Software to determine project layout?

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Am considering building some counters and cabinets and am looking for software to determine how much material to buy and to create cut lists. Am an amateur woodworker and do not do production work, so any recommendations for decent but reasonably priced (i.e. <$100) software would be appreciated.
TIA.
Joe T.
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Cutlist works well for what you are looking for.

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Cutlist Plus works very well. As a software developer, I think it's very well made for a reasonable price.
Here's a link: http://cutlistplus.com /
Good luck,
-m
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Mike Pio wrote:

How is a project entered into that? Do you have a pre-made list of dimensioned parts of the piece that is entered into the program?
Curious about how you use it... but can't myself as I'm not a MSWxx/MacOSX user.
er
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Joe, I have not been very satisfied with Cutlist Plus and still use it but often end up referring to the original list. I have not found it's layout always very efficient. I don't find it's software engineering all that great. It seems like a poorly featured spreadsheet type or simple table type of screen. I find it rather limited in that respect.
MBR
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Cut List is like Democracy. It's the worst form of government except for every other form.
I haven't found anything much better than Cut List. The only other real options worth considering are a full blown CAD package that will generate the lists from your designs. Much more expenive and big learning curve.
Cut List can be tamed a bit if you fudge with the setting. It works better for plywood than board stock. I do mostly boards and it doesnt always do cross cuts first, even when I tell it too. But if you go back and reset the properties for the bad layouts after it generates them, I can usually get it to do the corss cuts and arrange them properly.
On certain jobs this program saves me many many hours.
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gadgetman wrote:

I trust you realize you can change the way it lays out stuff via the preferences? If you *don't* choose "best alignment" on the "Optimization" tab you'll get more efficiency but greater cutting difficulty.
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I tried the CutList demo and did not find it all that inuitive to use...especially for infrequent use in my home shop.
Tried demos of both CutMaster 2D Lite and SL8 from SheetLayout(.com). Both user interfaces were easier to understand IMHO. SL8 lets you indicate direction of grain for each peace plus it optionally uses color to id the cut pieces.
Thanks all for your input. Given my limited needs, am sure one of these packages will do the trick and are both <$50 for the "lite" version.
Joe T.
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Let me throw in my 2 cents here Joe. I have done beta testing for Don, SL8 and Todd, CutList Plus. Don at SL8 has not updated the program since the Summer of 2001. He and I worked quite extensively on the program and how it would look and function. Basically I persuaded him to make many of the features the way they are now. He would revise the program 3 or 4 times a day for about 3 weeks during thebeta testing. That said however the program does not flow as fluidely as CLP. It does however IMHO do a bit better job of optimising. I have unlimited versions of both CLP and SL8 and feel that CLP is a clear winner when it comes to intuitiveity.
With both unlimited programs on my computer, I only use Cut List Plus.
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Thanks, Leon. I'll give CLP another try. Again, at the moment, my needs are rather simple. Based on approximate part sizes of the cabinets and counters I'd like to 1)determine materials required, 2) display layout based on grain direction to minimize waste, and 3) total cost so I can convince my wife that it a) might be or b) might not be cost effective for me to build versus buy.
Of course, since I expect my dovetail jigs to arrive today via UPS, building is my preference. :)
Joe T
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Any form of CAD program allows you to do that. If you know how to use it then you will never pick your nose again without a diagram. AutoCAD, I can't believe everybody doesn't have it, is just akin to using a snap on combination wrench vs. a rubber handled adjustable. If you can imagine a cookie cutter in your mind and you can draw a rectangle, then you get the point. Copying, modifying, moving, arrays etc. is ABCs. And it also allows you to design everything. Dimension, order, print. And it does things for you instantly no human can. You don't need a purchase order to sit down and make something. You can probably use paint. Just draw the appropriate size stock, create your pieces, copy, rotate, place. Peanuts.
-
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I can. Think Price.
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Then when considering "Any form of CAD" you would have to do all the thinking to make the pieces fit. Drawing 150 different sized pieces on to 15 ramdom width boards could be kinda tough when considering maximum efficiency.
If you know how to use it

With that comment I cannot believe that everyone does not drive a Lamborghini.
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next your gonna tell me that you can get your program to design your project for you.
-
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I thought that is what you were thinking about CAD programs. I have been using CAD programs since 1985 but realize that many have their limits.
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bent wrote:

Now tell him the cost of AutoCad and the learning curve ;-)
Joe Barta
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I've developed a cutlist program application based on MS Excel that you might be interested in. See www.cabinetcruncher.com for more information or let me know if you have any questions.
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Joe T wrote:

Your best bet would be to figure it out by hand using pencil, paper and a calculator.
Joe Barta
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I would never pick my noise with a pencil. I agree it is not to be taken lightly. I have an honours 2 yr. full time college CAD/CAM diploma. I could "write" his PO in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette.
-
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bent wrote:

Good thinking..

Lost me here.

Very impressive. I can piss into a pop bottle from 5 feet away but that doesn't help our poster solve his problem ;-)
Joe Barta
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