Author Topic: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods  (Read 1971 times)

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Offline hartvig

  • Posts: 1
Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« on: November 01, 2020, 08:34 AM »
Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to recommend a free open source tool called Deep Nest that is really great and fast at optimizing usage of sheet goods. It's originally made for Lasers and CNC machines, but it's also very good for best placement of elements on sheet goods.

The way it works is that you import an SVG file with all your elements including the sheet itself. Then you mark which part is your sheet, adjust kerf settings etc and then let it do its magic. Then it'll automatically layout your parts in the best way possible, including sharing cut lines (while mostly relevant for CNC/Laser it's actually nice when cutting with your tracksaw too).
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I'm not affiliated in anyway (and who cares when it's free :) ), just wanted others to share my delight. It works on both Windows and Mac and can be downloaded at https://deepnest.io.

How do you optimize your sheets?

Best,
Niels...
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Offline woodferret

  • Posts: 89
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2020, 11:22 AM »
That's a nice tool to put in my backpocket for times I only have SVG's (eg templates).

As for what I use, Sketchup's extension OpenCutList has been a godsend for designing a mixture of sheetgood and solid wood projects.  It's more along the lines of select the parts you want (or the whole model) and hit generate.  Good for playing "what-if" games or reoptimizing as-you-go. 

There's also a few useful features that have made it worthwhile for me:
* like oversizing the part list for scribes without impacting the actual model. 
* A quick 'offcut' feature lets you enter the sizes of your supply and it'll generate the cutlist using those first before hitting virgin sheets.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 205
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 11:34 AM »
Do these programs give you the opportunity to specify which way you want the grain to run?
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Offline woodferret

  • Posts: 89
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2020, 11:58 AM »
Do these programs give you the opportunity to specify which way you want the grain to run?

For the sketchup extension: yes.  You can also specify 'no grain' for MDF and the like.

Offline doug H

  • Posts: 34
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2020, 12:21 PM »
Looks like a very useful tool. Thanks for sharing, Niels.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 592
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020, 12:33 PM »
I have been using "Cutlist Optimizer" for quite a while. It's ok, but has a few quirks. Once in a while, they will update something and it somehow screws up other things. They usually fix it prettyquickly though. There is a paid version that increases functionality, but I have never needed it.
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Offline gunnyr

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Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 08:55 PM »
I've been using MaxCut for quite sometime and am very happy with it.  MaxCut has the ability to follow the grain or not and produced very useable reports.

I also just started using OpenCutList Extension for Sketchup.  I've not used it enough to have an opinion on it. 
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Offline Curlingace

  • Posts: 6
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 03:28 AM »
I’ll check it out. I have been using Cut Calculator on iPad, paid app, but cheap and simple to use.
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Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2020, 06:45 PM »
I use the eCabinet Systems software from Thermwood.  It's free and yields very efficient nesting for using a track saw or a CNC. 

You can model complete kitchens including photo realistic rendering.  Then have it create the nesting diagrams and cut lists.  Or for projects you can just create a bunch of panels of the sizes you want and have it nest them.  You can pick grain direction.
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Offline bobd

  • Posts: 4
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2021, 04:49 AM »
WorkshopBuddy is a online cut list optimizer which has both free and paid functionality.

Benchmarks show it to be faster and more efficient than CutList Optimizer, which is another popular online tool. Benchmark below...



I'm the developer - so if you have any requests for functionality I'll do my best to make it happen.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 205
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2021, 01:40 PM »
bobd--You've got my attention. Workshop-Buddy appears to have just what I would need: ability to export an Excel spreadsheet of cut stock sizes, adjust for width of blade, align grain (or not), without the need for integration with Sketchup or other modeling software which I don't need at present.

Any special tips for tracksaw users that would be helpful for us?

I'm going to give the online version a try. Thanks for the post!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 01:42 PM by Stan Tillinghast »
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Offline bobd

  • Posts: 4
Re: Recommendation for optimizing sheet goods
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2021, 03:49 PM »
Any special tips for tracksaw users that would be helpful for us?

Hi Stan! For track saws you'll probably want to use the 'length cuts' option to rip the stock down to manageable pieces - this ensures that a full guillotine cut can be made without any other parts getting in the way. This option is actually only available to the Hobby subscription tier but let me know if you'd like to try it out and I'll give you a coupon - workshopbuddy (at) outlook.com