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I made some jersey prints for a friend's team, and I was contacted by a guy from the t-shirt printing place saying that they can't proceed with the shirts because the machine that cuts the vinyl that is being applied on the shirts can't recognize the cutlines on the numbers or something. I'm not sure what to do. The guy couldn't explain what he needed that well, he said something about having two paths instead of three (I have the main fill and two strokes) but how to achieve this look by having only two paths? The white stroke doesn't have to be white because the shirt is going to be white, so is there a way to make the white stroke part transparent or a "shaped hole" inside the number? In fact, that would be the most desired option. Sorry for the poor explanation but I'm a complete amateur.

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  • Your 4 will be 3 separate pieces after your shapes are fixed for cutting as you wanted. You should rethink this. Are the pieces placeable and do they hold their places if this is a cloth? I do not know the actual process, dimensions nor final material behaviour. Ask the maker. – user287001 Jul 13 at 8:17
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  • Hit Ctrl+A to select everything.
  • Go to 'Object → Path → Outline stroke' and this will turn your white lines into white objects.
  • Use the Pathfinder or Shape builder panel to cut out the white bits from the larger black shapes.
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    I would add that you don't need to actually cut out the white from the black. It doesn't matter if there are multiple separate objects in the file, the cutter just needs a closed vector path for every cut it will make. Source: I work in print, and with these types of machines. – Logarr Jul 13 at 16:54
  • Thanks for the simple answer! I wonder why it does not work for me.. Nothing seems to happen after I select Outline Stroke. When trying to cut out the white bits with Shape builder, it just deletes the whole number. It does not recognize the white parts deletable shapes. @Logarr That is interesting. Care to explain more? How to achieve the closed vector paths? – sokosoko Jul 15 at 7:29
  • Most likely you're just now aware of what is happening, but it probably is happening. Youtube a couple of outline 'illustrator stroke videos' like youtu.be/yl8efqqOYZg?t=80 and you'll figure it out. – Lucian Jul 15 at 8:53
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Because physical machines doesn't actually works same as softwares

the machine that cuts the vinyl that is being applied on the shirts can't recognize the cutlines on the numbers or something.

  • it's because machine could've programmed specially for shapes instead of heavy graphics(like who ever will use gradient or such things as cutting since it's already for digital assets!)

  • second; now if that's the problem then you should give a version which have as least of complexity as possible!

The guy couldn't explain what he needed that well, he said something about having two paths instead of three

  • maybe because the guy isn't designer XD and it's makes sense because if he was designer then he would've made this on his own so don't worry if he failed to provide solution because he may have tried his best

The white stroke doesn't have to be white because the shirt is going to be white, so is there a way to make the white stroke part transparent or a "shaped hole" inside the number?

so all you can do is simply and in order to do it in your case :

    1. Expand your shape which have any styles like stroke etc and you can do it by selecting your stroked shape then go to Object-Expand . make sure you only check on stroke and uncheck fill! Edit: if you have single shape and multiple stroke then I think you might need to fill checked!
    1. now you'll see that your path is now converted into pointed shape so now you can just substract your shape and to do so select your white shape and black altogether by pressing shift key. and merge it by minus! Don't worry you can find gif below!

Figure 1 : separated objects to make final file as simple as possible!

enter image description here

Figure 2 : the process of simplification! you can play with pathfinder to know what each options does! hope it helps! cheers :D :D

enter image description here

  • Hi! Thanks for the gif. Apparently you can't do this with text? Even after clicking 'Create outlines' the 'Expand' selection is greyed out and I can't click it. 'Expand appearance' is available. What's the difference? – sokosoko Jul 15 at 8:44
  • dont create outlines. just select text and go to expand :D – Mr.Online Jul 15 at 12:09

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