My team designed a building in Archicad, then exported a view as a pdf and imported it into Illustrator to then laser it onto cardboard and build our model.

We have run into the following problem: after having imported the file into Illustrator, we found that all of the lines in the view are layered over one another three times, meaning to avoid the laser engraving each line three times, we have to delete two of the three. Of course, we can do this manually, but it's taking a massive amount of time. Is there a way to delete two of these line layers with just a few clicks?

MacOS, Mojave, 14.10, Illustrator CC 2019, ArchiCAD 22

  • 1
    Its easier for you to just fix this in archicad.
    – joojaa
    Nov 6, 2018 at 5:49
  • This may not be necessary. Lots of laser cutting and CNC software can detect and avoid redundant cuts. I would contact support for your software to ask if this feature is available for your cutter.
    – 13ruce
    Jun 5, 2019 at 14:05

3 Answers 3


I have a very different answer for you - simpler, faster and a better workflow for you - back in ArchiCAD.

Save all the elements of that live view into a worksheet or a detail, and then run first the Linework Consolidation wizard, and then the Fill Consolidation wizard... and then export out as PDF.

You will have a radically simplified illustrator file with one of each element only; BTW - this workflow is how I've done countless good illustrations starting with ArchiCAD views and least fuss and muss in Illustrator or Designer.

This link is for reference only - the Graphisoft Help System reference page for the Linework Consolidation tools: Graphisoft Help


If there is nothing that differentiates the lines from each other, for example:

  • Are they all in the same layer?
    • This would allow to eliminate the layers with the useless lines
  • All have the same thickness or color stroke?
    • This would allow making a custom selection by defining options of the Magic Wand selection tool
  • All have the same color of fill?
    • This would allow making a custom selection by defining options of the Magic Wand selection tool

If none of these possibilities exist, the only option I see is to select all the upper lines and change the stroke color, for example to red.

If the rest of the lines are black, set the Magic Wand options to select all the lines of the original color and then delete.

In this gif, there are several light blue shapes behind the main shapes, setting the Magic Wand options Stroke Color to 5 tolerance and clicking a light blue shape after, all the shapes with the same stroke color are selected to delete.

enter image description here


Pathfinder panel function "Outline" can kill overlaps. Check the following:

enter image description here

  1. Two identical rectangles and lines.

  2. The rectangles are aligned vertically and horizontally. The lines are placed exactly on the top side of the rectangles

  3. Everything is selected. Pathfinder panel Outline is applied.The resulted group is ungrouped and the remainders are moved apart to see them. There's no overlaps left, but the closed curve has been broken to 2 separate parts.

Also the stroke vanished, but I selected the original stroke width and color. This can be harmful, if the colors or widths contain some important data.

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