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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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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