Removing/deleting hidden lines after applying a clipping mask - for laser cutter or plotter applications

New Here ,
Jul 08, 2017 Jul 08, 2017

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Hi,

I'm laying a clipping mask over another layer comprised of many lines/blended lines in order to send it to a laser cutter/cnc/drawbot type machine.

The base layer is a shape made from random blended lines, the top layer a pre-made mask shape.

I am having trouble 'making permanent' the masks effect on the layer underneath. I want to permanently remove all the excess hidden lines, so that it only cuts what I can see after applying the mask.

Any thoughts?

ai file link of my progress so far: Dropbox - clippingmask.ai

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 08, 2017 Jul 08, 2017
Maybe using the shapebuilder tool. But actually I don't want to try anything on this huge file. Don't have time to wait for it rendering.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2017 Jul 08, 2017

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Maybe using the shapebuilder tool. But actually I don't want to try anything on this huge file. Don't have time to wait for it rendering.

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2017 Jul 10, 2017

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Thanks for that, I was able to use the shape builder tool on simpler masks, leaving me with 'fully cut out' lines in that shape. However with complex masks it just hangs and is way too complex.

I had mild success by making my likes into objects by expanding them, then cropping the mask using the Path Finder - however then for every single line it produces two lines (the outline of the 'line shape') - which is not the desired result.

Have looked around all the forums now and seems there isn't any simple way to 'flatten' a mask and make permanent what you see on the screen.

Surely lots of people want to do this for laser cutting etc?

Seems so simple but is missing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 11, 2017 Jul 11, 2017

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It is possible to do it relatively easy for straight lines (also for large amounts of straight lines) and it's relatively easy for closed shapes (and this as well does include large amounts of closed shapes). But the trouble is your lines are neither straight nor closed.

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New Here ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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Hello!  I'm also attempting to prep complex artwork for a laser cutter.  One would think I could remove any lines underneath a closed shape?  But the results never end up looking all that good if I'm using the "shape builder" tool or "minus shape in front".  They end up affecting other parts of the artwork not near the intended area, as seen on the screen recording.

 

A clipping mask creates the PERFECT result but it's not distructive... so the cutter will still attempt to follow those lines.

 

 

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