Sheetcam question on "Nesting"

Ok…I am really getting into Sheetcam and doing some serious designing…layouts and cutting.
But I have a question I hope that someone can help me with.

I have a bunch of individual letters that I need to cut for a sign.

do I have to place them individually myself …or will Sheetcam be able to do this and place all the letters in a way to minimize waste?

Sheet cam itself does not auto nest. But, there is software that auto nests that sheet cam has plug ins for. I’ve never used them so can’t comment on price or how good they are. I did read they were quite expensive so it all depends on how much time and material you can save.

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Not a plug-in but here are a couple of cheap (free) options:

Download software:

Web based:

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Again…the people here are great…gonna try the free one first to satisfy my money saving ways…actually my wife said no more spending on the shop…
Then comes the “oops…I accidentally clicked the purchase button dear…well I have it now and cannot return it…”

and the great thing about being in the doghouse…the doghouse is my shop…hehehehehe


Oh yeah! :rofl:

Odd perspective. In my case the shop IS my house… I sleep in that ‘other’ place on the property but live in the 'shop.


Was working on some brackets and parts today for some upcoming projects - thought I’d share it as it’s the most complex nest I’ve ever done and should give my table a workout. It may also help someone trying to do this. I used and sheetcam after designing the parts in Fusion360. So far, for me, I’ve found F360’s nesting is not as easy to use as deepnest and sheetcam. Sheetcam also has some basic nesting capabilities on it’s own by duplicating parts in arrays or you can hand arrange pieces using the nesting menu item - this might be enought if you just want to duplicate a part a few times. Firecontrol* is also coming to the nesting party as well from what I’ve read - not used it yet though.

But, for my use, the best combo has been F360 or Illustrator/Inkscape to design parts → → Sheetcam → Firecontrol

The basic process to generate this:

  1. Design part as sketch in F360 (or any design software)
  2. Save sketch as dfx
  3. → Import - do this for each dfx you want to add to nest. I had 15 individual parts in this nest.
  4. Specify quantity for each part
  5. Add a rectangle (in my case 22 x 22) - you do this by clicking the + button at the bottom of screen and entering dimensions. Once it’s added you MUST click the Sheet checkbox. This tells deepnest that the rectangle is the material you are going to be nesting the parts into (your stock or sheetmetal to cut from).
  6. Click “start nest”
  7. After a few iterations, it will have found a good nesting pattern.
  8. Click export to SVG and save the file (add .svg extension).
  9. Over to sheetcam - import the svg (use 1:1 scaling)
  10. Setup your operations like you would any other sheetcam job and post it.
  11. Over to firecontrol to start cutting!

A few steps, but the results are pretty incredible if you ask me…



what is the clearance/spacing between parts?

Here are the settings I used:

Set your DFX import/export settings to inch (assuming you are using inches) in your drawings…

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The main issue I have (besides it’s beta bugs) with Fusion 360’s nesting is that it’s very project specific. If your project has lots of parts and multiples of them, then it makes sense, but when I’m nesting, I’m trying to save material as the primary goal across all my projects. So I may have 10 different projects queued up for cutting - each requiring a few parts each - and I can’t really combine those in F360 (easily). They end up being 10 individual g-code sets.
Sheetcam / deepnest is not project specific, so I can take the parts from lots of different projects and mesh them into a single space efficient cut job. That makes sense for what I’m doing…but you can’t always do that due to time constraints, etc…

I don’t know, James. It’s seems to me that there is a lot of wasted space on this layout. I mean, do you really need all those circles to be solid? Imagine how many doodads, gymgaws, and doohickies you could put in there!
Still, I have to give you some credit for trying…

Nice job! In the words of the Sage @toolboy, WOW!



Actually, they are setup for a plasma drill / centerpunch so I can cut a perfect 1/2" hole with drill. :grin:
In the interest of TMI…A few of them I’ll be using on my grinder as spacers between some 6" diamond coated plates to sharpen my tungsten on. Yes, I tried washers. Didn’t work. :confused: The others are for the flux inhibitor on the :dizzy: time machine :boom: that’s under construction. :nerd_face::face_with_monocle:

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Oooh! I WANNA be there! I’ve wanted a Time Machine so much it hurts! I can’t tell you how many scenarios I’ve played out with that capability!

One last note I’ll drop is that it’s handy to keep some common gussets and shapes you might use fairly often in a common shapes folder. When you’re doing a new project that may have a fair bit of waste - just drop a few of the common shapes in and nest it together. Less scrap to the scrap yard and better use of the sheets even if you can’t use the parts right away.

Got some big plans for mine as well! :alien:


come to think about it…all those piece will fall between the slats…you will spend hours playing “go Fish”

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Maggots! Oops, I mean magnets… :flushed:

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No, not a flux inhibitor, you need a flux capacitor for a time machine. A flux inhibitor will keep stranding you in Dante’s 9th circle.


Ohhhhhh…:poop:…that makes total sense. I must have read the plans wrong on page 42…when I last flipped the power on and inserted the banana, it did a strange whirring thing and opened a portal in the floor. Now I know where that was headed :scream:…Glad I didn’t step in :disappointed_relieved:…Ordered a new capacitor on amazon. It’ll be here Thursday. Or if I had this thing working right, yesterday. :+1:


Holy Smokes! :scream:

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