View Full Version : Spacing 100 holes on an irregular shape

11-19-2006, 05:40 PM
My neighbor does all of her decorating with pig art. She has asked me to cut out a Christmas pig decoration. She wants to mount a string of 100 lights 1 inch inside the perimeter of the pig shape. The shape is approximately 20" x 30"
The profile is pretty easy I have a shape I can work with. The question I have is about spacing the holes for the lights.
How can I locate 100 evenly spaced holes along an irregular shape without spending hours on the drawing?
I have Corel Draw, VCarve and Part Wizard to work with.

11-19-2006, 07:29 PM

I don't know how to do what you want in any of those packages, but I do have software (Micrografx Designer) that will easilly accomplish this. If you would like to send me the graphic (some standard format, eps for example) I'll be glad to set it up and send you the result.


PS: I do use Corel Draw and VCarve, but couldn't figure out how to do this with those programs. It would be interesting to see if someone can provide info on how to perform this task with either of these packages.

11-19-2006, 08:16 PM

I just performed a little experiment in AutoCad.

I took a curved shape simalar to a french curve and converted all of the line segments into one single polyline. I offset the polyline to a distance that would in theory be the line path of the hundred lights. I then used the "Divide" command which divided the line into 100 single nodes. Then I created a circle (for the light holes) and would copy this circle individually to each node around the perimeter. All said and done this could take 10 minutes.

Someone would need the "pig" outline in .dxf or .dwg with the size of the light hole to be listed.

This is one way of doing it. I would be happy to do it for you if you emailed me the "pig" outline.


11-19-2006, 08:30 PM
In Corel you can use the Interactive blend tool to do this.Make your starting circle, end circle and path, select the interactive blend tool and drag from one circle to the other, then fiddle with the settings, you can select number of shapes and also select a path in there. I don't have Corel here at home, but I will try to do a more specific write up in the morning when I get to the shop.

11-19-2006, 08:38 PM
ArtCAM (Insignia in my case; maybe PW too) can do this with the 'Paste Along a Curve' tool with some options.


Think about it; it can quite a problem to space such holes evenly at exactly, say, 1 inch apart... it may very well be more easy and yet feasible to distribute 'em evenly at ABOUT a set distance.

Brady Watson
11-20-2006, 06:49 AM
You can do a block-copy in PW, Insignia or Pro and then just trim out the holes that are outside of the vector outline. If using Insignia or Pro, there is a vector clip tool to do this. If using CorelDraw, you can use the 'Power Clip' tool.


You could also do what Paco has pointed out using 'paste along curve', but that is only available in Insignia or Pro. Not sure if Corel has it or not. That would allow you to do a series of offset vectors to paste the circles on to...but personally I think that it is more trouble than it is worth. Particularly because you are going to have to mess with the inner most vector line to get it to look right. The eye will be drawn to the center of the design & if it is off even a little, people will notice...a block copy would give you an even grid, at the expense of the border having a couple that just won't fit because of the irregular shape.


11-20-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks everyone for suggestions and offers of help. I have access to Artcam Pro at work. The vetors along a path command will do the job, I don't think I've had a reason to use that option before.