I'm trying to cut out squares where four paths overlap. I highlighted it in red here.

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Except I've gotta do a bunch of them.

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I've been selecting the line, cutting it at both intersection points with the scissors tool, then deleting the line inside the X. That isn't very efficient at all. It wouldn't be possible to just do one and then paste it onto all the others since they aren't all the same size. A fill also wouldn't solve the problem since the file is going to be exported for cutting out by a machine. What can I do to cut out all the squares efficiently? Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


If your stripes are closed shapes, you simply select them all and unite them in the pathfinder panel:

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The left image is before and right image is after clicking unite in the pathfinder panel.

NOTE: the result is a compound path, which can need some work. See the same after the "using shape builder version"

If the stripes are open line pairs or more worse, chained unjoined lines and curves, you must join the pieces to make the stripes closed shapes before uniting.

Shape builder can be used to create closed areas. Be sure that your lines and curves have no gaps!. Select all, take the shape builder tool, select a fill color and fill all stripe areas one by one:

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The resulted colored areas are closed shapes, which can be united. The result of the uniting seems right, but it's a compound path and that can be unwanted:

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Consult with the cutter, is a compoud path ok.

If it's not, select all, goto Object > Compound Path > Release. That separates the different paths. There's the outer shape and a bunch of big squares, all separate objects. I have colored the squares to red to show them and dragged them apart only to show they are loose. Beware moving them!

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This should be ready to cut after removing the fills. Consult with the cutter, how to define the proper cutting order.

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