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I'm trying to cut about three hundred pieces of wood from the smallest number of sheets possible. For this and other projects I've been interested in nesting software, which packs 2D shapes efficiently.
Has anybody used software like this? There seem to be a few shareware packages around - 'optimizer suite' and 'astra'. Recommendations?
I did a lot of research on this last year and, unfortunately, I found very little. The one that looked the best, autonest made by autoship, was very expensive. Their demo worked great, but it inserted "blanks" into the nested file. I tried to get some of the shareware one to work with little sucess.
In the end I just bit the bullet and nested nearly a thousand elements onto 81 sheets. It took a few days but it was mindless work so I could listen to quite a few audio books while doing it.
You might want to talk to a fabrication office about this. Most companies that own laser cutters have propriatary software that nests. You may be able to pay them a small fee to nest you stuff for you without having to use their more expensive cutting services.
Torchmate makes some interesting CNC equipment and have a reasonably priced program that does nesting.http://www.torchmate.com/eleckits.html
Thankyou both for your help. The way this project is going now, the nesting may not be too difficult by hand.
I'm still interested in this area for possible future projects, though, and will investigate those approaches along with the shareware packages I found.
Can Anyone recommend similar software addons for cad that helps with production/model building, this is great as it helps to maximize material but that it automates the process is even ten times better.
What about programs for unrolling complex surfaces? Just heard of Lamina Design for this job.http://laminadesign.com/
There is a demo at the site if anyone is interested.
Try TMachines CutLogic
RhinoNest is exceptional and offers automatic slicing and nesting of 3D shapes in addition to traditional nesting.
Between Rhino, Grasshopper, and the zoo of plug-ins, there is really no surface you can not unroll or nest.
Maybe you should try www.tangenta.hr "DGNestPro"