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Bogus Sketchup Cutlist layout view

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Forum topic by modestmouser posted 04-15-2009 09:14 PM 4514 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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modestmouser

42 posts in 3013 days


04-15-2009 09:14 PM

Sure hope somebody can help. i can’t figure this cutlist out.

  • call me impatient… fine. i know i already posted this over on wood whisperer but now wonder if LJ’s would have been the better place to get an answer. here goes… *

this is killing me. I’m designing a modular platform storage bed. I actually finished “drawing” it before i found out about making parts into components, so now i’ve redone it to create components, and i’ve made tweaks.

I can run cutlist on each of the modules seperately, and it prints out the layouts just fine, but if i run cutlist on all of them together, it spits out this bogus view with a very long scrollbar on the side, with 95% of it being blank. the last sheet of ply is shown as not having any components. Not all of my components are depicted either. Here’s the tail end of the usable layout information… I can’t figure out what’s going on. Any clues?

Thanks!

bogus layout


18 replies so far

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#1 posted 04-17-2009 03:52 PM

It’s a good thing you posted it here too because I hang out here mainly.
I am the author of the cutlist plugin and if there is a bug in the program, I’ll fix it.

DaveR has contacted me with your question and has passed on your model and your results.
I’ve not had a chance to look at it more closely. All I can say is that I have made some fixes in this area already for the next version. I’ll have a go with the existing version and my new version and see if this problem has already been addressed.
I’ts time to release the new version anyway. It’s been ready for a while but I’ve been occupied with preparing my house for sale for the past few months and it just went on the market today.

It’s going to take a couple of days to get to this, if you don’t mind. I’ll only have more time then.
You can PM me directly if you want to ask any questions directly. In any case, I’ll make sure I post a final result on here after we sort this.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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modestmouser

42 posts in 3013 days


#2 posted 04-17-2009 06:30 PM

hey thanks guys. i may have forgotten to mention that the cutlist plugin is awesome. thanks for your work on that. i had included an image of my cutlist layout, but it’s no longer appearing in this post.

maybe computers are out to get me.

hmmm.

thanks guys!

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daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#3 posted 04-20-2009 01:00 PM

ok, I tried this with my latest version and didn’t have the issue, so whatever it was, I have to assume that I fixed this already somewhere along the line. I’m not even going to figure out what it was and I can’t remember anymore.

Here’s the link to download cutlist v4.0.7

I’ll be releasing this to everyone else in the next day or so, as soon as I get a chance to update all links and info etc. but you can use it for now to see if it resolves your issue.

Btw, the layout is still not the most optimal – that’s still coming up…but I think this gets it quite close and you can probably fine tune by hand. I think you’d still need the same number of sheets for your platform bed though.

Steve

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#4 posted 04-20-2009 02:26 PM

Ok, I may have misunderstood where the issue was. The issue encountered here, is an existing one, and unfortunately I have found no solution ( and not for lack of trying!) but I believe is related to the code I used to draw the output in a window and its limitations. Small projects – good. Larger projects, the display begins to overwrite itself. My code runs the same way for both and if it was a problem with my stuff, I would expect to see the error with smaller files too. The only solution here might be to rewrite this one of these days using some other graphics drawing tools which works ok with the MSIE browser and Safari (for Mac).

My suggestion – stick to the SVG output when you start seeing this.

steve

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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modestmouser

42 posts in 3013 days


#5 posted 04-20-2009 11:27 PM

Thanks steve

to be honest, i hadn’t even investigated the SVG files yet, and didn’t know what they were used for. Sweet. I like that because I can save those, print them out anywhere, email them, or whatever.

brilliant program.

thanks for your time guys.

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#6 posted 05-19-2009 01:42 AM

On a related note, I’m getting all boards doubled up in the cutting diagram. For instance, when I select even one 2×4 in my drawing, and run Cutlist 4.0.7, it shows the board cut twice out of a stock 2×4x8’ board. Seems like no matter what selection I make from my model, I’m getting duplicates in the cutting diagram. I’m trying to get a bill of materials from my model/plans and the cutting diagram would be excellent for how much materials to buy at the lumber yard.

Am I missing a setting somewhere that would do this? I’ve been through them all and can’t find one that changes that.

Stephen

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modestmouser

42 posts in 3013 days


#7 posted 05-19-2009 04:57 AM

perhaps your model calls for a true 2” by 4” piece, and the materials cutlist is sourcing these parts from are only of nominal dimensions 2×4”.... if this is the case, then perhaps since the source material is really 1.5” x 3.5”? i’m not sure if cutlist accounts for values like that…

something to try. without changing your model, try 6” wide 10/4 materials…. see if that gets the results you’re expecting to get.

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#8 posted 05-19-2009 06:28 AM

Thanks ModestMouser.

My “2×4”’s in the model are 1 3/4×3 3/4 in dimension in Sketchup (v.7 pro).

Following your suggestion, I changed the board stock to 10/4 6” width, and then it only showed one piece for cutting. However, if I selected multiple 2×4 parts from the model for the cutlist, and choose 8” board stock, the cutting diagram only shows one row of parts cut out before going to the next board, effectively wasting half the boards. I should be able to get two 2×4 parts per length of 2×8.

It’s weird behavior. My design/plans calls for construction using 2×4 studs, so I really need to be able to show how to optimally cut the parts from 8’ stud stock. Seems like I either get double-up parts if I match the parts to the correct stock boards, or a lot of waste if I use larger boards.

Any suggestions are most welcome. Thanks in advance for the help.

