The Cut list Optimizer

Generate optimized layout drawings that reduce sheet & linear material waste to a minimum and increase yield.

All workshops can generate significant savings versus creating layouts on paper. Suitable for plywood, MDF, glass, plastic, metal, pipes, or any other material.

Results are based on the most efficient use of stock while also keeping the number of cuts to a minimum - this will increase productivity and save money.

Layouts are designed for popular methods of cutting, including table saws & CNC machines.


  • Use for free
  • Quick & simple to use
  • Highly efficient nesting algorithm
  • Linear or sheet materials such as plywood, MDF
  • Preferences for rip & cross cuts
  • Import your materials & parts from spreadsheet
  • Can be used with table saws, CNC, laser cutters, beam saws and any other tools
  • Export to PDF, SVG, CSV & DXF
  • Automatically add new stock
  • Set grain direction
  • Trim & edge banding
  • Stack identical layouts
  • Share your result via a link
  • Free iOS & Android Apps


What is cut list optimization?

Glad you asked! See below

Is there an API?

Yes! Learn more here - cut list optimization api.

Is there an iOS or Android App?

Sure is! Learn more here - cut list optimization APP

Is there a user guide?

You can find the user guide here

Can you integrate directly with my website or workshop systems?

Yes - please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

How much does it cost?

The online tool is free to use - you can also upgrade to access more features.

How are payments processed?

Payments are processed by our partner Stripe - a world leading secure payment platform. We do not process any of your payment data directly and have no access to it.

Can I get a free licence?

If you're part of an educational establishment, community maker space or other worthwhile organization please get in touch for an free licence with a suitable premium plan.

Who develops the tool?

WorkshopBuddy is developed by JG Media Limited, a company in based in the United Kingdom.

Cut list optimization

Optimizing cut lists requires plenty of computing power as it is part of a complex problem defined in mathematics as the stock cutting problem

As a result, generating a decent solution can take some time, even on powerful servers. There are plenty of approaches to create optimized layouts, including algorithms and event artificial intelligence.

WorkshopBuddy attempts to balance the time taken to generate a solution and the level of efficiency achieved on an individual sheet of stock.

In our tests using random shapes, the tool achieves over 90% efficiency reliably, usually in the 96% range (including the space occupied by the cuts).

If there's a perfect solution it will usually be discovered.

What is cut list optimization?

A cut list is a list of parts and dimensions which are required to complete a project. These parts can be cut from sheet material like plywood or MDF or a linear material like construction timber.

Cut lists can be generated automatically by a 3D program like Sketchup or manually using graph paper or similar. For example, a simple cabinet would have a door, four sides and a back, each with required dimensions.

Cut list optimization is the process of making the most of your stock material by laying out the cuts in the most efficient way. Automated software can do this much faster and more accurately than by eye, and you might be surprised how much material can be saved.

The calculations required to solve the layout problem are notoriously tricky, and an efficient algorithm is needed to create results quickly. All-out efficiency is sometimes not the most desirable outcome, as this can lead to difficult cuts, which can lead to mistakes.

Additionally, the number of cuts can also have a bearing on the ease and speed of the process.

WorkshopBuddy is a tool that generates optimized cut lists ready for production and considers efficiency versus ease and speed. Layouts can be created for CNC machines or jigsaws and guillotine cutting machines such as beam or table saws.


We regularly benchmark against some of the best consumer tools on the market, and have a suite of test layouts. Here are results for a particularly challenging 39 part layout, ordered by efficiency.


Cut list optimization benchmark
39 shapes placed, 0.7% waste


MaxCut benchmark
37 shapes placed, 3.2% waste

Cutlist Plus

CutList Plus benchmark
37 parts fitted, 7.4% waste

CutList Plus benchmark
38 shapes placed, 10% waste