How to export only things that are able to be seen to a vector file?

New Here ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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Greetings,

I'm a novice in Illustrator but am trying to learn. I'm working with a complex logo which has dozens of layers stacked on each other. I need to use this logo in a couple of other programs, namely Autodesk Inventor and Lightburn. The problem is that all of the layers are sent as if there is nothing in front of them. This makes sense, but makes using them on a CNC router or laser engraver impossible. For instance, in the photos below, I selected the lines that are visible in part of the logo, but behind other things in another part.

 logo invisible problem 2.pnglogo invisible problem 1.png

When I export a file like this as a .dxf, all of the behind the scene lines are shown, which makes dealing with it in another program difficult, at best. Here's a picture:

logo invisible problem 3.png

As you can probably guess, using lines like this as cut lines for a laser cutter, for example, won't work.

 

My question is this. Is there a way to have Illustrator convert only the visible part of an artboard to a vector file without the hidden parts?

 

The only way I know to do this loses information. Basically, to export it as a bitmap, reimport it, and trace it to vector. I figure there has to be a better way. Can anyone help?

 

Sorry for the wall of text and thank you for your time,

Roy

 

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How to, Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021
Not sure if I understand this correctly, but if they are all just shaoes (no strokes, no effects, no special appearances), then selecting all and using the button "Merge" from the pathfinder panel will flatten the artwork, so nothing is behind anymore.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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Tragically, no. At least on the face of it. No matter how hard you bury a vector shape, Illustrator faithfully reproduces it. Because it's still there.

 

But that doesn't mean you can't work around things to make it a little easier on yourself. When I was cutting vinyl, I found that little errors could be accounted for by converting all colors to spot, grouping elements by like fill/stroke into layers, then running separations to get the cuts I wanted to get. It also made it easier for me to simplify my work for final output.

 

Perhaps this workflow could speed your cleanup for laser cutting/burning too.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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Roy,

 

Maybe too silly, how about simply selecting (all) the desired layers, then copying them and pasting them into a new corresponding document (Ctrl/Cmd+F)?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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Not sure if I understand this correctly, but if they are all just shaoes (no strokes, no effects, no special appearances), then selecting all and using the button "Merge" from the pathfinder panel will flatten the artwork, so nothing is behind anymore.

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2021 Jul 20, 2021

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Wow, I honestly can't believe that worked. Thanks!  I expected a tool like merge to leave me with a giant single shape with nothing inside since that's what it does on some other programs.  Thanks for responding!

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