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borkus
04-04-2011, 05:52 PM
Hello to all. I am looking looking for software, Lightwave or not, to take geometric shapes and optimize them to a given area. An example of this would be taking shapes and trying to map them to a piece of plywood and get the least amount of scrap. I worked for a company some years ago that used a Flowjet and that machine had something similar to what I am looking for. I unfortunately can't remember what that piece of software was. I am looking for something that is free to low cost in that I have a lot of this type of work to do, but it's for an internship and not paid for. The company also does not have any budget for this. So it lands on my shoulders again... As always, any help is always appreciated. Hope you can understand what I'm trying to do.

Dodgy
04-04-2011, 08:23 PM
That's actually a very mathematically hard problem :)

One way to do something like that would be to use the PLG UV tools, as there is a UV charts packing plugin which, given a UV map, will try to pack those shapes into a UV map optimally. It's the best tool I've seen for doing this, and I use it all the time. It will even scale the UV pieces dependent on their relative size.

Roly
04-04-2011, 09:52 PM
As Dodgy mentioned you can try with UV tools. SketchUp is another piece of software
that comes to mind when you want more precise layouts. A couple of plugins for
SketchUP like CutList or Unfold, if I remember well, are design to do just that. They're
more plugins for woodworking in SketchUP and lots of them are very cheap or free. Just
and idea.

donlimpio
04-05-2011, 05:01 AM
I believe the technical term you are looking for is 'nesting'. A google search will most likely give some results.

Good luck,
Thomas

borkus
04-05-2011, 08:16 AM
Thanks Dodgy and Roly. I have used PLG in the past, just not for that purpose. I will look into your suggestions because I welcome any and all excuses to use Lightwave whenever I can!!! In the end it is my secondary objective to bring these wood pieces into Lightwave to create visualizations of them for the client to preview before going to production. We are using the process now of creating the product with a kind of "winging it" mentality... It has worked for him this far because he is very talented when it comes to wood working. But I hope to open his eyes to different avenues as well. And thank you also to donlimpio. That is exactly the term that I needed for google and came up with some impressive results. I will review them further but for now, I resided with a program called MyNesting.com. It's a nasty little app that is doing exactly what I'm after. The only draw back is that you have to purchase points to be able to export back out to .dxf. I have purchased some points and it seems a little expensive, but I will see how it goes. For simpler projects, I can just use it as a rough guide to do the bulk of the work for me. I checked my inbox and found almost 80 emails with as many as 30 objects per email, so yeah... I was looking for a little automation. Thanks to all. You guys are great!