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Carpenter Cut - Optimal cutlist diagram for iPad/iPhone

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Blog entry by SmartCutter posted 1001 days ago 3697 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After my previous post here, I got numerous feedback and great ideas from professionals on this site on how to optimize the cutlist diagram to make it useful for professional wood workers. This lead me to develop “Carpenter Cut” app for iPad/iPhone devices. It goes like this:

Start with a sheet of plywood (e.g. 48×96), tell it the dimensions and quantity of each part you want to cut from it. Specify the kerf (size for your saw blade (0.125 is the default)), and indicate grain direction by putting a rotation lock on each part. Tap the “Cut” button and watch this tool generate the best cut layout diagram giving the maximum number of parts possible from your stock sheet, saving you money and saving the environment by producing minimal waste.

The app has the following Features (Based on requests and feedback I got from readers of my earlier “Smart Cutter” post):

- Different Size and Quantity specification per part.
- Kerf specification (Width of the saw blade).
- Rotation lock for grain direction cutting per part.
- Priority Fit Order for each part size.
- Aesthetically-pleasing random color generation for each part on the diagram and during entry so you can identify each part easily (or you can specify your own colors).
- Size annotation inside each sheet rectangle on the diagram with font size proportional to the sheet’s size.
- Name each part in the list.
- Cut Report generation showing: number of sheets Fitted/Rejected PER Part + Total Fitted (Yield), Total Rejected and Scrap % for the whole project.
- Save/Edit/Delete each cut list as a separate project in “My Projects” with project name, large sheet dimensions, kerf, and parts info list.
- FAST State-of-the-art algorithm for diagram generation calculations.
- Change/Edit any parameter or sheet priority order, and see how the cutting diagram automatically changes on the fly before you make your cut.
- Caches past projects diagram images for quick viewing/browsing later without regeneration.
- Email, Air Print, and/or Save your generated diagram to your Camera Roll Album.
- Easy navigation user interface.

Looking at the level of feedback I got from everyone on this site, I’m confident I can make this app even better with more feedback, so I’m posting this article here to collect more opinions on how you guys think I should modify this app to make it more useful for your every day projects.

You can download the app from this link

I welcome everyone’s feedback.

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro: http://goo.gl/U6FVJ



7 comments so far

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1396 days


#1 posted 1000 days ago

A lot of people use a table saw, track saw, circular saw with a straight edge etc.. not a jige saw to cut out sheet goods or parts from larger sheets. I’m not sure if the math you use to sort the cuts out takes this into account or not but you may want to have an option to do that.

You may also want to provide step by step break down so the user knows when to make what cuts etc..

Looking at the diagram can be a little overwhelming and the user may not know where to start. Here’s an example of what I mean for instructions it could generate:

Make your first cut at 30 and 5/8ths

Make your second cut at 16 1/2’‘

Make your third cut at 7’‘

Make your 4th cut at 8 3/8th’’

etc..

The other thing to consider is table saw use, usually when you set the table saw fence to 8’’ .. you want to make all the cuts that are 8’’ .. that way if you’re off by a little bit, it’s consistant. So ideally all of the cuts of the same measurement type should be made at the same time.

I hope this help, I’d be happy to explain anything in further detail.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View SmartCutter's profile

SmartCutter

24 posts in 1022 days


#2 posted 1000 days ago

Hi Jeremy,

As always, you are full of great ideas! so I’m glad to hear from you :)

1. The math I’m using does Not take into consideration the saw type, so I’ll have to ask you this: what cut restrictions could each saw type impose on the cutting diagram? If you describe them to me in details I can translate that down to the math algorithm.

2. I really liked your Step-By-Step Breakdown of how to approach the actual cutting of the parts from the resulting cutlist diagram. I bet it would help a lot of people make the cutting step much easier.
After studying your example, it seems to me the main thing here to be translated into computer logic is to search for the end-to-end cutting lines along the kerf tolerance areas on the diagram, then generate a cutting sequence from them. I could even animate each cutting step… heck that means more programming fun is waiting for me :-)

3. Table Saw Use: Now this brings up an interesting constraint to item 2 above. Doing all potential 8” saw fence cuts at the same time may not be possible since not all sub pieces will be available for cutting before the saw fence needs to be adjusted. What I mean is that if you are using table saw for all cuts, you’ll have to cut the larger piece first to get to the smaller pieces, which means you’ll have to adjust the saw fence several times since the larger pieces may not be start at equal distances from the edge, and they need to be cut first before we reach to the smaller piece, do you know what I mean?

