Wasting material seems like a fact of life for laser cutting. Every cut room has a pile of oddly shaped expensive acrylic, and wood leftovers. We all TRY to use the leftovers, but it's easy to be off just a bit and end up needing a new sheet anyway.
We thought it'd be great to be able to really use those leftover pieces.
Zotebook, the iPad app that turns rough sketches into precise drawings, has a built in fabrication tool that will arrange shapes to maximize material use, and can even fit new files into leftover cut pieces.
Here's is a quick overview of how it works.
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Step 1: Fabrication Tool
The fabrication tool is in the a tab at https://zotebook.io
With an account with Zotebook, after you login, all the are files that have been created are in both:
My Sketches, where you can download STL, PDF or SVG files
Fabrication, which uses the nesting software.
Go to "Fabricate."
Step 2: Enter the Dimensions of the Material
Before selecting which files to cut, select the overall dimensions of the leftover piece.
This used piece of blue acrylic is 12 inches by 12inches.
Step 3: Select the Un-useable Areas.
Step 4: Pick What to Print
Select the files to be cut.
Here, 4 copies of the foxes.
Step 5: Download the Pdf File
And download the pdf file.
Notice I didn't have to think about the files fitting, the foxes automatically fit in between previous cuts.
Step 6: And Cut
Step 7: And Done
Step 8: And If You Just Want to Efficiently Arrange Pieces
Just skip the "Does your shape have holes?" and "fabricate" will put your pieces in place on a full sheet.