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Cropping DXF with Path

New Here ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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I am trying to crop a dxf file using a path. I used a clipping mask but when I export the file as a dxf all the lines outside the clipping mask are still there. I tried to crop before and after the clipping mask but it just deletes everything. I also tried triming and it doesn't work. Is there a way to do this that I am missing or am I exporting it wrong?

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How to , Import and export , Tools

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Community Expert ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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DXFs do not honor clipping or other visibility masks. You will need to cut the paths to the cropped area if that is all you want.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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To me your requests are a bit confusing.

 

For example, I'm not sure what exactly you mean by claiming that you "tried to crop before and after the clipping mask but it just deletes everything". What did you do there and what went wrong?

 

Then you say that you "also tried triming and it doesn't work". So, what did you actually try? What tools did you use? And what did not work?

 

Can you clarify?

 

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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I'm not sure I what more I can add I am very new to Illustrator.

I tried to use the Crop Tool with the Path I was using as my Clipping Mask both before and after applying the Clipping Mask. In both cases, it would delete everything in the document instead of cropping everything outside the Path. I also tried using the Trim Tool and the same Path and it just added a bunch of straight lines to the dxf.

I tried attaching my .ai file but it keeps throwing up an error.

"Correct the highlighted errors and try again. The attachment's greatwaveandtablewithmask.ai content type (application/postscript) does not match its file extension and has been removed."

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Community Expert ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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The Crop Tool and Clipping Masks do not actually delete paths, they hide them.

Switch to View>Outline Mode and you will still see your entire art incl. the areas you cropped or clipped.

Here you can see the clipped/cropped area in my art:

kevinstohlmeyer_0-1657551583998.png

 

Switching to Outline View you can see that the entire art is still there, just hidden. DXF does not honor cropping or clipping:

kevinstohlmeyer_1-1657551637156.png

In order to truly clip/crop your area you need to release the clipping mask/crop. Then make sure your crop/clip area shape is the top level layer in your file. Select all and use Pathfinder>Divide to segment the intersecting paths.

Then delete the areas outside your crop/clip frame.

kevinstohlmeyer_2-1657551786893.png

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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Thanks, that seems to work. I can delete the lines outside the crop frame but it also adds a ton of straight lines throughout the document. Is there a way to make it not do that? 

Screenshot 2022-07-11 150229.pngScreenshot 2022-07-11 150312.png

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Community Expert ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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I tend to use the direct select tool (A key, white arrow) to select groups outside the frame, then hit delete twice to remove the entire selected path segment.

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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The Divide Tool was what caused the lines to appear not the deleting of the lines. Sorry I wasn't clear about that.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 11, 2022 Jul 11, 2022

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Were there compound paths or other complex drawing features in the art? That could cause the connection lines to appear when divided.

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Everything is labeled as just a Path. Is there a way to simplify or clean up the paths? and would that even help?

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Community Expert ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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This is a fairly complex drawing with multiple overlapping paths. Without actually tearing into the file, I really don't have any suggestions besides manually cleaning up the results.

What is the end use for this? If this is for laser cutting or other printing/etching, those overlapping paths are going to double up on your outputs.

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