Let me know your thoughts on this…

Thanks again on your feedback; it is really great when programmers minds get together :)

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro: http://goo.gl/U6FVJ

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1396 days


#3 posted 1000 days ago

Heya SmartCutter,
I’m always glad to help out.

When making cuts with a circular saw, table saw, track saw or panel saw to break down sheet goods the cut you make has to be a completely through cut. Because the saw blade is circular, cutting halfway into a board and stopping is less than desired and on the table saw can even be dangerous. To give you an idea of what I mean here is an example from the picture above:

Once you have gotten to this point, it’s not possible to make any further cuts without destroying one of the pieces. That is enless you use a jigsaw, and a jigsaw is far from ideal for breaking down sheet goods.

For table saw use, this is the exact scenereo you want to avoid, and I think many would prefer to have a little extra scrap, than have to reset the fence multiple times for the same measurement cut. I’ll give you an example.

Say you’re cutting out drawer sides if you set the fence for 4’’ and make some cuts .. then have to reset the fence for 4’’ later the odds of being exactly the same are pretty much next to none. You’d have to take a scrap peice at this point at work your way down until you get to the exact measurement .. then continue with your real cuts, this can take a lot of time and waste a lot of scrap.

This also adds another feature that would be nice, padding. Many people (myself included) rough cut their sheet goods down with a circular saw and then cut to final dimensions on a table saw. This method wouldn’t work with your program at all, but if I could add a 1/4’’ padding arround all 4 sides, that would give me plenty of space to get the final dimensions properly set on the table saw.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View SmartCutter's profile

SmartCutter

24 posts in 1022 days


#4 posted 999 days ago

Hi Jeremy,

I think the case of the table saw is pretty complicated since the parts are fitted randomly by the algorithm, and the main constraint is minimum scrap/best fit, rather than minimum fence rests constraint, or non-repeating same-size resets constraint. These two constraints make the cutting problem very complicated, but can be solved as you suggested with the “Padding” idea. Allowing you to add a 1/4” (or any value) padding around the edges of the parts does solve this issue, and seems much easier to implement in the program.

The other problem with the algorithm that you bring up is that it does not impose the “completely through cut” constraint on the diagram. What I mean is that the algorithm must reject any diagram that does not have at least one “completely through cut” in it, or would lead to a sequence of cutting sub panels that do not have at least one “completely through cut” in them. The example you showed in your message however does have several thru-cuts in it and can be handled easily by cutting through the green line first, then the blue line like this:

So it should not cause a problem during the cutting. But, I did manage to generate a diagram using my algorithm that had zero thru-cuts, check it out:

So obviously I’ll need to reject these diagrams in the algorithm.

Let me know your thoughts.

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro: http://goo.gl/U6FVJ

View Justin's profile

Justin

118 posts in 1593 days


#5 posted 998 days ago

After playing with the app a little bit, it seems like your limited to one sheet unless i am doing something wrong. It would very usefull if you could type in all the parts you need for a project and the app would tell you how many sheets you need, then it would give you cut list for each sheet. Other than being limited to one sheet i think this app could be very useful.

View SmartCutter's profile

SmartCutter

24 posts in 1022 days


#6 posted 998 days ago

Thanks Justin for your feedback. I think this seems to be the most popular enhancement I’m getting from people. I will work on this feature for the next version, so you’d enter the parts dimensions and the app would tell you how many stock sheets you’ll need along with each sheet’s cutlist diagram.

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro: http://goo.gl/U6FVJ

View SmartCutter's profile

SmartCutter

24 posts in 1022 days


#7 posted 978 days ago

Hey all, just wanted to mention that most of your comments (especially the multiple stock sheet handling) have now been added to the Pro version of this app already out in the app store.

I’ll put up a new blog post for it soo, but here are some screen shots of the new app for now:

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro: http://goo.gl/U6FVJ

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