PLUS 2D -  Nesting Software : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Table of Contents

Input

Stock as coils

Non Rectangular Parts

Tables

Optimization

Output

Miscellaneous


What is the minimum input required ?

The two basic input requirements are Stocks and Parts.Every Stock requires an ID (this has to be unique), Size (Width X Height) and Quantity.Similarly parts require an ID (has to be unique), Size (Width X Height) and Quantity.

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Does the ID of the Stock/Part have to be numeric ?

The ID of the stocks and parts can be made of any alphanumeric characters. Only keep in mind that the ID's have to be unique.

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In what units are the sizes of the stocks and parts input ?

All the dimensions are by default input in millimeters ("mm"). You can however change your units using the Tools->Unit Settings menu.

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Why are some parts highlighted in RED color ?

Parts that cannot fit in any of the selected stocks are flagged off in RED. This could be because the parts will not fit in any available stock (size is bigger than available stocks), or there is no stock from the database of the same material and thickness combination etc.

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What is the significance of Rotation in parts ?

Grain Direction is a direction along which the material exhibits a critical property. If  it is critical for a part then the rotation should not be allowed else Rotation can  be allowed. The software will try and rotate the part (by 90degrees) to achieve better utilization if rotation is allowed.

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What is the use of the Assembly Library. Can I add to it ?

Often you would like to nest items required for say a Table, which could consist of many parts. With Assemblies you need not enter the parts individually. Simply define the parts constituting the Table, inside the Assembly Library. You can use this to definition, to automatically add all the parts required for any number of these Assembly into the Parts table. For instance you could define "Table" as

PartId               Width   Height Quantity

  1. Table_Top750     600      3
  2. Table_Side       600     750      2
  3. Table_Back      600      450     
  4. Table_Back2    480      500     1
  5. Table_Top2    600      375      1
  6. Table_ Doors  240      500     2

Each table consists of 11 parts. You can then automatically add all the parts required for 7 writing tables by using the "Imports Parts from Assembly Library" button in the Parts page. This will add 77 parts (11*7) to the part table automatically.

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How can I merge two Job Files ?

Simply select the rows of  the Stocks and Parts tables from one job, copy, and paste  into the other.

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I have all the stocks/part information in a spreadsheet. How can I import it into PLUS ?

Simply copy the table data into the clipboard, and past it into the table in PLUS.

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My stock is in the form of COILS not rectangular sheets. Can plus nest with rolls ?

Yes, you can nest stocks which are in the form of coils or rolls. Simply check the "Stock in the form of Coils" checkbox in the Stocks Page. PLUS will automatically go into the de-coil mode. Now instead of the stock quantity, you will have to input the available length of roll. Since the sheet is in the form of rolls, the "Height" column is automatically disabled.

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What should I input for "Machine Blade Length" in case of coils ?

This is the Maximum length of the stock, that the shearing machine can cut.

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I have some non-rectangular parts like triangles and trapeziums, as DXF files. Can I input them ?

Yes, PLUS 2D supports non-rectangular parts. Go to the "Profiles" page, click on "Add Profile". In the "Add Profile" dialog, click on the "Import Part From DXF file" and select the DXF File. Width, Height and Actual area of the part are calculated automatically and a picture of the part is displayed. Input the other required information (Name, Quantity, Rotation) and press "Add", to add the non-rectangular Part.

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When I Import a DXF file, I get a message, "Disconnected PolyLines\Circles Present", what does it mean ?

Only closed polylines can be imported. Also each profile must be defined in a separate DXF file. Also only polylines and Circles can be imported through a DXF file.

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How can I input a non-rectangular part without creating a DXF file for it ?

The package automatically calculates the exact "Area" utilized by the part, and its "Bounding Width and Height" from the data in the DXF file. If you do not have a DXF file, input this data directly in the dialog. The advantage of the DXF file is that, these can be calculated automatically by the software, and in the nested layout diagrams, the profile can be correctly displayed.

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How do I add a new row in the tables?

When you press a TAB or and ENTER in the last row, rightmost column of the table, a new row is automatically added. To learn more about all the possibilities of the grid, check out "using the grids" help topic, or demo tutorial.

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How do I delete a row in the table ?

Select the Entire Row, by clicking on the Serial Number column of the required row and press delete. To learn more about all the possibilities of the grid, check out "using the grids" help topic, or demo tutorial.

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How can I sort the items in the Tables ?

To sort a column of values, simply double click on the column header. To learn more about all the possibilities of the grid, check out "using the grids" help topic, or demo tutorial.

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Some columns are Grey in color. Why ?

Some of the columns of the table are Read Only and cannot be edited. These are flagged off in a Grey color.

