I want to move all of the pieces of a split hexagon so there is equal space between each piece.

I could use the stroke function but I need it to have a transparent background.

I've split the hexagon into 24 pieces but I am stuck.


4 Answers 4


Vincent has a great idea, here's another similar method from a different approach (which I think has less steps)

Create your shapes (all split up etc.)

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Select All (Ctrl/Command+A)

Then add in an stroke outline and bump it up to the desired thickness (I would make it white to better see it).

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Now go to ObjectPathOutline Stroke

Then select your group and open up Pathfinder:

WindowPathfinder (Ctrl/Command+Shift+F9)

Now select Divide

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Now select and ungroup everything (Right-clickUngroup or Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G)

Now select one of the white spots and then go to Select→Same→Fill Color and delete all of them.

You will now have equally spaced gaps between the shapes.

The distance between the shapes will depend on your stroke thickness.

  • Draw your hexagon;
  • Open the Attributes palette (Windows > Attributes) and click the Show Center button--a square with a dot in the middle. This will cause your hexagon's center to be shown as an anchor-like dot.
  • Draw a line from the center of the hex upwards, to well outside of it: Take the line tool (\) and start drawing on the center dot. Displaying your Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides or Ctrl/Cmd+U) helps aligning the start of your line exactly with the center;
  • While drawing your line, hold Shift to ensure your line is exactly vertical;
  • Adjust the line's width to your desired gap;
  • With the line still selected, take the Rotate tool (R) and LeftAlt+click on the bottom anchor of the line;
  • Choose 15° as the angle and push Copy rather than OK;
  • Choose Object > Transform > Transform Again (Ctrl/Cmd+D) 22 times;
  • Select all your lines, but not the hexagon;
  • Object > Expand... and make sure 'stroke' has been ticked;
  • With the resulting objects still selected, find your Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and choose the first icon, 'unite';
  • With this shape still selected, Shift+click on your hexagon to select both;
  • Choose the second icon in the Pathfinder palette, 'Minus Front'.

You can also quickly use the Polar Grid Tool.

  • select the Polar Grid Tool, click somwhere on the artboard to bring the settings panel, then delete the 'dummy shape'
  • then create another shape with polar tool with its center in the center of your shape (eg. hexagon) – use smart guides for it and ALT+SHIFT to draw from center proportionally
  • at this stage you can select both objects and apply some additional transformation as required)
  • set the stroke to desired size
  • convert thestroke to shape (you can use the 'flatten transparency')
  • substract the new shape from your shape (you might need to first ungroup and 'add' to itself the cutting shape)

Let me know if you need more detailed tutorial or screencast

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The easy method which subtract pieces to make the space between the triangles, is already well presented in more than one variations. But if it happens, that you want literally to move the slices as you wrote in the question, you can add a quide shape which has anchor points at the new positions of the triangle heads. You need a 24 side polygon which is distorted to the same height and width proportions than your shape.

In the following cartoon the sliced hexagon is regular, so the 24-gon is regular, too. It's aligned by dragging its centerpoint to the center of the sliced shape.

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The slices were selected with the direct selection tool by clicking the fill far away from edges and corners. Then the head anchor point was dragged from the midpoint to the corner of the 24-gon. Snapping to point and smart quides made the exact alignment easy.

The result is totally different than what's got by subtracting the outlined strokes. The spaces between the lines are equal when different spaces are compared. A single space is not uniformly wide.

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