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Sheet yield calculation software?

Discussion in 'Software, Computers, CMC's Techie Stuff' started by Andrew Lenz Jr., Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Anyone use software that calculates best yield from given sheets sizes? There are programs available where you can input the yield sizes and the source sizes and have it spit out the best way to cut the sheets.

    For instance, a customer comes in with maybe 30 lites of different UV glass sizes (3 of this, 9 of that, 5 of this, 4 of that, etc.) . . . what's the best way to get them out of assorted glass sheets sizes?

    I'm wondering if anyone has messed with any of the yield calculation programs out there.


    FramerInTraining likes this.
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  2. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I use an organic software that I got for free. Sometimes it works and sometime it doesn't. You get what you pay for I guess. lol

    Seriously though, I doubt most of us here would ever be able to affordable software so specialized. I know my acrylic provider has it on his cutting saw system, but that saw system is pretty pricey for an average or even an above average frame shop budget.
  3. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My print rip does it, and so does the new pool function on the Valiani software.
  4. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It would be great to have a little standalone app for that. I'm pretty good at figuring it out manually, though. I just make little sketches of the board size and start drawing in my mat sizes.
    :cool: Rick
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  5. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Hey, Mo. What free program are you using?

    I recently found this free program but haven't had time to investigate it:

    Rick, there are some mobile device apps for doing it, but I was trawling for possible others' experience.

    It can be done manually—especially when we're just talking matboard—but when you are talking a bunch of yield sizes and a bunch of possible source sizes (8x10, 11x14, 16x20, 18x24, 20x24, 22x28, etc.), an ideal solution (or close to ideal) gets VERY complex very quickly. It branches out and becomes like chess with a high number of possibilities.

    Granted, an ideal solution is not required, but the farther we get from ideal, the more money it costs us. One of my staff was figuring out how to cut an big order out of the available sizes of UV glass and if I hadn't have stepped in and given her some suggestions, it would have cost us at least an extra $50-$100 in waste. The order would have gotten done, but . . . $$$.

  6. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The calculation part of it is pretty well developed already. It's used extensively in the woodworking business for cutting sheet goods.

    Hand inputting possibly dozens of precise sizes will be labor intensive, and accuracy is critical. You will also need a way to identify each piece of cut glass as to which job/piece it goes to, so that's more entry labor.

    For those two reasons, such a feature would be best integrated into your POS, where you could select a particular order (or set of orders, such as "all jobs being fitted today") and all the info is already there. I don't know how "accessible" the database of a typical POS is, but unless you could connect to it it seems like it would be a lot of work.

    For particular jobs it would be no doubt worth it, such as where you have:
    30) 15 x 23
    20) 21 x 27
    15) 25 x 34

    But when you have a list like
    1) 14-7/8 x 21-3/4
    1) 14-1/4 x 22-1/2
    1) 15-1/2 x 20-1/8
    How much time are you going to take checking and double checking the sizes?

    For onesies/twosies you will also need a way to generate labels of some sort (printer capable post-it notes or something) to identify each piece of glass.

    I think it's a great idea, and has potential to save a lot of time and money, but really needs to be connected to your existing data. POS companies would do well to consider adding such an option.

    As Mo said "you get what you pay for". If you have potential to save hundreds of dollars, it may be worth spending a few hundred. A quick search for "sheet good optimizer" shows a bunch of options that are not that expensive. Top of the list is http://cutlistplus.com/ that costs from $40 - 500 based on features (including CSV import of jobs and materials list with costs/sizes), and offers a free trial. Might be worth looking into.
  7. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Thanks, David. And I agree. In the case I'm thinking about it's the first of your two scenarios, repeats of about 5-10 sizes, not 1 of this, 1 of that.

    Cut List Plus was one of the programs I ran across when I was poking around the WWW last week. Looks pretty good, again, just hoping a framer out there had firsthand experience with one.

  8. Steve Collins

    Steve Collins SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    QImage, though it's a print utility/RIP, has a decent ability to lay out images for printing that is essentially the same process is laying out for cutting. Plus it has all that printing capability, all for $69.
  9. Scott Mangelson

    Scott Mangelson Grumbler in Training

  10. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    With glass the layout is complicated by the need to make cuts across the full width of each remaining sheet as you cut. Sometimes a manual layout is easier.
    Rick Granick and Steve Collins like this.
  11. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    With CuListPlus you can specify that.
  12. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Pat, the few programs that I investigated take this into account. I specifically checked for this when I was reading a few of the programs' websites last week. Some are designed to work with laser/water cutters which can turn 90° in the middle of a sheet but also work for devices that only cut the full length of a sheet, there's a user option that changes the software's behavior depending on the cutting device.

    [I see David snuck in a posted before I did!]

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
    David Waldmann likes this.
  13. ryantischerphoto

    ryantischerphoto Grumbler

  14. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  15. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    FWIW, I tried a few and am also currently pretty happy using MacCut V2.
  16. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    These sound interesting!

    I have developed my own manual method for my high end package pricing glass and mat cutting as follows:
    1/9, 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and full sheet of 32 x 40. and price based on the size I am cutting from.

    Basically, I have two sheets; one I have that I cut in half [for 1/2's and 1/4's] and a second that I cut in 1/3's [for 1/9, 1/6, and 2/3]. For glass I cheat and also a box of 18 x 24.

    The way mine works is if someone wants an 11 x 14 and I have to cut from a new mat, I will cut a 13" width strip (1/6th) Then the 11 x 14 is cut from the 13 x 14. This works for me, and with the mix I have, I have charged for all my material, and I generally have little waste.

    For 10 x 12 [my smallest size] I also cut a 13" wide strip, unless I am doing in quantity.
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