# What would be the best software to place together a tessellation for laser cutting

I have a tessellation piece (shown below). I want to use this piece and create a tessellation of a certain amount of pieces so I can laser cut them out of a piece of wood.

## What would be the best software to do this in?

You could use this method in Illustrator:

1. create a shape like this with your symbol

1. Crop the selected area.

1. select your croped object and go to Pattern Options (Window>Pattern Options)

once the Pattern option tab opens up click the waffle and select Make Pattern

1. A windows will pop up where you can navigate how the pattern should flow, also you can make the changes while preview the pattern.

Once you happy with all the alignments, on the top left corner press Done ( This will save your patter in the Swatches tab)

After all this you can select any shape tool and use the swatch to put in your pattern. Once thats done you have to Expand it by Selecting the object and Object>Expand..

Cropping

1. select a Rectangle tool (Press M)

2. Create the shape you want it to be cropped. Make sure the shape has no stroke.

3. Select all layers and in Pathfinder (Windows>PathFinder) click the crop button.

Voila

• Make sure you remove overlapping lines. Also after expanding you should merge and simplify lines unless you want to make the laser jump around unnesseserily. – joojaa Feb 23 '16 at 5:48
• @joojaa hehe , i forgot to mention that :D was at work while i did this. thanks – Alex Satriani Feb 23 '16 at 5:51
• This is a great answer on how to create the actual tessellation pattern - my answer answers the actual question though ;) I guess this is what OP should have asked. It's important for the question that the overlapping paths need deleting and the separate paths need to be re-joined though! – Cai Feb 23 '16 at 10:54
• How did you crop the selected area – DJ bigdawg Feb 23 '16 at 14:51
• hi @DJinsiderswithDJbigdawg , I had a feeling that question was going to come to me :D Anyways , I've updated the answer for you and now its a double answer. Enjoy and let me know if you need any help – Alex Satriani Feb 23 '16 at 23:17

## Use Vector Graphics Software

The important part of the question is the fact that it is going to be used for laser cutting.

Laser cutting requires vector paths so you will need to use a vector graphics program. Adobe Illustrator is probably the most popular but there are free alternatives such as Inkscape.

For laser cutting you will want your paths to be very precise. From looking at the image you posted, you should probably completely redraw the shapes as vector paths.

## Don't overlap paths

Another thing to keep in mind when laser cutting is that the laser cutter will cut any paths you give it. So if you have overlapping paths - like in the tessellation you posted - the machine will make the cut for each path. This can easily end up costing you a lot of money if you're doing this in volume and can also (depending on the material) damage the material. It can also result in incorrect cut thickness (knows as kerf).

The kerf is especially something you want to keep in mind when creating your shapes and choosing materials if you are planning on piecing these shapes back together after they have been cut.

There are a lot of other things to take in to account when laser cutting but that should give you an idea of where to start.

• About the paths thats very true. – Alex Satriani Feb 23 '16 at 7:24