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daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#9 posted 05-19-2009 12:36 PM

Haha – Cutlist fills my hours with much amusement. It’s getting late here in NZ so I thought I would just at least pop in to say I am now following this thread. Does someone have a model I can download so I can see the same thing you are seeing? If there’s a bug, I’ll fix it. If there’s a workaround ( in case the fix is too complex for an immediate fix), I’ll share it. Fixing bugs – it’s what I do for a living ( no, really!).

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#10 posted 05-19-2009 06:29 PM

After working on this through the night it looks like the “Use dressed board widths” was causing the issue. The combination of the following settings seems to work for me, though I have yet to go through the SVG’s and check, but the duplicating of boards issue seems to have stopped.

My working CutList board settings are:

Split Wide Parts: check
Split Thick Parts: check
Layout by Material: uncheck
Display unplaced parts: check
Layout Rules: both checked
Use Nominal Sizes: 4/4 checked only
Output Nominal Thickness: check
Nominal Thickness Margin: 3
Nominal Board: 4”
Use Dressed Board Widths: uncheck
Board Length: 8’
Force Board Feet: checked

Hope this helps.

And Steve, many many thanks for this plugin. It is superb and very useful. I really appreciate it.

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#11 posted 05-20-2009 12:04 AM

Well, maybe I spoke too soon. When I expanded my selection in the model to include more parts, I started getting duplicate pieces again in the CutList output. Unchecking “Output Nominal Thickness” seemd to aleviate that.

However, the SVG files were not complete. Some boards were missing, and I have no idea why. For instance, my model (a chicken coop) has four legs, and only three appeared in the cutting diagram. All were selected.

Also, I manually consolidated the cutting diagrams for the boards and sheets as there were namy cut parts that could fit into waste spaces on other boards and sheets. Did this in Visio and reduced the materials by a 4×8 sheet and a few 2×4x8 boards.

Are there any rules of thumb in how to design the original model so as to facilitate a clean run through CutList?

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daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#12 posted 05-20-2009 12:22 AM

Sorry, I still haven’t had a chance to catch up on the discussion and provide anything useful. All I’ve done since the last post is sleep, get up and come to work…

I see that you discovered the options which can change things quite dramatically. I really hope I get a chance to produce a tutorial. As people keep asking for more features, it results in more options which means more potential for confusion.

In general all parts must be either a component or a group – that’s about the extent of the rules for cutlist to produce useful output. If it has a ‘bounding box’, then it has a dimension that cutlist can work with. The bounding box is the blue box which appears around the part when you click on it.

Nested components or nested groups are also ok. So if you have a component which is made up of other components, it breaks it down to the smallest components.

If I can get a copy of your model, I will probably be able to spot when might have gone wrong and be able to advise if anything not working is because it is a known issue. (Besides, I will soon need a chicken coop myself as we just sold our house in the city and are moving to our forest property in the country!)

I’m just working on the next version of cutlist ( v4.1) which will fix a known troubling issue with the layout ( the reason why you had to move things around manually at the end). The more examples I have of things which have not been laid out properly, the better the end result should be.

...now, back to work before I get fired ( though, my boss is also a Lumberjock, so he may be quite understanding!)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#13 posted 05-20-2009 05:55 AM

Thanks Steve. Just e-mailed you the Sketchup model (and a copy of my Chicken Chalet e-Book, “as seen on eBay” to help with your chickens project).

Everything in the model is a component, or a group of components, so that part is covered. Looking forward to hearing what you find.

Stephen

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daltxguy

1373 posts in 3380 days


#14 posted 05-20-2009 12:43 PM

Hi Stephen,

Many thanks for the Chicken Chalet ebook and sharing your model. It is most thoroughly thought out and designed. I wish all chickens will be so lucky to live in one.

The good news is that your model is perfect for Cutlist. Everything is as it should be. The issue you’ve run up against is an artificial limit I put in early on to limit the number of boards in the layout to 20 (I assume you were laying out on 8ft 2×4s as I was ) and therefore stops just short of placing the 4th leg.

The limit of 20 was not done to try to force you to buy the commercial version or anything, it was mainly a limit I placed during development to prevent it from going forever or for calculating for a very long time on a slow machine ( like mine). I have better checks in place now to make sure it stops when it can no longer place remaining parts so I think the limit can now be lifted. Maybe a progress bar would be cool. That’s for the next version, in any case.

In your case, for now, the best idea is to raise this limit. Since this is open source, it’s easy enough for anyone savvy enough with computers as yourself to do.

  • Close any of the cutlist windows in Sketchup.
  • Go to your plugins folder.
  • Open the CutListAndMaterials.rb file with a simple text editor (Notepad is fine)
  • Find the following line and change the number to something bigger, try 40 ==> @@boardLimit = 20
  • Save the file.
  • Now either quit out of Sketchup and open up again or open the the Ruby Console from sketchup (window->ruby console ) and type: load “CutListAndMaterials.rb” It will respond with ‘true’. Now open cutlist again and try again.

As for the layout of the sheets, well, this is the optimization issue not yet resolved which I am currently working on. Your model will be a good test case.

Hope this helps. Long live chickens in luxury! Have you considered adding a chicken tractor to your series? How about bee hives?

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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hondaman900

7 posts in 2761 days


#15 posted 05-20-2009 09:33 PM

Steve,

Made the edit (boardLimit=50) and yes, it fixed the missing pieces issue. Thank you.

Let me know if I can help with the optimization issues.

Currently I’m wrapping up a Goat Chalet s-Book manual/plans and had been reading up on beehives as I’d love to take a stab at optimizing a design for beekeeping. Chicken tractor would also be a good one. Also looking at composters and planter boxes from wooden palette materials to keep cost down (or free) while recycling cast-off materials.

So much to do…so little time… :)

Thanks for all the help Steve

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