New Features in PrimecutNE
This is intended to be a useful quick reference to new
features, and features which may not yet be documented in the manuals.
Ordered in chronological order (older features through to
features). For a detailed list of all changes including
please consult readme.txt.
Find your old version, then scroll down to see all new
features introduced since.
Aliases and Part Harvesting
Breaking up Remants and Squaring
MultiCut for stripping and multiple
"Offset Checks" ignored when using memory nester
When finding historical nests, nests containing parts from
workorders with invoice numbers containing the text OFFSET
(case insensitive comparison is used) are not explicitly
for, to avoid a potentially very large number of plates being returned.
MAJOR FEATURE: Flexible Leads
Previously, when parts were processed before
would be allocated for their leadins and leadouts when
As a result nests of otherwise regular parts (eg rectangles) could end
up getting staggered in undesirable ways.
Here for example are 50 400x400mm squares autonested into a
40mm thick plate, using a 30mm "nest friendly" leadin on a gas cut:
Flexible leads allow the nesting engine to disregard the
leads at nesting time and to try to make them fit after
This is in fact similar to a previously used practise many customers
used, which was to only process the part internals and bevels, and to
leave simple external cuts unprocessed so the leads did not affect the
The flexible lead adjustement is peformed seamlessly after
autonesting, and also after any manual nesting operations including
After clearing the plate and changing the lead flexibility on
the part from Fixed
to Can Move and Resize
by means of properties on the parent cut process (not
on the leadin itself):
Autonesting again, the parts are nested ignoring the leads and
then the leads are made to fit as best they can:
Zooming into the interior of the nest , we can see the leadins
been moved and shrunk so that they do not touch the other parts and so
that the pierce allowance is maintained. in this particular
theads were shrunk by 5mm:
Note the dotted appearance of the leads, this indicates the
fully flexible, ie can be moved and shrunk to make it fit. A
weight leadin display indicates it is fixed, and a normal weight leadin
display indicates a leadin which can be repositioned but not shrunk.
Deciding on whether flexible leadins are appropriate is up to
end user, and the decsion should made made on a tool by tool, and
sometimes part by part basis. If flexible leadins are used
the pierce allowance must be set to a sensible
to keep the pierce point away from other
parts- it becomes more critical.
You can set defaults for each cutting tool in the machines
by default all tools will start with their lead behaviour set to Fixed:
NOTE Flexible leads can only be applied to
Cutting processes, not to bevel, marking or milling processes.
Change to Flexible Leads
Flexible Leads are leads applied to parts to minimise their
on disturbing the nest, and used to be applied as a 45 degree
on a corner as opposed to the more usual tangential straight
lead. The 45 degree line created less nest
flexible leads above is another approach to solving this
In this version the flexible lead was changed to a 30 degree-sweep
tangential arc, which has a similar benefit to the 45 degree line but
which has the benefit of being tangential as it enters the part, ie no
machine pause for a corner.
Nesting User Interface Improvements
90 degree rotation shortcuts using [,] keys
5 degree rotation shortcuts using Alt-[. Alt-] key
These shortcuts also rotate the cell, not the entire insert,
array handle remains at the top right. When using
them on an
array, the array will autospace itself automatically to pack the rows
and columns. It will also adjust any flexible leadins
automatically to fit the new configuration.
Part Schematics dimension clarity improved
Particularly for viewing the part schematics on sceen in a
Primecut tethered Touchcut.
Improvements to Parts Explorer in Nesting Mode
Fully nested parts are greyed out indicating we don't
need to add any more
New columns: To Nest, Material
Columns are sortable by clicking on their headers, ie
you can sort
by number to nest, part name, customer and invoice number, and material
User can change their own passwords
Previously only administrative users could set user passwords
the users section. Touchcut users can do it at the machine
Costing data can be exported
Costing data can be now be exported (in .csv
format) for manipulation in your favourite spreadsheet, and
CommonLine Cutting Improvements
- Common line menu now pops up after each pair selected
(though double clicking the second line completes the pair anyway).
