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What nesting/optimizing software do you use for sheet metal quantity calculations only, and what CAM software do the users of this group utilize?

Question asked by James Bozik on Sep 29, 2014

Where I work, we have a need for a couple of different applications:


1. The first application we would need to utilize would allow us to copy and paste part (flat pattern) quantities and dimensions (rectangular overall extent dimensions) from an excel BOM, and then (via albeit basic true nesting) calculate sheet quantities necessary for those parts.  This software would be utilized when we're estimating materials from customer provided drawings where we don't have CAD data - hence the reason for the lack of part detail and lack of need for full-blown true nesting. In the past, we've used our own custom excel calculators. However, they're not accurate (way too conservative, sometimes 50% over actual material required). I've found one that allows quick and dirty calcs. I'm evaluating some relatively inexpensive software. So far, FastCUT is on top for quick sheet calcs.


2. Our second application would ideally import, flatten, and nest solidworks sheet metal parts, create reports with sheet layouts, and post process to NC - A nice CAM package, like Lantek or Sigmanest/Solidnest. OR (less than ideal) import DXF's, true nest, export full sheet dxf's for other CAM software to process.


We're a basic steel fab shop. We process lots of steel tube, and sheet metal. My department mostly programs 2D Lasers and Plasma. We have software which will do most of the second half of item 2 above. Fabriwin (V11 or V12), Profile Master (PM2000) and ProCAM 2006. However, only ProCAM can post to all three machines.


Thanks in Advance,

     Vincent Bozik