Wood Designer forum
November 8, 2013
October 4, 2012
Hi Terry and Mark,
Thanks very much Mark for the information concerning Cutlist plus software.
I fully agree with your analysis of the 2 pieces of software.
It is true that OptiCut is a large production program and has been programmed for people who really need to optimise a maximum and manage stock and off cuts, and have fine control over priorities like cutting time versus material saving, CNC output for industrial saws and a whole range of other fine and sometimes superfluous controls.
I would say that for a small shop, most of these functionalities would not really have a impact on work flow or profits.
If you’re only working with MDF and only cut a few sheets a week, OptiCut or cut list seem to be equal.
On the other hand, if you are working expensive materials and of course the more you cut the more important this will be, you might find that something like OptiCut will certainly pay for the extra cost in the long run.
As for this discussing other software on the forum, there’s no problem on my side.
Any information that can be of help to everyone is welcome on this forum and I certainly don’t want it to be only software that we are selling.
Most software packages require enormous amount of work and thinking out and all have their pros and cons, so I’m sure that our software is not always the best for everyone.
So please feel free to explain to Terry how to set up cut list, I will be the first person to find interesting.
Have a good rest of weekend everyone,
all the best,
Great reply Mark. I intend on evaluating both of them and as I am in no rush I intend to look at the long term. It would be good if you could explain the import procedure to me for cutlist…..my email is firstname.lastname@example.org….just in case it does go against forum rules which I do understand. Yes in the long term im looking at a proper ‘shop’ and not the garage as I’d quite like to regain the pool table, which is currently servicing as MDF storage!!!!
Hi Terry & Ness
Ill offer my ‘two pennarth’ on the matter, keeping in mind that I use Cutlist + and have scratched the surface of Opticut. I also am not affiliated to Cutlist, I just use the software.
Firstly, I would imagine that as you mention you are looking long term at a optimiser solution and from memory you use ‘cutwrights’ at present, the software would serve no purpose from a production point of view as they are happy with an excel cutlist and they optimise it for you.
Going on from there, you would probably be looking at setting up a small workshop to cut and mill your own stock. With that in mind you would probably look at either a decent manual tablesaw, panelsaw or maybe break sheets down with a ‘railsaw’ like festool etc.
Both programs will give you more than enough control to do this and the cutlists, layout sheets and such both work the same way and by trying both to optimise both a single and multiple projects, they both perform almost the same.
Where the differences lay, seems to be in how they were perceived.
Opticut is much more powerful and has a greater ‘granular’ level of control over almost everything and in my opinion is a large production program that has some items removed (mostly parts) from the cheaper versions.
Cutlist + is less powerful and originated with few items that was added to, to perform up to the levels of opticut etc.
The one thing I love about opticut is its ability to automatically produce offcuts from the waste and add they to your stock list. Cutlist does this but it is a manual procedure.
General stock is dealt with in the same way and will be removed from stock as you use it. Of course if you have 10 sheets of MDF in the shop, you kinda notice when they are gone anyway. For us the offcuts in MDF are actually a pain, we burn then in the woodburner as they are so cheap. It would actually waste our time to keep anything under half a sheet. But offcuts of walnut are worth adding to the system manually. Opticut will deal with this automatically. Cutlist will not!
The automatic import from polyboard is great in opticut as they are perfectly alligned, Cutlist needs and extra procedure via ‘ascii’ export, but that does not bother us as such.
The import procedure for cutlist is simple but needs a bit of explaining. I can deal with this outside the forum if it go’s against Ness’s rules for the forum as I understand this may be at odd’s with opticut.
Anyway. Both are great programs and perform the same task at the smaller shop level as each other. For me, neither of them compare to Polyboard as a must have piece of software, they are just tools to allow the much faster production of designs produced in polyboard.
If it was me, and I was spending money, I would buy cutlist + and spend the saved money on a higher version of Polyboard. I look at this as a win for both the buyer and for wooddesigner and it keeps the ethos of the forum alive.
October 4, 2012
I can’t really advise you on Cutlist+ as I don’t have any experience with this software.
As for OptiCut, (edit: please go to the OptiCut download page for support videos)
There are quite a few optimisation packages on the market and I have no experience in using most of them. Prices vary from free to thousands of pounds, I would think that the difference will come with functionality and calculating power that will define how well material optimised.
I do know that OptiCut is a very high performing optimiser. We have sold OptiCut to a lot of high end industries for industrial applications that go well beyond woodworking.
We have made a few comparisons with other professional level software packages, and have found OptiCut to be one of the best at optimising wastes and managing stock.
But I have never tried comparing with Cutlist plus, so I can’t really advise you about that. Although it does seem from their video demo that they don’t have any stock management or off cuts integration.
If you’re using OptiCut the best file format is certainly CSV.
If you look at the Polyboard integration video, reference link above, you can see how Polyboard flows very neatly into OptiCut.
You shouldn’t need to export anything into a spreadsheet for a supplier, you could just send him the OptiCut cutting maps.
I don’t want to sound as if I’m pushing our software, but if I was you I would certainly stick with a Polyboard to OptiCut solution. And I can assure you that OptiCut performance wise will give you the best optimisation possible.
I’ll be happy to hear what Mark thinks.
All the best,
This is probably for Ness although Im also hoping Mark can give his opinion and advice. Im looking (long term) at buying some optimisation software. Having done some research it seems that other than the possibility of the integration of opticut (ive downloade d the free version and it does integrate very well) the other software to consider is cutlist plus.
Can anyone tell me what the benefits of opticut over CL+? as there is quite a big difference in pricing for the entry level versions of both programmes and I would like to know if Opticut is worth the extra.
Mark I see from previous posts that you are using cutlist and was hoping you could help me with how you go from cultists in polyboard to opticut etc and then to excel for sending to supplier. What are the best file formats to work with i.e text or csv? Ive downloaded the free version of cutlist plus but cant figure out how to import a text or csv file which ive exported from the cutting list menu in polyboard via the export command ASC11.
I’d like to see a bit more help on the site with all this stuff, but do apologise if ive missed a video detailing it.