Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about 1DCutX - Excel linear cut optimizer

  1. Linear cutting overview
  2. What does 1DCutX do exactly?
  3. What are limitations for the free trial version?
  4. How to cut stocks from different materials or types?
  5. How to get less cutting layouts?
  6. How to transfer license to a new computer?
  7. 1DCutX is missing in my Excel. How to fix?

Linear Cutting Overview.

Cutting of any one-dimension (1D) stock material (bars, pipes, wires, etc.) is widely used by handymen, hobbyists and professionals. Cutting the baseboards for the home renovation or cutting the paper rolls at the factory have one common purpose - minimize the waste and quantity of used stocks and therefore reduce the cost of the project.

The problem statement is very simple - there are linear stocks with their length, quantity and cost and there are parts that have to be cut from the stocks. Parts are defined by their lengths and quantity. The purposes of the calculation are following:

  • Define the length and quantity of the stocks required to cut all parts.
  • Generate the parts location layout which indicates the stock and the coordinate of every part.
  • Generate the sequence and the coordinates of the cuts for each layout.
  • Utilize as much as possible of the cheaper stocks and therefore minimize the total project cost.

Sometimes the cutting involves knives or saws and the latest case the saw kerf (thickness) has to be taken into consideration during the optimization.

Another variety is incomplete optimization when the stock supply is limited and only some parts can be cut from the stocks.


What does 1DCutX do exactly?

1DcutX reads the linear stocks and parts definitions (lengths and quantities) directly from the Excel spreadsheet and defines the optimization task.

Next it solves the task and detects how many different cutting layouts required and creates a separate spreadsheet for each layout with name "1D_n" where n denotes the index of the layout. These spreadsheets contain the list of used stocks, parts and detail list of cuts.

The graphical image of the layout placed on the spreadsheets for the user's convenience. The image displays the parts their IDs and sizes and the offcut (if exists).

Also 1DCutX creates the summary spreadsheet "1D_report" that contains the quantities of used and unused stocks and parts, and statistic about each created layouts.


What are limitations for the free trial version?

  • 15 days trial period from the day when you run it for the first time.
  • Maximum 5 stock sizes (only different sizes counts).
    For example, you can specify 200 stocks of size 10.0, 150 stocks of 12.0 and 50 stocks of size 15.5.
    Even the total quantity of stocks is 400 (200 + 150 + 50), but only 3 different sizes specified (10.0, 12.0 and 15.5).
  • Maximum 15 part sizes (only different sizes counts).
    For example, you can specify 20 parts of size 5.0, 15 parts of 7.5 and 30 parts of size 6.0.
    Even the total quantity of parts is 65 (20 + 15 + 30), but only 3 different sizes specified (5.0, 7.5 and 6.0).

How to cut stocks from different materials or types?

Let’s assume you have 10 copper pipes with length of 5 meters and 20 steel pipes with length 4 meters. You have to cut parts from the copper pipes and the steel pipes at once.

In your spreadsheet you set a list of stocks as the follow:

Pipe Length: Pipe Qty: Material:
5.0 10 copper
4.0 20 steel

Now let’s make a list of parts to cut:

Part Length: Part Qty: Material:
1.0 5 copper
2.0 5 copper
3.5 4 copper
1.5 6 steel
3.0 6 steel

1DCutX needs to know what part material to cut from the stock material. Therefore we have to select the cell ranges that specify these materials for parts and for stocks.

In our example 1DcutX will take the first part that has material "copper" and will look only for stocks that have exactly the same material ("copper"). The last part has material "steel" and the calculation will only use stocks with "steel" material.

In order to link stocks and parts material you should:

  1. Specify the stock "Material / Type" cell ranges on the first setting page ("Stocks Info")
  2. Specify the part "Material / Type" cell ranges on the second setting page ("Parts Info")

We call these cell ranges as "Material / Type" because in real life you cut different materials (copper, steel, etc.) as well as different types of the same material, like copper K-,L-,M-types.


How to Get Less Cutting Layouts?

When 1DCutX calculates how to cut linear stocks with minimal material waste, it generates a list of cutting layouts.

Several stocks can be cut simultaneously instead of one by one. The fewer layouts produced during the calculation, the less time cutting operators spend loading stocks.

1DCutX introduced the option "Minimize count of different layouts" that forces the optimization algorithm to produce as few layouts as possible.

Settings to minimize layouts

However, this option could reduce the total utilization rate because it could use more stocks than the regular calculation.
This option is located on the tab "Setting" of the main 1DCutX dialog as shown on the screen capture.

The following images demonstrate the option in an action.

1. When we ran a project without the layout minimization function we got 15 different layouts with total used stock of 552":

15 different layouts

2. Another run with the layout minimization produced only 5 different cutting layouts, albeit used 554" of the stock:

Only 5 different layouts