This tutorial is to a quick and easy way to create puzzle pieces from shapes, specifically from the Grid Tools in Illustrator. This covers both round and rectangular shapes and using the Shape Builder Tool to make easy work of puzzle pieces. Enjoy!
Lets start this off with the the Rectangle Grid Tool .
Draw a grid using the Rectangle Grid Tool. A quick shortcut is to draw (don't let go of the mouse while drawing) and use the up/down and left/right arrow keys to add rows and columns.
Another way to set the size of the grid is to double-click on the Grid tool and it calls up the dialog box to set the options you would like.
Next step is to draw a circle and place it over the dividers. about 1/3 on one side of the divider, 2/3 over the other side.
Duplicate the circles and place then randomly around the dividers, keeping the 1/3 and 2/3 overlap on all.
Next, select everything with the Selection Tool. Then Select the Shape Builder Tool in the tool Bar. Shape Builder Tool is nested with the Live Paint tools in the tool bar.
With the Shape Builder Tool, draw through the shapes you want to add together. Starting with a rectangle, then going into a circle.
This is the end result with the pieces and the nubs on the ends. Then Select all and Ungroup the shapes.
You can then move, fill or stroke each shape as its own piece.
Now lets try the same thing but with a circle! Use the Polar Grid Tool (next to the rectangle Grid Tool) to draw a Polar Grid. One thing to remember is to give the shape 1 EXTRA ring that you will end up deleting.
Select the Polar Grid and use the Pathfinder Divide to create separate shapes to use as pieces.
The outer rings WILL NOT divide correctly (no idea why, tried everything to solve this) so delete just the outer ring. Everything else divides correctly.
Next step is to draw a circle and place it over the dividers. about 1/3 on one side of the divider, 2/3 over the other side. Then duplicate the circles to complete the pieces.
With the Shape Builder Tool, draw through the shapes you want to add together. Starting with a curve area, then going into a circle.
Select all, the Ungroup so each piece can be filled or edited individually.
Add fills, strokes to each piece as needed to create the puzzle.