Stock set up

Before optimizing the parts, the stock of material must be configured.

This is done in two stages:

  • Add the material names
  • Add the stock of those materials, so the panels themselves

Material set up

To view the Panel materials library, go to:

menu item for panel materials

Stock menu > Panels materials:

list of panel materials in optinest

All available materials are listed:

Click on New and enter the details of the material:

  • Material (name)
  • Thickness
  • Description (optional)
  • Grain: whether the material has a grain or not (more later)
  • Price: of the material itself

A delete material option is available too.

Once you have created your material it can be used for multiple panels of various dimensions.

★ Tip ★

You can right click on any material to access the new, delete and selection options.

quick access right click on material to edit

This right click option is available in other windows too, for example when editing panel stock and parts.

PolyBoard integration

If you’re working with PolyBoard and OptiNest together, the materials in OptiNest do not need to be set up, they will be populated automatically from PolyBoard’s material library.

This link is created, and a range of additional settings are configured, when you install PolyBoard’s Quick Design libraries. Please note, OptiNest needs to be installed before installation of the libraries.

In OptiNest, go to Tools > Folders to confirm that the folders shown link back to PolyBoard’s Quick Design libraries.

file links from optinest to polyboard

Material stock set up

With the materials now set up, the next step is to define the stock of panels of those materials.

Go to Stock menu > select the current stock if multiple stocks are set up and then select Edit.

material stock set up in optinest


Stock is listed in the Edit panels materials window.

list of panel stock in optinest

The buttons at the bottom of the window include:

  • New: to add a single stock item
  • Delete: select a stock item then select this button to delete it
  • Edit: this opens an editing window to change the shape to a non-rectangular panel if required
panel shape editing window

Typically you will be creating square and rectangular stock by selecting the New button. Once selected, the options window opens:

create new panel stock options

Select Rectangular shape and input the dimensions:

rectangular panel creation window

Here is an example panel set up using the Circular shape option, we show the dimensions used and the shape loaded in the editing window:

circular panel creation window in optinest
circular panel stock in optinest

The final option, Other shape, opens up the shape editing window to create any free-form panel shape.

Stock parameters can be edited in the main stock list (excluding dimensions and shape) and include:

  • Priority: manages off-cut re-use and de/activating a material
  • Height
  • Width
  • Reference (optional)
  • Drop-down menu linked to the materials list
  • Price: informs the cost report, takes priority over material price
  • Quantity: enter a number of panels if you are managing stock levels in OptiNest, alternatively select unlimited
  • Reserved: exclude from optimizations, check the box to exclude all panels of this stock item or define a number
  • Off-cut: identifies whether a stock item is an off-cut from a previous optimization
  • Grain: the panel grain direction; for counter grain, adjust the grain by 90°

CSV import

A csv file is a type of text/txt file and consists of lines of data.

Each row relates to a single stock item. The data in a single row defines the parameters of that stock item.

To import stock from a csv file, select the Import button:

import csv of stock items into optinest

Navigate to and select the csv file to import.

Stock csv import settings can be found in the Tools menu > Options > Rectangular panels import (TXT).

csv panel import options window

The csv file set up must match the settings here.

Further formatting and column selection options are available by selecting the 3 dot button:

configure csv panel import

Drag data fields to the right window to apply them, or select and use the centre arrows to move them across. Their position is modified by moving them up and down.

★ Tip ★

Select ‘Yes’ where shown below to automatically add any new materials identified in the import.

automatically add new materials to optinest

DXF import

Panels can be imported as DXF files using the same Import button.

If a DXF file is selected, an additional import window appears.

dxf panel import to optinest

Options to consider:

  • Set the units
  • If the DXF file has multiple layers, select the appropriate layer
  • Set your reference to name the reference field if any
  • If the layer is an open curve, convert this to a closed polyline

Multi stock management

Multiple stock groups can be created and selected for any given optimization.

Go to Stock > Panel stocks.

panel stock management in optinest

In the Panel stocks window, select New stock, enter a name, double click on that stock to open the Edit stock panel window and start adding panels.

create new stock of panels

Remember the mouse right click option to delete, rename and duplicate stock.

When multiple stocks are available, go to Stock menu > Current panels stock > select your preferred stock.

select stock in optinest

PolyBoard integration

As with materials, if you’re also working with PolyBoard, the stock will be pre-filled to help you get started.

You can easily edit each stock item or add new ones as shown above.

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