enter image description hereenter image description hereis there any way I can draw these layers accurately without having a space or even overlap between them? it is for laser cutting purposes, I used pen to draw every layer, but the pen doesn't provide accurate drawing of these layers, as they are either overlapping in the outline mode or not aligned perfectly, so they create voids or white lines,enter image description here causing problems in saving as pdf.

3 Answers 3


Joojaa hit on this but a visual may assist....

  • Draw 4 overlapping shapes.
  • Switch to Outline mode (View > Outline).
  • Use Object > Path > Average to ensure anchors are in the same spots where appropriate.
  • Select All and click the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel.
  • Delete everything you don't want.

Each section will be its own shape and the edges will perfectly align.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for your visual explanation, it was really helpful, i applied all of your steps, and it perfectly aligned,but when I saved the file as a PDF, there were a white hairlines. so that takes me back to the same problem. I am really confused, what should I do? Jan 3, 2018 at 15:11
  • @New_spirit_designs See here: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/38606/3270
    – Scott
    Jan 3, 2018 at 15:23
  • my only problem now is that when I export the logo as a psd file and open it in photoshop, the logo is distorted. what do you think is causing that problem? (note that i made an offset path of 0.01 px to every layer of the 4 layers) Jan 5, 2018 at 10:36

Only, draw one side of the boundary and copy it to both sides. This way it is the same edge.

Note 1: However that a laser cutter will cut this edge 2 times! This is always worse than cutting one time. Also due to cnc interpolation the laser will not hit same position 2 times. (so if the gap very small, like 0.02 mm then its probably not change the outcome much)

Note 2: A laser has a kerf ! So if you want these pieces to match together after spread out you need to offset the curves by the kerf. (while this is true to most cutters like water jet and plasma cutters, cutters that use a blade may or may not have a kerf.)

Note 3: If you use the rasterization mode there is a nontrivial, but small, chance that you will get conflation artefacts regardless. Bit overlap will fix this issue just as well as on screen.

  • thanks @joojaa for your answer. the idea of copying to both sides is not working for me as the shape is not identical on both sides. Jan 2, 2018 at 14:59
  • About the cnc interpolation, I don't know alot about laser cutting techniques, but what I got from your answer is that I should overlap the layers better than getting conflation artefacts, as I am trying to overcome this problem. But the overlap will not fix the laser cutting problem.so what is the real solution to that? Jan 2, 2018 at 15:08
  • I edited my question with an image of the conflation artefacts result, I did an offset path of 0.01px to overcome this problem, but is seems like it is not the best idea for laser cutting, as offset path must create a very small overlap between layers. Jan 2, 2018 at 15:15
  • I think jooja is saying you need to not overlap the layers? A kerf is a loss of material and you may need to find out what the actual kerf dimension is and then explode the parts so that they account for the kerf, and then create a new object that traces the center lines between all the parts so you get one cut.
    – Yorik
    Jan 2, 2018 at 15:40
  • @New_spirit_designs off course the part of the shape that has the on the edge of both shapes is same. Not copy entuire shape just the part thats the same. Anyway if you dont know the etchnology behind laser cutting be prepared to fail.
    – joojaa
    Jan 2, 2018 at 15:58

The most effective method in my opinion, would be to break the paths that overlap or are too close, and remove the duplicated segments. Join the now-open segments to the other endpoints to create closed paths acceptable to the laser cutter.

It may be necessary to add nodes to the curves unless they are currently in the proper locations for the above actions.

  • Thanks @Fred for your answer, I tried your idea, but I don't know how to join the open layers together after removing the duplicated lines. is there anyway i can join them correctly ? I tried dragging the layers by selection to the point of joining but it is not correct, layers are still opened, and the object then path then join is not correct either as it creates incorrect results. Jan 2, 2018 at 14:54

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