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What is cutlist optimization?

A cutlist 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.

Cutlists 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.

Cutlist 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 cutlists 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.