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I have an image that I would like to cut out with a laser, however the SVG that I am using has many paths that are not connected, which will result in an incorrect cut. In order to cut correctly I need to join many of the paths together so that they are connected and will be cut as a solid piece instead of many tiny pieces. I'm not sure that there is a clever way around this other than either joining them manually, or finding a better reference image, however I thought I'd ask.

Ultimately my question is: how can I join the paths that the arrows are pointing at so that the white parts are a single unified section? The way it is at the moment, all of these individual white sections would be cut into their own tiny piece.

I have tried manually erasing the black sections in between which works but doesn't give clean lines, and every manual method to join them that I've tried was also messy.

Edit: Link to file

enter image description here

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  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Can you share the SVG over at SVGShare.com? Might depend on how this is constructed. Are all the paths combined, or separate objects? Are you trying to remove the black border between the branches?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 23, 2022 at 16:36
  • I've added a link to the file in the question. Ultimately it is all one path.
    – Tyler
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:07

2 Answers 2

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A guess: Your shape is the black area. The white areas are holes. The outer edges of the black shape is a big rectangle.

Make another as big rectangle, align it with the black shape and send the new rectangle to back.

Select both, apply Path > Difference. Now you should have the white areas as a combined path. Confirm it by setting the fill color to red. This is a simplified version of my assumption what you have now:

enter image description here

You must draw manually bridge pieces which connect the parts. You may make them one by one by clicking over a closed area with the Bezier curve tool. You hit the corners and edges easily if you have all point snaps ON.

enter image description here

Select the underlying combined path and the bridge, apply Path > Union to combine the pieces:

This is a high zoom in of the result:

enter image description here

If it's not good enough, UNDO the union and fix the bridge shape. Small, but still visible errors can be fixed without undoing by moving nodes with the node tool.

If you happen to have groups the case is more complex. Boolean path operations (union, difference etc...) do not work with groups. Everything must be ungrouped and a combined path must be formed.

A math equivalent of the shown trick would be to draw and subtract pieces from the black shape. But in the end only the white areas + their inserted bridges can be a proper solid piece to be cut, the black areas have islands which cannot keep their places.

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  • I like this solution, and I've also tried it and it will work just fine, my only issue with it is that the alignment can be very tricky, and there are many places where this needs to be done, so it's very time consuming. I'll definitely use it if need be, I was just wondering if there were any faster tricks out there as well.
    – Tyler
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:10
  • A marginally faster version of it is to move the nodes of the red shapes one by one and get overlaps. The union will work with no patches. Inserting patches keep the original untouched before making the union. There's no functionality which could automatically guess right which areas should be filled.
    – user82991
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:18
  • Gotcha, yea, I had a feeling. Thanks for the help!
    – Tyler
    Jan 24, 2022 at 10:24
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I can think of one method. Use the design which is not reversed out since it's easier to work with. Can't think of a way to automate this. This is for manual editing, and so it will take a while.

  1. Move the Nodes to create overlaps to remove the gaps. Repeat for the whole design as required.

enter image description here

  1. Then do Path > Union

enter image description here

  1. You can then recreate the reversed out version using a black rectangle underneath the original, select both design and rectangle, and do Path > Difference.

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