- Now adds a no kerf hint to the open paths
For easier access to the most commonly used cropping functions
(clear all crops, line crop, wrap crop, corner crop, skeleton breakup
"Square Crop" mode for wrap crops
Wrap crops now have a Square Crop checkbox which
crop into coordinate aligned (X and Y) segments, this also tends to
reduce the number of crop vertices simplifying an existing
When a crop is create with square crop selected, it remebers this and
dragging the a crop node will also move the adjacent two node
keep the crop "square". If you add a node (clicking on a "+")
however this can be moved to produce an angular crop.
Improvements to Workorder and Quote editing
When selecting a part in the parts explorer at left, its
corresponding line item will also be highlighted at right in the
workorder or quote editor.
When a part is being edited it will be highlighted with
green in the parts explorer.
When a new part revision is created through editing, the
old part revision is now greyed out in the parts explorer
Selection in processing persists across property changes
For example changing a leadin type or dragging its
not deselect it afterwards- makes working with processes and adjustment
of leadins in particular much easier.
Both copy and paste operations "flash" the copied or pasted
processing. After pasting the pasted processing remains
Corner Crop Function
A button has been added to automatically add a rectlinear crop
cutting a corner of the plate from the parent, suitable for use when
parts are nested in the corner of the plate only. There is a
minimum width for the step of 200mm, any less and it will revert to a
straight line crop. You can use the remant splitting handles
convert the result from an L-shaped offcut into two rectangles as in
the examples below:
MAJOR: Remnant Splitting
On any crop (other than a simple line crop) extra handles have
provided, clicking on these allows what would have been single offcuts
to be split into multiple smaller offcuts. To delete a split,
move its parent node. Splits automatically trim themselves to
edge of the plate or to a pre-existing split line.
(The example above shows a corner crop in edit mode, with one
of the "T" shaped offcut splitting handles higlighted.)
Improved Remant Report
The skeleton is now separated out from the offcuts and is at
bottom of the list. The labelling of the remnants on the
has been improved.
- (The example above shows the remnants produced from the
the corner crop, followed by clicking on the highlighted splitting
handle to divide the offcut into two remnants).
NOTE You may receive a warning message
remnant reports; a new remant report template rtm file has been
provided with the updater which should be loaded once to suppress the
warning and produce the correct report layout, alternatively if you
have already customized your remnant report, edit your Remnant
Summary report and under the data tab adjust the sort order on
tblPlateRemnantSummary so the sort order is PARENTPLATEID, PLATEID:
Remnant Names are Editable, parent plate ID is available
They can be set when importing plates in plate mode, and if
a plate in nesting mode; in both cases via the plate's properties
The parent plate ID (the ID of the plate a remanant was
from) is now also available (readonly) on the plate properties
dialog. It is only shown on remnants produced from a parent
This is a method for utilizing several torches within a single
part. It is mutually exclusive of MultiBox
(where parts are nested to cut with multiple torches, one
per part), ie you cannot multibox nest parts containing MultiCut
operations, and similarly you cannot apply multicut processing to parts
on a plate that have been MultiBox nested. All
must be evenly spaced. Plate
), and for multispindle machines drilling large arrays of
holes within a single part.
The processes have some extra properties, displayed ONLY if
cutting tool has a boxCount greater than 1 (ie if there are multiple
torches or spindles on the machine):
- the number of torches/spindles to use, from 1 to the
- the spacing between the torches/spindles- must be
greater than the tool's
Note the slave torches are drawn "dotted", and that in this
master path is across the bottom. This is a stripping scenario where
the 4 strips are to be cut 500mm wide, and there is a 1mm kerf offset
assumed (hence the spacing is 500+1+1 = 502mm, and the kerf
To create a multicut, simply process the master cut then set
Restrictions and Applicability
Only available for tools that have a box count greater than 1.
Can be used on cutting, bevelling, marking, drilling and
Not available when using multibox nesting
Not available on milling processes with roughing cuts.
Requires a machine that supports box spacing commands
(Compatible with all Touchcut6 and Touchcut7 spacing systems)
Roughing tab for milling options is highlighted if Roughing
cut is active
This was added as its easy to accidentally invoke roughing
when mill processing, when it was not intended.
