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Yeah, the Shape Builder tool is nice in Illustrator but can be finicky at times. But regardless of whether you are in Illustrator or Designer it basically comes down to selecting the divided shapes and adding them together. I assigned a keyboard shortcut to the Add Geometry command so I select two shapes and then Control - A. Sometimes you get a result that does not work as the shapes were not overlapping enough and you have to use the node tool to move points so one is slightly over the other. It can be tedious but it gets the job done.

 

I also tend to use the Donut Tool with a hole radius of 0 to start off making the circles or ellipses. Then when you are ready to do an offset of those circles it is easy enough to select them all and then change the Hole Radius to get the offset. Then I usually convert them all to Curves and then select them all and Divide. Then from that stage it is just a matter of selecting the individual pieces and joining them together.

 

If I have the time maybe I will put together a short video showing how I go about it. In the meantime here is a file where I saved the history with it. Just move the slider in the history panel to see how I went about it. In the beginning I had started a different design but then abandoned it so sorry if that causes any confusion.

knot.afdesign

Edited by Scungio
typo, also clarification

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