Board layout software

Hi
I am looking for a reasonably priced software package to generate an optimised board layout from a cutting list. This is purely for hobby use so it does not have to have masses of other features.
I do a lot of work using 12440 X 1220 mm (8' X 4') board and I would mainly like to reduce wastage. I occasionally have it cut for me and as my local store charges per cut it would be nice (but not essential) to have something that optimises for the least number of cuts as an option.
I have had a browse around the web and found several different packages: Cutlist, Sheetlayout, Optimik, etc. I wonder if anyone has used these and what are their opinions of them?
Thanks
James
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I have purchased both Cutlist and Sheetlayout and I have found Cutlist easier to use and setup.
Mike
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I'll add my vote for Cutlist. Used the free version, then bought the next step up only because the free version will only handle 5 parts(IIRC). Been very satisfied.
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Ditto
"Norman D. Crow" wrote:

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12440X1220 mm has no meaning to me. I do use a lot of 4'X8' plywood though. :-)
Just kidding. . . I use AutoCad for layout. There are a number of programs available that cost less though. The current issue of Fine Woodworking has an article on drawing software for less than $100. Design Cad was the first cad software I used. I was very solid 20 years ago, and I suspect it still is.

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wrote:

The CAD program might be the way to go, and there are free ones out there. Other specific software will do the work for a price, but the CAD can be used for other purposes as well, making the price better in the long run ...especially if free to begin with. Just draw rectangles for boards, and rectangles (?) for cutouts to dimension, then drag them around until it looks good. That takes a minute or so longer than having software do it, but just fine if you are not a high production business and just a hobbyist. Get the CAD program to add 'dimensions' and you can do a printout on an 8 1/2 by 11 [inches that is] sheet to use for cutting directions.
I had a whole bunch of slats to cut from cherry planks for picture frames, and used this approach very effectively; very little excess material loss.
Bill.
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I use AutoCAD also but IIRC it does no do what the original poster is looking for. He is looking for an optimization program. These programs will automatically draw an illustration of each piece of stock that you have on hand and draw on these pieces the pieces that are needed for a project with the least amount of waste. The big difference between these programs and most CAD programs is that you in put the size of your on hand stock, the quantity and sizes of the pieces you need and the program draws this out for you. So far these programs only work with square or rectangular stock and items to be cut out. I use both Cultist Plus and AutoCAD.
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"James" wrote in message

Been using Cutlist Plus for a number of years. Cuts, layout, inventory, cost, etc can be custom configured for the way you work. The author is quick with updates, and support is forthcoming when required, which has been rare and mostly to do with my losing the authorization/update codes due to lost e-mail.
Highly recommended.
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check this link http://www.woodbin.com /

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Thanks to all who responded.
That piece of 12440 X 1220 sure would have been a large board.
I think I will give cutlist a try and see how it goes. I like the idea of being able to keep the inventory, and it seems to do just about everything I want.
Cheers
James

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Hello James, You may like to have a look at our PLUS 2D software. The demo is available on our website, and may be sufficient for your estimation needs. s.shrikanth Nirvana Technologies. www.nirvanatec.com
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I have toyed with the idea of building an application that did the layout of a cutlist on boards in the pattern that minimizes waste. Perhaps now is the time.
-Mark

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Since there are a bunch of these programs out there, be a bit different. Design one that will handle odd shapes such as triangles or circles, shapes that do not have all square corners. Then you would have something different and would be more likely to compete.
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