Circular Parts are now loaded with the origin at their centre
Most parts automatically have the part origin set to the
corner of their extents, but disks and flanges created with the shapes
library would put the origin at the centre of the
This has been extended to parts loadeing (primarily done to assist with
dome cutting applications). The part must have a "dominant
circle" ie a circle of diameter within 10% of the part's
width/height. Only perfect circles are recognized-
notches etc will be treated in the traditional fashion with their
origin placed at the bottom left corner of their extents.
Oblique Penetration function added for cutting Domes
See Dome Cutting
In processing mode, first bevel the penetration (hole) without
regard to bevel angle settings. Select the hole, and from the
context menu under Dome Tools
, select Oblique Penetration,
a dialog appears allowing you to enter the angle
penetration and the weld prep required around the
NOTE The geometry used should be the intersection of the
penetration with the bottom surface of the dome.
Produces a variable bevel something like:
"Set By Process" Property for leads
Certain processes such as True Hole require a particular
configuration. These leads however were previously editable
the user after being applied, and could be shrunk or changed by
Primecut itself when checking "Decorations intersections" (checking
whether leadins were too close to part geometry and then shrinking
them). Now they have a new property set at creation, "Auto
Process". They can still be manually edited, however you must
turn this property off first.
(Note the properties dialog has changed to make it more
properties are readonly also. In this case, if we really
to change the leadin's properties, we would first uncheck Auto Set by
Process, click apply, and then the other leadin properties would become
Extensions to the Change Plate function
Previously the Change Plate
button in nesting mode could be used to redefine the plate
geometry as a rectangle of a specified size. This has been
generalized to allow editing of the plate geometry in an external
application, by first exporting the plate geometry and then importing
it after its been edited.
Additionally, the plate material and thickness can be changed
under certain conditions :
This is intended largely as a means for
correcting data entry errors, where a plate was entered with
wrong grade or thickness.
ANY change made to a plate via the Change Plate function is
to tblLog, recording who changed it and when to provide some
Child Plates property added to plates
Just a confirmation really of how many offcuts will be
produced with the current crop lines.
Calculation Method added to Nest Allocated Area
It is one of:
, the Charge Full Plate
checkbox is ticked.
, If a crop line is present the area
under the crop line defining the skeleton is charged.
Rect Enclosed Area
, The area of the smallest rectangle enclosing all
nested parts, expanded by half the plate gap all around.
, over 90% usage, If the Rect Enclosed Area
is greater than 90% of the plate, the full area will be
The method used is automatically determined and works from top
to bottom in the list above, eg if Charge Full Plate
is ticked it takes preference over any crop lines present.
is an approximate indication of how much of the available
area is occupied by parts. This accounts for plate edge gap
interpart gap, so is not as simple as "true shape part area
/ plate area".
is defined as the approximate
"true shape" area of the parts nested expanded by half
the plate gap, divided by the Nest Allocated Area
. This is the best measure of how "well" parts are
Remnant Name added to Nest Explorer
Auto Checking for Overlapping Spindle Operations.
If spindle operations are programmed so that they overlap,
cause chipping of the drill tooling/inserts- depending on the tooling
used. Concentric holes with coincident centres are NOT
to be overlapping, as may be commonly encountered with drilling and
tapping, counterboring etc.
A feature has been added to automatically check for
spindles every time processing is performed either interactively (shows
a warning dialog with the option to select the offending spindle
operations, or to ignore further overlap checking in the
current editing sessionon the part or
plate) or in batch
mode (just adds warnings).
Additionally, when placing cutting leads they are now
automatically adjusted so their prepierce holes do not
Example, Before prepierces might have ovelapped, now
prepierces are adjusted (on cutting processes only
SlashNToNewline RAP function added
function slashNToNewline(const s:string) : string;
Reports showing multiline part and plate notes will display
instead of the desired:
To make these print as expected create an OnGetMemo
event in the Calc
tab of the report template editor, and assign it code along
the lines of the following example:
procedure memoPlateNotesOnGetMemo(Lines: TStrings);
Lines.text := slashNToNewline(tblPlate['Notes']);
Note there are other RAP functions useful for converting and
presenting dimensional quantities (length, mass etc) in appropriate
function ToDisplayUnitsValue(const value:double; const units:string):double;
function ToDisplayUnits(const value:double; const units:string):string;
function ToNamedDisplayUnits(const value:double; const units:string):string;
function UnitName(const units:string):string;
All of these take as their units
parameter of the for 'utLength', or 'utMass', 'utThckness'
Fixed issue with skeleton remnant being incorrect when plate
Checking of Part Approval when Nesting of Parts in a Work
In the Work Order Editor an extra approval status check has
added after 'Open Parts in Nesting Mode' or 'Open Parts and Plate(s) in
If no parts are approved a warning box will now notify the operator
that no parts are approved.
Filled Part and Plate Display (Configurable)
Parts and Plates are now shown by default with fill, though
be turned off. The main benefit of this is being able to clearly
distinguish well drawn parts from parts with issues, and in particular
issues such as a zero calculated ship weight.
This also makes selection of parts in nesting mode easier, as
can select them by clicking anywhere within the part, not just on its
edges. Unlike the old "fill parts" mode (which actually shows
nesting grids, and is now renamed Show Grids) this should not slow down
speed of user interaction significantly.
In Nesting mode, you can toggle fill dynamically using the Show
toggle button in the main vertical toolbar, eg :
To make life easier when manual nesting, when selecting parts,
preference in selection is given to "floating inserts", ie those not
yet fitting in the plate, ie if you have a floating insert sitting on
top of a fixed one, when you click on them both, you will be selecting
the floating not the fixed insert.
If you want to change the fill colors (settable for part and
or turn off filling altogether you can via user options on the Display
tab, it will then remember your current fill settings after
logoff. We strongly suggest using dark colors for the fill,
provide suitable contrast for the lighter colors used for drawing
handles and part detail on top.
Area Layer has been made more Prominent
The Area layer is now more obvious, and if part fill is on,
shown as a different colour of fill when editing parts in geometry
The Area Layer (if present) has two roles: It is used to
area and hence ship weight of the part, and it is also used when
occupying plate space when nesting. When nesting we use both the area
layer and whatever geometry and/or area is defined by the parts and its
processing in combination. When calculating Ship Weight ONLY the Area
layer is used if it exists.
Click on the Area Layer, Create Area Layer button on
the tool bar to produce:
Importantly, any edits to the visible geometry do not affect
invisible stored area layer (this has always been the case, it is just
more apparent now!). For example if the geometry above is
selected via a dragged window and then moved, the area layer stays put,
and this can cause unexpected results in nesting and reporting:
The area layer in this case can be corrected by recreating
If however before the move you had done a select all (Ctrl-a), and
answered "YES" to select geometry in hidden layers, then the area layer
would also have been selected and moved with the geometry.
Overlap can be applied when Bridge Cutting
Previously bridging segments were applied exactly on top of
other. When kerf off set is applied however the cut should be offset to
either side of the bridge by just enough to theoretically remove all
material. In practice however with thermal effects, plate movement and
process variability it is common for a thin sliver of bridging material
to remain behind, leaving parts attached to each other or their
In this release you are now prompted at the start of a bridge
for the amount of overlap you want to apply; 0 will bridge in the same
way as before.
For plasma cutting, you can specify quite a large overlap to
the cut to cross over itself; however for flame cutting this would
likely result in loss of flame as the combustion will extinguish
crossing a kerf gap, so a small (less than kerf width) overlap is
In the below examples a 5mm overlap has been use.
"trapezoidal" overlapping bridges are created where the overlapped
bridge would run over the original part geometry (as in the two
rightmost examples), while if the overlap does not go near part
geometry simple extension is used, as in the left example.
also that in creating the spine bridge for the middle example, an area
layer was automatically created, as you can tell by the olive part fill
Manual Nesting Improvements
The array count handle can now be dragged backwards and
create arrays in any direction, not just "up and to the right". It does
this by automatically setting a negative row or column spacing if
The default rotation handle for a non arrayed insert is now
"cell rotation" handle, so that you can rotate it then array it square
to to the plate, which is the more common need than arraying at an
angle to the plate. The handle icons have been adjusted to make this
behaviour clearer. You can still rotate the array as a whole, but the
array rotation handle (with a grid of points inside it) does not appear
until you already have an array.
Processing Options now Remembers Last Machine Used
If the part or plate being processed is unassigned, then the
processing options dialog will rememeber and be set up for the last
machine you used to process parts.
If however the part or plate has a machine assigned, the
options dialog will be set up for the assigned machine, as before.
Alt-Selection Has been Improved
Alt-Selection is used to select from a series of entities
top or in close proximity to each other, and is activated by holding
down the Alt key as you mouse click. Previously
worked in the Geometry and Processing editors; it has been extended to
Nesting. Also previously, after clicking you would
to include or exclude each of the selected items in turn via
multiple Yes/No dialog boxes which was somewhat cumbersome.
Now a multiselect list of the items will appear adjacent to
you clicked. Hovering over any items in the list will
it temporarily on the main window to aid identification.
the list you can select a single item simply by double clicking on it,
or you can use multiselect (ctrl and/or shift clicking) to build up a
selection of the items you want before clicking the Select button at
the bottom. As items are selected, they are also highlighted
persistently on the main window. Pressing the Escape key
For example, if we single click on the problem area of the
leaf" we get both the closed maple leaf path and the single overlapping
By Alt clicking on it we get a popup allowing us to choose
entities we actually want to select, and a select all option if we want
everything after all, and clicking on the "Line" highlights it ready
for selection. (Transparency is used so you can see what lies under the
selector; the selection window becomes semi-transparent if you move the
mouse away from it) :
This version requires the V37 database schema, to support the
extra processing enhancements.
Report pack importing
After selecting a report pack to import a new dialog window
appear that shows all reports in the pack and also allows the user to
choose specific reports to import if they desire.
Off Machine / Extra Processing for Work Order Items
Clients that wish to charge for work not done on a machine
Primecut can now add additional processing notes and charges to quotes
The Process Costing window has been modified to show On and
machine charges. Frequently used off machine processes should
Extra processing for a specific quote or workorder
viewed in the Quote or Work Order editor window and added/edited in the
item line item editor windows.
When an extra process is added to a line item
default to the values entered in the Costing Data window, the charges
can however by altered per item here.
Dimensioned Part drawing available from the Line Item
As part of a redesign of the ling item editor, a Part
Information tab has been added which shows some key part
properties and a dimensioned drawing of the part (the window is
Crop Lines are now processed with External Path Tool
Almost always, crop lines on a plate are to be cut with the
tool used to cut external paths, while often open paths are to be
processed differently, eg marking or bevelling. As a result it was
frequently necessary previously to process a plate twice using two
different tools for the Open Paths, as criops were considered to be
With this enhancement this double processing is avoided, and
crops are more reliably cut with the intended process.
In special cases where the crops do need a different tool,
this can still be achieved with a double processing step.
When processing multiple items, there is now an option to
preserve existing properties
When processing multiple parts or plates in the past, and when
item already containing processing arose, the user was presented with
When either of the Reprocess options were selected all
geometry would be completely reprocessed.
A new dialog has been introduced giving greater control, and
particular allowing existing processing to be left untouched.
This is particularly useful for example after adding some parts to some
already processed plates, or if adding crop lines to processed plates.
In the following example crop lines were added to one or more
1. Replace All Processing
works as before, replacing existing processes replacing
processes with new ones as well as adding processing to the crop line
in this case, note the plate "selects" what is to be processed in the
background to make it easier to see what is being
2. Process unprocessed geometry only
leaves the exisiting processing untouched, only selcting the
crop line. This is probably our intentio in this case.
leaves the plate untouched...
Selecting Apply Once
applies the selected processing range to this item, and if
other processed items are encountered the dialog will be
redisplayed. Apply to All
applies the current processing range to all processed items
that may be encountered.
Fillet/Chamfer/Notch Wizard Enhanced
It is now possible to apply fillets to all corners in
path at once. In the fillet/Chamfer/Notch wizard, instead of
selecting two adjacent segments, select the same segment twice; the
whole path will be filleted. NOTE you have always been able
fillet a range of corners within a path by selecting segements either
side of that range, though this has not been well publicised or
Automatic Corner Filleting in NC Output
Primecut can now automatically fillet sharp corners as it
generates NC code to output, a requirement of many lasers.
