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Cutlist Software

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Blog entry by Rich posted 08-19-2019 06:08 AM 459 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Foreword: I’ve only been using this app for a couple of weeks. I expect to learn more as I go and will update this blog entry as I do.

I thought about making this a review, but it’s really more a journal of my time looking for good apps to do cutlist layouts. I’m not talking about simply a list of the pieces that make up a project, I wanted to find a good app for doing the layout of those pieces, given the lumber I have available.

I worked with several tools, both IOS, and online that did so-so jobs. The thing about these tools is that, while they have linear options, I need to be able to lay out rails, stiles, drawer fronts, etc, on (generally FAS and F1F) lumber. I also need to be able to estimate the lumber I will need so I can shop wisely at the lumber yard. In other words, I need to do areal layouts on boards other than standard sheet goods.

I settled on an IOS app called SketchCut PRO. It costs $7.99 in the app store, so it definitely does not break the bank. There’s a limited free version if you want to try it first.

What I like about SketchCut PRO is that it balances the sheet versus board difference nicely. I need an app that can understand the lumber I buy, not just 4×8 sheets of plywood. SketchCut does that in its own interesting way. Read on.

When I’m ready to go shopping, I choose a sheet size. For FAS, I usually pick 6” by 96”. That’s a common dimension I find at my supplier. After entering my pieces (from the cutlist output in SketchUp), SketchCut tells me how many “sheets” (pieces that are 6” by 96”) I’ll need. Now I have an idea what total width of 96” rough lumber I need. I also get an idea from the app what waste there’ll be. That helps me decide what widths of boards I’d like to shoot for. Of course, good luck with that…lol. But I’d like to get as close as I can.

Say it says I need seven boards that are 6” wide. I can shop for that at my distributor. I usually buy one more board than I need. When I get home, I measure each board.

The interesting thing that SketchCut does is it deals with the notion of sheets and remains. Remains are random pieces you might have around your shop. In my case, they are the lumber I brought home. What I do is enter one of the boards as a sheet (the app seems to require one “sheet”) and the rest as remains.

You enter values for kerf width, the waste on board edges, and generate your results. The app uses the remains first, and if you have enough lumber, you’ll see a result for a maximum of one of the board dimensions you used as your “sheet.” If you see two, you don’t have enough lumber for all of the components of your project.

The app has many other nice features. You can save projects, generate PDFs of the results, edit the results it generates if you see things you’d like to change.

The PDF results it prints are incredible. They are ready to take to the shop and start cutting. I’m attaching one sample, but it’ll be too small to appreciate. Trust me that the output looks wonderful.

This is a screen capture of the app’s results for a cabinet job I’m working on:

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician



5 comments so far

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

3237 posts in 2127 days


#1 posted 08-19-2019 06:48 AM

This sounds really interesting I have struggled with bad cutlist apps. This one seems to be “a cut above” Thanks Rich for this valuable info.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View djak's profile

djak

15 posts in 2830 days


#2 posted 08-19-2019 10:42 AM

SketchCut Pro does sound interesting. I however, use a program called Cutlist Plus. There are several purchase options based on the number of items that make up your cut list. The price for the Silver version is $89 and maybe more then what is in your budget. There is also a free version if you are willing to try and see if it fits your needs.

I also use SketchUp for my shop drawings and have added the Cutlist Bridge extension from Joe Zeh. This extension will create a cut list from shop drawings which can be used with Cutlist Plus.

-- Dave - NH

View Rich's profile

Rich

4807 posts in 1068 days


#3 posted 08-19-2019 02:58 PM


SketchCut Pro does sound interesting. I however, use a program called Cutlist Plus.

- djak

I’m familiar with it. No, $89 is not an issue, what is though, is the 50 part limit on the Silver version. I hate it when they put limits like that on a product. Advanced features that are only available on premium versions are fine, but when you make it so I can’t add a 51st piece to my design, I don’t like it.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

455 posts in 2449 days


#4 posted 08-19-2019 05:27 PM

It is not an app on a cell phone, but I use Maxcut. Free for non-commercial use. Can do both sheet goods and lumber.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4807 posts in 1068 days


#5 posted 08-19-2019 07:14 PM


It is not an app on a cell phone, but I use Maxcut. Free for non-commercial use. Can do both sheet goods and lumber.

- dschlic1

Maxcut is a Windows product. I am using Apple products. I’m sure it’s a nice product though.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

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