A way to use Illustrator fill patterns with AxiDraw?

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    I’m going to be very honest: I’m not in love with the hatch fill feature. The results don’t strike me as visually appealing.

    So I’ve been trying to use beautiful Illustrator Pattern fills like these ones – and transfer them over to a plottable SVG.

    At the moment, I haven’t been able to because the way Illustrator works is that it overlaps tileable pattern squares and puts a clipping mask on top of them. The overlap in the pattern mean the plotter would draw the same line twice, and the clipping mask isn’t removable.

    The pattern fill in Inkscape is equally unplottable…

    Has anyone been able to achieve better looking texture fills with their axidraw?

    Windell Oskay

    This hasn’t been on our radar much; improving support for different types of fills has been one of the very rarest feature requests.

    In Illustrator, the basic command is Object > Expand, to convert a pattern into a set “real” paths. But, as you have noted, there are some asterisks that can make this hard to use.

    Our usual advice would be to minimize direct use of fill patterns, because they are challenging (in Inkscape, Illustrator, and elsewhere), and instead to use tiled (real) objects as the starting point.

    Some possible approaches that you might consider:

    • There’s a PDF with a very detailed workflow for creating tiled paths (for use with a laser cutter), here. I didn’t have great luck with it; maybe your Illustrator skills are better than mine.
    • The “Hatches Rough” path effect in Inkscape can produce some very organic types of hatch fill lines. We usually *de-emphasize* this because most users are interested in uniform fills, when they want to fill something.
    • We have some notes including additional methods of constructing fills in Inkscape, here.
    • You may be able to tile and clip your pattern in Inkscape, following the method shown here
    • It appears that it may be possible in some circumstances to print to a PDF and re-import to convert patterns into paths.
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