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crystal

So to draw this crystal I used the pen tool for the outline and used line segments for the inside lines. Then I joined all the line segment anchors. I was left with two paths: the outline, and the inside lines.

I would prefer to draw this so the entire shape is made from one path. Is there a better way I can draw it to achieve this, or is there a way to combine the two paths into one? I can't seem to do it with the pen tool without it wanting to delete anchors when I just want to connect the lines.

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There is no, sane, way you can make this into one path!* Nor do you really want to either.

Group it and it will behave like a one object. Select all lines and hit Ctrl + G.

This kind of thinking happens to beginners. They realize that there is no need for an underlying modelling system to model reality the same way as you perceive it**. There is a benefit of thinking of lets say a coffee cup being 2 objects (handle and cup) fused together. In fact it's impossible to model anything sane if everything has to always be done in one piece.

* A line simply can not branch. Yes, that means that there is a totally insane way of doing this.

** Nothing says your perception is correct. Being able to move in your thinking between different abstraction levels flexibly is a critical skill in the modern world.

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    Or make it a compound path (ctrl+8), which is basically a path made up of different paths. – PieBie Aug 13 '16 at 9:56
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    I should have mentioned that I'm creating vectors for a laser cutting machine and I can't have overlapping vector paths or it will cut the same area twice. When I joined the anchors of the line segments it created a few areas of overlapping. I can go in and fix that, I guess I was just wondering if I was going about the whole design in the best way. Maybe compound path is what I'm looking for I will try this. Thank you! – skelletor Aug 13 '16 at 17:48
  • @skelletor a compound path works exacly like a bunch of separate paths. For the laser cutter its all the same. The only difference is if you fill the paths with color. which is not going to happen in this case. Why would that image have overlapping paths? You havent made that out of separate triangles have you? Perhaps you should just use the line tool? Also please note a laser cutter can also not branch the laser. Anyway optimizing the lasercutter is not a graphics design problem, but thats okay im a mechanical engineer i laser cut stuff all the time. – joojaa Aug 13 '16 at 20:58
  • I'm not sure why it made some overlapping lines, it happened when I joined all of the ends of the line segments together. I was actually able to figure out that I can use outline on the pathfinder tool to get rid of the duplicate vectors. I know how the laster cutter works. Thanks :) – skelletor Aug 13 '16 at 23:33
  • You dont actually want to join the lines at all, or if you do strategically segments at a time (0 jumps will be discarded anyway). You shouldn't need to use pathfinder or anything else of that kind. In fact you want to avoid it. See the lasercutter sees the lines in drawing order and draws in that order. If you go and join/path find then you get random results and lose ability to optimize your paths. All the work you did after drawing the initial lines is a waste of time as far as the cutter in concerned. Outline is actually even worse operation. – joojaa Aug 14 '16 at 6:22
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Perhaps: Pathfinder/ merge is what you are looking for?

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