I have a hand-drawn shape and I would like to extract the lines from it, so that it can be cut by a laser cutter.

In general, it's various "lines", but made of paths with fills. Using the stroke is not an option.

Is there some smart plugin that would take the filled parts, find some kind of "guide line" and create that line?

For instance, in the case of this gecko, it would be the green line. enter image description here

I realize that for some shapes this would produce weird or unexpected results but for many, it should be possible. E.g. by simplified triangulation and joining the triangles's centers of mass.

  • I fail to understand how are the descriptions related? Why would fining the middle line of a gecko help you laser cut? (yes i know how a laser works i have one in my office, soon 2)
    – joojaa
    May 16, 2018 at 20:24
  • Have you tried the envelope deformation or the lattice deformation? Are these tools suitable for you? Oct 23, 2018 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure if this answer is relevant, but your question isn't exactly clear. Perhaps consider adding more details.

I'm not exactly sure why you are showing Inkscapes pattern along a path function, but if your graphic is not a single path, then it won't work in laser cutting. I assume this is what you are talking about.

The easiest option would be to simply redraw only the paths you need. If you drew your graphic by hand, scan it and import it into Inskape. Use the scanned drawing as a guide (preferably on a locked layer), then on a layer above, draw the shape by using the Bézier tool so that it's just made from a single path. Then delete the bitmap image. Auto tracing using Trace Bitmap won't work. You'll need to do it manually.

  • Maybe I should have added some details. I have a hand drawn text, which is made of closed paths with a fill. They are not too perfect and vary in width a lot. I would like to reduce them to just the lines "in the middle" and then make them bold by adjusting stroke. May 17, 2018 at 11:27
  • @OndraŽižka I see. Then my answer would be the same. Draw the stroke manually using the Bézier tool. The human hand and eye is better than anything a computer can do. However you might want to have a look at Inkscape's Hershey text extension for letters which are strokes without fills
    – Billy Kerr
    May 17, 2018 at 23:22

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