Since its first release in 2014, Optimalon’s free online cutting-optimization application has acquired more than 34,000 active users around the world. The application calculates and displays cutting layouts that maximize the material usage and minimize waste for industrial engineers, project managers and other professionals involved in cutting two-dimensional panels and sheets of raw materials. The latest release introduces a feature that many existing and potential customers have been actively asking for.
The web application uses a guillotine-cutting method that is more difficult to optimize than the nesting method. However, guillotine-cutting is simpler to use in real-life cutting, since all cuts are done from one edge of the material to another. This method is used for glass, stone and plywood cutting, and it is the only method available for a majority of CNC saw machines affordable for small and medium shops.
Guillotine cutting requires all cutting operations to be performed in a strict order that tells the CNC machine to position its blade at a specific distance from the edge of the panel. These instructions are provided in as a text or XML file in different formats for different machines.
This new version of Optimalon’s online cutter implements a generation of the Pattern Exchange (PTX) format which is a standard format for describing parts, boards, patterns and cutting information that can be used directly for some CNC saw machines (HOMAG Plattenaufteiltechnik GmbH, SCM and others).
After the calculation of the current project is successfully finished, users will be able to generate and save the PTX file on their local computer by clicking on the “Export to PTX” link under “Results” (left menu). The export webpage allows users to specify a customer code and material properties and save the PTX file.
The resulting PTX file is in v1.08 format and provides parts, boards, offcuts and pattern information. It also contains section “CUTS” that describes the position of a saw blade, order of the cuts and linked part or offcut produced by the cut. Please note that all cuts are relative according to PTX specifications.
Additional section “VECTORS” lists pattern cuts in absolute coordinates taking into account saw blade kerf. This section can be used for generating a graphic image of the cuts or any other post-processing tasks.
The online panel cutter is free to anyone and accessible from Optimalon’s website at the following link: