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Nesting optimization

What’s the best way to efficiently nest the parts from multiple projects over multiple MASLOW sessions on a piece of raw material? I’d like to increase the efficiency of my sheet good usage.

Currently my workflow is as follows:
1 - Nest parts for a given MASLOW session in my cad software (Fusion 360 using the Nester app (
2 - Generate the G-code
3 - Within Ground Control, open the G-code.
4 - Within Ground Control, use the move functions to position the router on the sheet where there’s enough space to cut it out. Then click the GC “define home” button to define the start 0,0 position.

Every part I cut gets the same treatment listed above.

One approach would be create a Project for each sheet of material (plywood) and insert the parts for each maslow session into this file. Then all the various components could be nested on a single sheet. Each set of parts would get it’s own “setup” and associated tool paths. Only the current setup would be active, all other setups would be suppressed when generating the G-code.

This approach would be better, but it still wouldn’t be nested as efficiently as possible. This is because the nesting would be by part set, not all parts that would ultimately be cut from the sheet.

Does anyone have a better way to efficiently use each sheet of material? Are there better nesting apps for Fusion 360?


Aah, the optimization question! I’m a consultant mainly in the domain of production and product development.
There are multiple tools for optimization: they take the output of the CAD software (multiple designs) and start planning based on heuristics.
Unfortunately, these tools are quite expensive.
I’ve not verified lately if there is a software optimizing for g-code, but that’s what you should look for.

theres a nesting script for F360 called Nester, ( ) but really all it does is align to a plane a selected series of parts.

In my F360 projects I always have the workpiece as its own component (to more easily deal with F360 ‘at rest’ being the center of the 4x8 sheet, which is cool for triangular coordinate systems and not cool for the larger cnc world which prefers outer boundaries for 0/0)

If you create a component that represents the workpiece, its easy to mark the center 0/0. have the machine use that as home and most importantly, can keep track of different sheets/parts/cuts within one or more projects.

From there you can either bring that component into existing projects and do your layout that way, OR you can bring other components into the ‘sheet’ component and somewhere in there keep better track of partially cut sheets.

One problem I haven’t solved yet in relation to nested parts, solely out of lack of experience, is using common cut lines to optimize nested parts. this isnt a huge pressing issue though because of the maslow orientation and the need to keep parts in place, vs. a flat bed cnc.

hope this helps,

here are some free solutions based on Jack Qiao’s work.

-> (upload svg)
-> . (for inkscape)

enjoy !


@Stephane_Buisson, Thanks for these links! This is great info. I wonder how we could capture it in the wiki - what section would it fit in?

CAD Design > CAD Layouts for Machining > Nesting Parts

Good find!
Couple of remarks after reading the documentation (I’m talking about svgnest):

  1. It is a solver, not an optimizer. It only uses 1 heuristic
  2. The way it works will give quite good results if you have a great number of objects to cut (let’s say +20) and have a big spread in dimensions (really small parts that fit it the ‘waste’ of big parts. It might give very odd results for only a couple of parts with similar dimensions
  3. I’m under the impression that it only works in 2D. So if you have parts with pocket milling for example…

I will do a couple of tests to evaluate.

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I’ve taken a look at it. I did my 3D design in Fusion360. Unfortunately, no possibility to extract svg directly, so I had do create a dxf first, then convert it with following tool.
Unfortunately 2: the dxf is based on the sketches, not the bodies/components. Since I’ve not sketched every 3D object, I have a messy file.
Additionally, I see a flaw: my 3D work will be lost. So the tool will optimize the cuts, but cannot be used directly as input for g-code…

hi RavenWall

Why not do fusion 360 to inkscape via .dxf (see, no loss of you original 3D work.
Then directly use the plugin inkscape-nest from inside Inkscape. (option 3 from my first post).

Ok, found a solution to mass create sketches of bodies.
Then I extracted to dxf, converted to svg and imported it via browser. However, it messes up the file…
Then I saw a link to on the website. It’s the newest project.

Downloaded that one. You can import dxf files directly! Unfortunately, there is something wrong with the unit conversion. Will play a bit with it, but I’m convinced that this is the better solution :wink:

Edit: I’ve not resolved the issue of the wrong scale. I’ve calculated the sheet size, in order to have something of the same scale.
Calculating for 40 minutes now (and not yet finished). Best solution:

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google for fusion 360 nesting parts

a bunch of links, including a bunch of videos, some on manually nesting the
parts, but others to plugins to automate nesting

such as:

David Lang

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I know that one (found it somewhere in the recommended add-ons here on the forum). Unfortunately, it just lays the components “randomly”, without trying to optimize.
In fusion, you also have official add-in: trunest. But it is a paying functionality and will not be cheap. It is also overkill: it also aimes to integrate with ERP/MRP.

Thank you Ravenwall that’s a great find ! I download Deepnest Mac version to test it …

I used to generate a nest then output to dxf I then open that in Estlecam and make the nc code to run on the machine. I am prepping early as I am still getting my machine up and running. I have been in this type of business for over 15 years and in the cabinet industry over 30 so I know what to look for and the combo looks great, for free anyway. I can always manipulate the g-code afterwards if needed.


Deepnest is also from Jack Qiao

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Who created MakerCAM what a guy

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