nodes.

enterimage description here

  • Pros: Achieves desired result, technique is simple to implement, and should scale to more pieces easy enough. Cons: Each piece goes from 16 nodes to 30-33, edges lose straightness at some intersections.
    – Todd
    Oct 23, 2017 at 14:07
  • @Todd, I hear you. I suppose you could remove all strokes and use Path> Inset or CTRL+(several times, until you get the inset you want. It seems to not create so many nodes. see this example
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 23, 2017 at 17:04
  • I'm definitely favoring the Path>Inset technique for my particular workflow. It should scale to more pieces easier and does result in fewer nodes being created. Each piece goes from 16 nodes to 23-25. Thank you! Do you want to create another answer/edit this answer to include that? Or should I just accept this answer as-is?
    – Todd
    Oct 23, 2017 at 19:59
  • @Todd I've added the Path Inset method to my answer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 24, 2017 at 7:19

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