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I only want a quick estimate ?

Set the Slider bar to "Quick Results" and do optimize, this will give quick estimate about overall utilization.

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Though the entire stock is not used, I am getting the utilization as 100 % Why ?

Check if the "Allow Offcut" setting is ON. Probably, the remaining piece is larger than the minimum offcut size. In such a case the remaining piece is NOT considered as waste. 

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Can I save the NESTED LAYOUTS so that I do not have to nest again ?

The results of the optimization are automatically saved in the .PLJ (PLUS Job file), so you have all the nested layouts next time you open the job file.

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How do I get the best results from the package ?

Once you have input the stocks and parts, first Optimize using a "Quick Results". You can also check to see if there is an improvement in the  solution for different settings of the slider bar position. Also check if changing the cutting complexity can improve the solution. Try out the optimization for different settings, and choose the most appropriate result.

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What is the significance of the 'CONFIRM" column in Summary of Layouts in Summary Page ?

With each generated layout there is a check box associated for confirmation. If any point of time if you don't like a particular layout, you can reject that layout by un-checking the check box. All values and percentages shown in the "summary page" will be recalculates, based only on the confirmed layouts. By default all layouts are marked as confirmed. The remaining parts can now be RE-NESTED.

In the DEMO version, this column is NOT EDITABLE.

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How can I control how the layout drawing is output ?

You are provided with a lot of options by which you can not only control what you want to see, but also how it should be displayed. Check out the "Tools -> Drawing Settings" menu item.

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How can I change the size of the font in the output ?

Use the "Tools -> Font" menu.

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How can I identify all the identical parts in a layout. Is there any simple method ?

Check the checkbox, "Tools Menu->Drawing Settings dialog -> Same parts". On the details page, when you choose any part in the grid, the parts are highlighted. Also, if you check the "Tools Menu->Drawing Settings dialog -> Use colors" checkbox, each part is shown in a different color.

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Can PLUS give me information about the Cut Sequence ?

Yes, check the "Tools Menu->Drawing Settings dialog -> Cut Sequence" checkbox, the order of the cuts are shown in the layout details diagram. Also if you click the "Cut Sequence" button in the Details Page, the entire cut sequence is animated. The coordinates of the cut are displayed in the STATUS BAR.

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Can I take the drawings into a CAD package for further dimensioning ?

Yes it possible to take Nested layout to a CAD package for dimensioning. This can be achieved by exporting all the generated Layouts as Dxf Files. These Dxf Files can be read by almost all cad Packages.

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The DXF file shows too many details. Can I put some details OFF ?

All the elements in the DXF file are drawn on DIFFERENT layers. So all you have to do is to change the layer visibility ON or OFF. Thus you can choose to display just the details that you want.

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How do I generate Labels for Printing ?

Populate the Required Detail list box with Information that User Needs to Show in Labels. After populating Required Details, Click on Send Labels To Word Button, and follow the instructions. This will automatically generates the Labels in Microsoft Word.

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How I can get output report on landscape instead of portrait?

To create output report in landscape form do the following setting. 

In PLUS 2D

File Menu -> Print Setup -> Orientation ->  Landscape.

Make the same changes in the Word File on creating the report from PLUS 2D.

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Is there a tutorial that will take me through an entire nesting job ? 

Tutorials are available that take you through an entire nest job. Also try out the demo movies that are available on the CD. You can install them, by right-clicking on the CD drive, and selecting "Install Demos". In an attempt to keep the downloadable version small these demos have NOT been added to the standard installation. You can however download the latest files from our Downloadcenter.

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Enable Macros: why do I have to do this ?

When the output is sent to word, a small VBA macro has to be run so that the output listing is properly formatted in word. Therefore the permission to run macros has to be enabled in Word.

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All the output options are grayed, and I am not able to get any output ?

This happens because the hardware lock is either missing, or is not functioning properly. Please check if it hardware lock has been connected properly. Without the lock, the program will run in the DEMO mode, where OUTPUT menus will available ONLY FOR SMALL PROBLEMS (2 Stocks, 3 types of parts, with maximum 20 parts).

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I got a message that "Cost per unit area of the stocks seems to be very different". What do I have to do ?

This is a warning message. The software tries to minimize the cost of all the layouts. Therefore it will try to use the stocks in such a manner, that the overall cost of all the stocks utilized is minimum. The above message means, that PLUS has found that one of your stocks is much cheaper than the others. This could be an data entry error, so the package giving you a warning message, so that you can double check the data.

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Copyright 2002 Nirvana Technologies.  All rights reserved.
Revised: May 07, 2010 .