OK lets do a quick example of my workflow since I have a minute.
This will vary depending on your material and a few other things, but in general I tend to align things about a mm apart. That’s where the align tool really shines. Let’s do a quick example, first something simple like a box:
First I use a generator to make the box and import it to Inkscape:
Then lets just select everything and use the arrange tool. here I have it set to space the pieces by 1mm gap, in a 2x3 grid:
Apply it, and we get…
Huh, whomp! (I knew this from experience but it’s worth showing the result.) The problem is that the pieces are different heights and widths, and it tries to put it on a regular grid. What do to? Looking at the pieces I see that there are two basic “heights” to the parts. Let’s undo the arrange and I’ll color code them into the two types, red and blue – the color coding is irrelevant to the process but it’ll show what we’re doing a bit more clearly:
Selecting all the reds and arranging them on one row produces this:
OK that looks good! Now let’s repeat the process for blue, but first rotate them to be horizontal:
And now arrange those blue parts in a single row:
Awesome. Now let’s group the blue pieces and then group the red pieces. Now we have two groups… which we can arrange (into one column) like any other parts!
This is good, they’re arranged, but I really don’t like that they’re centered, so lets use the align tool to align them by their left edge:
And now place them on the page:
And one quick zoom to confirm the alignment/spacing looks good:
Undo that red/blue color coding (if you did it at all, I only did it here for illustration purposes) and we’re ready to cut. Easy enough, with a little practice this goes very quickly.
I’ll do an example with weirder parts in a bit.