Ask WWGOA: Laying Out Cuts on Sheet Stock for Optimal Yield

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I am looking for a way to determine how to most efficiently cut work pieces from 4 x 8 plywood. Is there a service available on the Internet to help me optimize my sheet stock?

Submitted by Maurie1


What you’re looking for is called optimization software. With this type of software you can make a list of all the parts you need for a project, and the software will figure out the best way to get them out of a sheet. I use CutList Plus from Bridgewood Design. There are different levels of this software available depending on how much you want to spend and how you want to use it.

I haven’t seen any services provided on the web. The old fashioned way, which I’ve done plenty of times, is to lay it all out on graph paper.


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6 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Laying Out Cuts on Sheet Stock for Optimal Yield”

  1. Ken

    I have a program, “Carpenter Pro” that was written for an older version of IOS (my iPod). When IOS was updated, it no longer runs (on my iPad). Thankfully the old version can print on my printer. I have not found similar software for the Mac.

    The version of Sketchup that was recently replaced was supposed to be able to do the function requests by Maurie, but I have not been able to make that function work.

    • Bill Vanca

      Dan, I’m a Mac user and I use Fusion 360 to design all my project, both conventional cabinetry and CNC, and a plugin call MapBoards to do optimized layout onto what ever wood dimensions you specify as available. It will also produce a cutlist. Cheers!