Filleting settings are a per tool property and can look up
data for the fillet radius or tool parameters. A thickness
tool parameter has been added to allow a simple thickness based
selection of the fillet radius:
The tool settings look like:
Here for example, only "Internal Corners" will be filleted,
radius used for filleting is looked up from a tool parameter called
"fillet Radius". This tool parameter could be set up as
for a thickness lookup:
NOTE: The sequence the Values are in is important and for a
Thickness or Area comparison as used here the threshold values should
be in descending order as in selecting the value the system takes the
first match it finds.
The filleting is not visible in the processing window (though
parameter was used as the fillet radious this will be visible and
editable within the process properties):
But in the NC preview you can see the results if you zoom in
corners (a 5mm radius was used here for clarity, and in this example
only internal corners were filleted):
"Push" Function in Manual Nesting
You can now use the cursor keys
to position the selected part inserts on the plate, moving
it up, down left and right.
A single click moves the selected parts a single nest
while holding the key down will cause the movement to accelerate. The
parts are moved until they hit a plate boundary or other parts. if the
selected parts are floating (ie coloured red, unnested) at the start
then they can be moved anywhere, and the spacebar cab n be used to drop
them back into the nest, as described below.
now can be used to unnest parts (turn them "red") and to
them in the same spot. This is useful for example to revert plate
processing to part processing, by unnesting and renesting the parts
without actually changing their nest position. It can also be used in
conjunction with the arrow key push function, when a part cannot be
made to fit into a hole exactly using the arrow keys, hitting space
will attempt to bump nest it in the vicinity to make it fit, if it can.
It can also be used to unnest a part so that it can be moved "over the
top" of other parts in the nest before being renested elsewhere.
Readonly viewing of Quotes, Workorders and Parts is now
Workorders and Quotes can now be viewed Readonly, in which
there will be no locking. This is useful for example when
else is working on a workorder and has it locked, but you want to have
a look at it, or print a report. You should be aware that
viewing an unlocked readonly copy of something, that another user may
have already deleted or substantially changed it since you opened it,
ie the data shown is only guaranteed valid at the moment you opened it.
New Native Report Export Formats
Previously reports could be exported as XML or CSV
(comma-separated values, a spreadsheet like format).
Reports can now be exported directly to
Only the most commonly used XML, CSV, PDF and XLS (Excel)
are provided, but more options can be found in the file save dialog
"Save As" options. To make use of the export functions,
the report template that :
AllowSaveToFile is checked.
That the Save property is checked on whatever labels or
data fields are to be exported.
That the Save property is also checked on the containing
"report bands" in particular the Detail band.
If OpenFile is checked, the output will be openeded
after saving in whatever application is appropriate, eg Microsoft Excel
Many other format specific options are available with
the report settings
Database Query Tool Window
The Database Query Tool Window now allows more complex select
statements to be executed.
It also now has functionality for Kinetic Support to execute
queries that alter the database.
Ability to export multiple parts at once
Multiple parts can now be exported to a folder at once, either
from a workorder or a quote. The parts must first be fully
loaded, ie being "edited" or "viewed". After first opening a
workorder for example, the parts are niot fully loaded, so we would
select a range of parts in the explorer at the bottom lerft of the
screen, right click and select View Parts(s),
causing the parts to be loaded. Then select them
again and right click, Export Parts
. A dialog will appear navigate to the folder
where you want
the parts save, selected the type to save as (eg DWG or DXF), ignore
the filename itself. Primecut will name each file based on
part name with the appropriate extension.
PrimecutNE now has the ability to securely communicate back to
Kinetic to determine if new updates are available and whether the
customer is entiteled to them (ie whether the customer is on a software
maintenance contract). The benefit of this is automatic
Clients logging into Primecut are notified if there are
available from Kinetic, and if their local server has been updated from
kinetic to a newer version than the client, for example:
This is telling us that the client has a newer version than
local server (an unusual circumstance, perhaps enountered when we are
testing a new version of the client on a single client rather than
updating all clients), and that Kinetic has released a newer version
than currently exists on the customer's server.
In the event that the customer's server has been updated, the
will be prompted as they login to the database to update their client
for instructions on how to update your primecutNE server (You
must update the server before you update the client computers).
