MaxCut type software

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Forum topic by SouthernRustic posted 06-21-2016 09:00 PM 1953 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 2107 days

06-21-2016 09:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource planning cut list question

Good afternoon from Houston!

I was looking into maxcut software and was wondering if anyone was using this or something similar and how you liked it. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


-- Jeff

3 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 2261 days

#1 posted 06-29-2016 04:21 AM


I am not familiar with MaxCut so I looked at their short tutorial at…

From what I saw, it appears that the software creates cut diagrams without regard to grain direction. If the software does not take this into account, a piece of walnut plywood that would be used as a side panel on a cabinet where you may want grain direction to run up and down could be laid out with the grain direction running from side to side. They also mentioned a business edition for some additional features that I am sure is had at a higher price. And then there is data entry. I am not sure whether data can be imported from a CAD package like SketchUp or not. The support of importing of data would make the software more attractive, otherwise keying data in would be tedious and a mistake somewhere along the line likely. But to see if this software will work for you, I saw where a trial version can be downloaded.

I develop shop drawings using TurboCad Pro, which is a CAD software package. It includes a database feature, that can produce various reports, but I do not use it because of the data entry requirements. My approach is two-fold when developing cut diagrams and bill of materials. One is a simple cut list. I find it best to have solid lumber in front of me with a piece chalk and the cut list to determine how to get the best yield. The cut list is prepared using Excel, entering part numbers, type of material, thickness, width, length, and quantity. This is done from the CAD parts diagrams. Adding some formulas in Excel can generate the number of board feet represented by the parts. A waste factor can even be added.

For sheet goods, I draw whatever shape is needed to dimension and the overlay it on a sheet good, also drawn to scale, all using TurboCad. Moving these parts around on the sheet good leads to fairly efficient cut diagrams. In both cases, arriving at a bill of materials is relatively quick. Before I am done, I triple check the sheet goods layouts and the cut list for accuracy.

View ScottM's profile


756 posts in 3488 days

#2 posted 06-29-2016 07:21 PM

I’ve been using MaxCut, the free community edition. for a while. I like it. It’s easy to use and free. The only thing I wish that it could do is to allow you to manually move pieces around. Other than that I find no issues with it.

View Justin's profile


22 posts in 2270 days

#3 posted 11-01-2017 01:09 PM

Apologies for reviving an old thread but this was one of the only results when I searched for MaxCut, so I wanted to add a bit of relevant information.

I just tried MaxCut for the first time. In its current iteration (Oct 2017) the free community edition definitely DOES account for grain direction. I was very impressed with the software and would highly recommend folks give it a shot.

In a nutshell you have to spend a bit of time up front entering your materials into the materials library. Then you start by creating a project and entering the dimensions of all your parts. It had features for holes and edge banding, but I did not play with this at all. For each part, you choose a material from your materials library. The software allows you to enter costing for all materials, as well as how to charge (by square inch, sheet, linear foot, etc). These costing features are optional but useful. You can also enter hardware, edging/banding, etc. and quantities required for each item. Each material and/or hardware item can have an image associated with it as well as a web link to your source.

For my project it allowed me to build a complete cut list and cutting diagrams for every sheet & board in the project. I even included screws, glue and nails. It spits out a summary and a whole bunch of reports, including quotes (for customers) and more importantly total job cost and a breakdown with pie charts. The cutting diagrams for sheet goods are terrific, IMO. It allows you to choose various ways of optimizing your sheet cuts, such as maximum yield, or first cut being either lengthwise or across. You can review the cut diagrams and see if you like the results, or change the options and recalculate instantly. Kerf width is default at 1/8” but adjustable if needed. It even lets you enter partial sheets of plywood, and how many you have on hand. I had a half sheet and a quarter sheet leftover from a previous project, so I was able to utilize those very efficiently by including them in this project. MaxCut just fit the parts as needed to the partial sheets.

Like ScottM said above, I did find myself wishing I could manually move a part around on occasion but it wasn’t really necessary.

Can’t recommend this enough as a hobbyist. It feels very much like a professional tool. If you can get over the initial drudgery of entering all the materials ans such (you only have to do this ONCE), and don’t fight it, but go ahead and give it its fair shot I think lots of folks could really get some good utility from the software.

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