I have a complex (hand-drawn) shape from which I am creating a two-part cutter. The inner part of the cutter needs to be smaller than the outer part by a couple of millimeters on all edges for it to fit.

I can change the path around the object to white, and make it much thicker, and this appears to shrink the shape in the middle in the way I want. But it doesn't really; the white path is still there, which is a problem when I convert it to a 3D printing file.

What I'd like to do is something like making the path wider, then removing the path, leaving only the filled center area (now smaller). However, this is probably the wrong way to do this.

How do I make the complex shape a couple mm smaller on all edges? Note that simply shrinking it linearly won't work because it has concave sections; I basically need to "trim" a couple mm from all edges.

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Have you tried using the Offset path effect in Inkscape 1.0? See example. After you've done it, you can do Object > Object to Path.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 9:32
  • I have not! Wanna post that as an answer?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 15:08
  • Ok, I've added an answer now.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


Try using the Offest path effect in Inkscape 1.0. It's located in the Path Effects.

enter image description here

In the Path Effects panel you can set a size in mm for the offset, then you can do Object > Object to Path to convert it into an ordinary path.

Example showing the Offset path effect applied to a shape

enter image description here

  • OK, apparently I need to upgrade Inkscape first. I'll do that and then validate the answer. Thanks!
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 16:27
  • 1
    Note that you need to enable the 'Show experimental' switch as of Inkscape 1.0.
    – Moini
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 0:39

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