This version focusses on nesting improvements, with new
algorithms, an improved visual presentation in nesting mode, and full
New Autonesting Algorithms
Nesting options are now stored per user, via the autonest tab
user options dialog. They are also available from the nesting
The algorithms and settings are decsribed below.
Search for Best Algorithm
This is the slowest to select and should reliably
the best results as its really a "macro" algorithm
all the other algorithms in sequence and evaluates "the
The evaluation criteria is automatic and based on material efficiency,
weight of parts nested, regularity and compaction.
Sometimes these criteria may conflict and we have weighted the
evaluation parameters so they should suit general steel
needs. In some cases manual selection of a different
algorithm may produce a better result for your specific situation.
Greedy Backpacker Algorithm
This is usually, but not always the best of the individual
algorithms. It is particularlay effective when nesting large
quantities of one or several parts, and it attempts to find optimal
rectangular arrays and can combine different orientations and array
layouts to produce the best result. It is general enough
that even if nesting on irregular plate or a set of many different
parts it is still effective.
This is a switch affecting Greedy
backpacker (hence also
"Search For Best" as this in turn calls upon greedy
When checked backfilling ("backpacking") behind the main array of parts
currently being nested is attempted, when unchecked the backpacking is
limited to the extents of the current array. May produce more
efficient nests at the expense of more part scatter through the plate.
This was formerly known as "Standard", and if used with
Autoclustering disabled, should produce similar results to the old
nesting engine. It is very fast, but does not work as hard as
"greedy backpacker". Occasionally it still produces a
better result, particularly if the parts to nest are not
for arraying (eg a large number of small quantities of different
Compacting Array and Rigid Array Algorithms
These are a simplification of the Greedy Backpacker, and attempt
to nest parts in rows and columns. Compacting array can pack
tightly than rigid array, but in some cases may lose its regularity and
become more chaotic.
Rows and Columns Algorithm
This is a different approach to arraying, and is usually but
not always, outperformed by the other array variants.
All algorithms now have the ability to pre scan the parts to
nested and attempt to find good clusters to assist with nesting where
appropriate. Turn this on with Prescan and
Autoclusters after Autonesting:
Any Autoclusters nested can be exploded back
individual parts when the nest is complete (recommended where part by
part sequencing is required). Occasionally the system will be
unable to explode all the autoclusters and still have them fit the nest
due to the mathematical discretization used to represent the nest
layout, however this should be rare.
Order Parts are Nested in
All the algorithms except Search for Best
work one part at a time, and the order in which we nest
parts affects the end result. This combobox allows this
to be controlled.
None, parts are nested as presented:
No sorting is performed, and parts are nested
in the order they are shown in the explorer.
Nest Parts by Size:
biggest parts are nested first. A
quantity of a
large part may be nested before a smaller quantity of a
part in some circumstances, some weighting is performed in this
Nest Parts by Job, then size:
Parts are first sorted by
workorder. This tends
to make it easier to locate parts on plates when unloading if there are
multiple workorders nested on a plate. If there is only one
workorder it is no different to Nest Parts by Size.
Permutations to Attempt:
This slider allows the sort order to be changed
and multiple attempts with different orderings tried, but only by the Search
algorithm. With the slider at left no
applied, as the slider moves right more permutations are attempted and
as a result solution time increases.
New Part Coloring Options
Parts can now be colored by part, by job line item or by job,
addition to the origibnal line drawing and plain fill color
modes. Part coloring makes it much easier when nesting to
identify parts. Examples:
The color used for the parts and plates in this mode is user
configurable (Tools, Options, Display tab)
Color by Job:
Allows you to distinguish parts from different workordfers
readily. This nest was autonested with Nest
Parts by Job, then Size
option in effect to reduce mixing of job parts on the
plate. The colors are semi-randomly chosen, and you can cycle
backwards and forwards through differrent coloring schemes with the/
keys on the numeric keypad.
Color By Part:
By Line Item is similar, but allows you to distinguish the
same part nested from multiple workorders.
