I am trying to create a turbine engine in Illustrator with overlapping fan blades, but whenever I rotate the object around the center, I get one blade that does not follow the same curvature as the others. The blades all have a thin white stroke.

The problem is that there is always the top object that sits above the others and throws off the symmetry. I have been driving myself crazy because I know there is probably a relatively simple way to fix it, but I can't think of it to save my life.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

The image can be seen here

  • 1
    How are you rotating the "object around the center"? Is there an "effect" applied to the blades?
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 18:38
  • I set the center of the blade to the center of the middle circle and set the angle of the rotation to 15 degrees and copied it 24 times. The only effect on the blades is a thin white stroke
    – Tack
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 19:13
  • Is Align to Pixel Grid turned on?
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 19:15
  • Much easier if you share the sample file.
    – Troy Woo
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 19:59

3 Answers 3


Here is what I do in those cases:

  1. Duplicate that one last offending blade.
  2. Place the duplicate exactly on top of the offending blade using the align tools.
  3. Select the duplicate and the first blade together (not the last one).
  4. Use Pathfinder -> "Minus Front" to cut the overlapping area out of the first blade. The duplicate disappears after it is used up by the pathfinder. The last blade stays in place with the overlapping area missing, creating the desired effect.

This is a simplified illustration of your problem. The blue blade is the first one. The green blade is the last one. The red blade on the second step is the duplicate, placed exactly on top of the green one. In the last step, I have made a copy of the blue blade so you see what I meant by "cut out the overlapping area".

enter image description here

  • Interesting. It didn't even occur to me the blade may be anything other than the white areas. Good catch.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 21:43
  • Perfect! Thank you so much. I knew it had to be something relatively simple like that.
    – Tack
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 14:27

It's not the most elegant solution, but you may have to slice that final (top) fan blade into two peices and move the left half of it to the back.


Try drawing the blade shape manually with the pen tool instead of using a stroke and see if that does the trick.

Also, you can try using the shape with the stroke, but before you starting rotating and duplicating, expand the stroke.

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