Nesting?

qa

#1

I’m not sure what to call this feature in laser terms. In Silhouette it is called nesting. Will there be a feature in the cloud where we can tell the computer to “nest” several images? The nesting would put the images together in the “best” way for cutting and material use.


Efficiently packing shapes
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#2

Nesting is the correct term and would be a really awesome feature!


#3

Glad to have the right term. I just call it packing optimization, and dan already said it was added to the feature request list.


#4

It is indeed. We have some cool ideas for how to do it better than is normally possible.


#5

Thank you for the quick reply. Glad you are thinking of ways to make it better.


#6

@dan: Your guys likely already realized this… but be sure to include the picture of the material itself in your packing optimization. Odd shaped, or already cut a few times, and suddenly you need a unique packing solution.

Ideally… we are allowed to edit the outline of “Cut friendly material” on the image of what is loaded to the bed. In case there is some particular feature of the existing material you want to preserve/avoid, or the software fails to identify a section of material/hole properly.


#7

I often use a program called Vcarve for CNC milling and It offers nesting but most of the time I find I can do a better job myself. Some good AI dedicated to this would be great.


#8

I have the same problem when 3d printing multiple parts. Whatever is solving it sucks.

However, these kinds of problems are uniquely challenging for computers because they are so open ended. one day quantum computers will help :slight_smile:


#9

Nah, quantum computing will just make it so even fewer people understand what is actually going wrong in a program ><


#10

It will be both functioning and non-functioning at the same time.


#11

I dont even pretend to understand now. it will only be an improvement for me :wink:


#12

Might I suggest: http://hackaday.com/2016/01/22/pack-your-plywood-cuts-with-genetic-algortihms/


#13

I’m tinkering with the idea that since I have a copy of artcam, just importing my vectors in, nesting, then exporting out.


#14

Posting back into this topic rather than starting a brand new one…I just found out about a website called SVGnest, which is a browser-based nesting software that configures the optimal placement for multiple cut files. Looks pretty interesting!!

http://svgnest.com/


Where do you cut first on a new sheet?
#15

I thought I had seen the name of that software before, and turns out it was here!


#16

One thing you need to consider is materials with a grain. Acrylic, mdf and probably leather would be fine to nest the parts, but like fabric and cutting patterns, you have to keep the pieces going with the grain otherwise it might look bad…


#17

You may still be able to nest, but you’d have to do it by hand. Not just going with the grain, but also (in some cases) matching the grain/pattern. (I’ve done some of that woodworking, and it’s an interesting problem at best).

I wonder if there’s a simple way (simpler than endlessly-masked cut&paste) to take an image of the sheet you’re working with and then try out piece positions with immediate feedback on grain/pattern matchups across the joints.


#18

This thread’s been quiet for over a year, but it planted some interesting seeds. In particular is http://svgnest.com , which seems like a very good fit to the GF community. (At least my) trouble is getting it to work.

Has anyone successfully run svgnest recently? I’ve gotten as far as getting it to load and display a file, but launching a nesting run doesn’t seem to actually run. I’m using Chrome (Edge and IE generate errors upon file read-in).


#19

I’ve got it to run on Chrome, Windows 10. Make sure you put a bounding box where you want the materials to fit into. Select that shape first and then run it.


#20

@marmak3261, thanks for the validation that it can work - that was the motivation I needed. I’m now able to get it running off the svgnest webpage - localized copy still not working, but that’s not a showstopper.

This is a pretty awesome tool for estimating how much material to purchase for a project - and it’s free! Here’s hoping GF integrates something similar into their UI someday.