Initial set up and overview

This Essentials guide covers the initial set-up and the key functions of OptiCut, excluding the output and some extended features.

Please refer to the following additional OptiCut resources to complete your knowledge of the software:

If you need extra help with the software we recommend combining these resources with:

Video presentation of core features

Please watch this video to familiarise yourself with OptiCut’s functionality, we will cover all the steps shown in more detail below.

The video includes the import of a cutting list from our PolyBoard cabinet software solution, which offers seamless integration with OptiCut.

Please note that OptiCut is a standalone solution for panel and bar optimization, there are multiple ways to import your cutting list and set up your stock. We will however highlight some of the very effective ways PolyBoard and OptiCut integrate as we progress through this guide.

The focus of this video is the optimization of a cabinet containing panel and bar materials.

We’ve also created a video that focuses on metal bar materials, from set up to optimization and output.


Once you have downloaded the install file to your computer, double-click on the file or select run to install the software.

At the end of the installation process, you will be asked to activate your software to unlock the full set of features. You can skip this step until you have purchased the full version.

Demo versus full version

The demo version of OptiCut allows you to set up stock, import a cutting list of parts, and perform an optimization.

You will also be able to see the results of the optimization on screen excluding the dimensions of each part.

Printing of optimization results isn’t available. However, the complete sample output can be found on the OptiCut download page.

Please contact us if you would like to set up an online demonstration with a member of our technical team.

Basic settings

Open OptiCut

Double-click on the OptiCut icon on your desktop or right-click and select open.

Language selection

OptiCut is available in multiple languages, a full list is available here.

Your language can be changed from the Language menu in the main menu:

opticut language selection

Units of measurement

OptiCut is available in metric and imperial units.

To select your preferred units, go to the Tools menu > Units.

opticut units selection metric and imperial

You can also select your level of precision for display in the manufacturing output.

Company name

This is shown in the manufacturing documentation.

Go to the File menu > Print setup.

And enter your details where shown below:

opticut company name on report

Cutting optimization concept

OptiCut is a cutting optimization solution. It takes a list of parts and determines the best way to cut these parts from a panel or bar material.

opticut cutting optimization
A single-panel cutting pattern

The best way can be determined by you, and will generally be a combination of limiting material waste and cutting quickly and efficiently.

The setup and operation of OptiCut can be broken down as follows:

  1. Set up your stock of materials
  2. Import your cutting list of parts
  3. Optimize how to place these parts on your material and their cut order
  4. Output this information for manufacturing

OptiCut versus OptiNest

OptiCut takes a cutting list and places the parts on a stock of panels or bars for cutting on a saw. This might be a manual, or CNC saw.

Subsequently, each part, in turn, can optionally be machined on a point-to-point (part-by-part) CNC machine.

OptiNest takes a cutting list and places the parts on a panel material for cutting on a nesting CNC. The machining details are included, the CNC cuts and machines in a single operation.

OptiNest optimization parts on panel and machining details
OptiNest optimization showing parts placed on panel and machining details

More details:

opticut main menu

This menu provides comprehensive access to OptiCut’s commands and settings and includes:

  • File: file open and save commands, export commands and options
  • Edit: undo and redo your last action
  • View: zoom commands and display preferences
  • Optimization: view/import the cutting list, run an optimization and access the optimization parameters
  • Stock: add/edit materials and the stock of those materials, and access stock management commands
  • Tools: a range of preferences related to units, stock, import/export, barcodes, the save/restore feature and a customise window to set your own menus and toolbars
  • Language: select the working language
  • Help: activate the software licence


Directly below the main menu is a toolbar that gives you quick access to some key features, for example, these icons:

opticut toolbar

They are listed below in order:

  • View cutting list
  • Optimization parameters
  • Optimize command
  • View optimization result
  • Post processor export command
  • View stock
  • Deduct stock (refresh stock based on last optimization)

Optimization result windows

opticut optimization results

Most of OptiCut’s interface is reserved for display of optimization results as follows:

  • Cutting lines: a sequential list of cutting instructions for each cutting pattern
  • Cutting pattern: a cutting map for a specific selected panel or bar in your stock
  • Cutting patterns overview: a list of all cutting patterns, click through these to view a specific pattern
  • Optimization overview in the Properties window

We take a closer look at this here:

Output (non CNC)

Properties window

This shows a summary of the optimization results, or the cutting list, dependent on which is active within OptiCut. The cutting list overview is shown below.

Properties window in opticut

★ Tip ★

Click on this toolbar icon to display/hide the Properties window:

show and hide properties window in opticut

Related Articles

Need Support?

Can't find the answer you're looking for?
Contact Support