The following image shows how in filled mode different parts
are indicated. The selected part has been moved to a position
where it no longer fits the nest, and is shown as "floating" above the
plate. The four similar parts above have been made
transparent and bordered with yellow to indicate that these
Parts and plates now have a grain angle property, and parts have a
propertuy to enforce grain constraint. Grain constraint is
to make parts align with a plate direction, reducing the number of
rotations allowable. It can be for reasons of part structural
strength (steel plate often has better mechanical properties along its
long axis due to the rolling process) or to reduce chances of parts
tipping during cutting (eg nesting long skinny parts across slats
rather than along them).
As Grain Angle is stored with plates and parts, so it is
transformed when the plates and parts are transformed, for example if
an offcut remnant is rotated 90 degree to improve nesting, so is its
It affects both autonesting and manual nesting, though grain
constraint can be overidden when manually rotating parts if the Alt key
More information can be found in Using
Grain Constraint in PrimecutNE
Home Screen MRU Jumps
At the top right of the Quotes, Workorders and Nesting buttons
the home screen, there are now embedded "Most Recently Used"
(MRU) jump buttons, indicated by the green jump arrows, which allow you
to quickly jump to any one of your last 10 opened quotes, workorders or
Support for Custom Plugins
A framework is now incorporated into the client, allowing custom
"plugin" DLLs to be written by Kinetic to allow some integration with
3rd party ERP, MRP and accounting programs. An exampe use is
plugin which reads a bill of materials from a spreadsheet or from an
external database, and loads these workorders into primecut.
Plugin DLLs should be placed in the plugins folder under the main
Primecut4 folder on the client computers. Primecut
identifies and registers with the plugin at startup.
Contact the software team at Kinetic if you are interested in this
feature. Development of the plugin typically involves an
detailed specification of what the plugin will do, what file or
database formats are to be read or written, and from the specification
kinetic can quote a cost to develop the plugin.
- Improved angle snapping in nesting when rotating parts with
Alt-[ , Alt-] keys. Angle increments now snap to plate
- Faster loading and saving of parts and plates (faster xml
- Faster BOM Import
- DSTV import now supports KA (bendline) blocks.
Bendlines can be marked.
- Partial ring like shapes are created in a more
- Improved notification when dragging incompatible parts onto
- 3D development now have the option to mark just the
foldlines (Use Bend Length setting to control how long the endpoint
marks are, 0 for full length mark)
Leads can now be LOCKED
. This has been introduced for cases where the
leadin on a
particular part must be of a certain type, in a certain place on the
cut. You can lock a leadin on its parent cutting process via
lead flexibility option, it is a property of the cutting process rather
than the lead itself. When a lead is locked you are unable
move it or change its properties- you can however still delete it or
unlock it (by changing its cutting process's lead flexibility to Fixed
Move and Resize
Change Leads Context Menu
When a set of cutting processes or cutting process leadins are
selected, you can access the Change
submenu from the right click context menu. From
here you can easily (keyboard shortcuts in brackets):
: Sets the cutting paths' lead flexibility to Fixed
: Sets the cutting paths' lead flexibility to Can Move and Resize
: Sets the cutting paths' lead flexibility to LOCKED
Move Leads ...:
You can have the leads replaced with a corner
preference for any corner from Bottom Right (Ctrl-4
) through to Top Right (Ctrl-7
) in a clockwise direction.
Leadin Corner tendency has been strengthened somewhat also to
produce more definitive results; it the move leads function may still
not place the lead on the corner you desire if it will not
Item Quantity Improvements, especially for "Kitsetting" with
Both the workorder and quote editors now allow you to select multiple
line items and through the right click contect menu:
: set all the selected items to have a new
: multiply all selected item quantities by the
multiplier entered, useful when kitsetting, see below
s: divide all selected item quantities by the
divisor entered, mainly as an "undo" for the multiply above
After importing a bill of materials (.Bom file, a list of names and
quantities referring to parts already existing in the database), the
newly imported items are now selected and the Multiply Item Quantities
dialog launched with a default multiple of 1, allowing
quantities of a kitset to be easily specified. For example if
BOM represents a set of parts needed to make 1 of an assembly, and 5
are required, after loading the BOM enter 5 in the multiplier box and
all BOM quantities will be multiplied by 5 and applied to the line
The algorithms and nest evaluation have been improved for certain
nesting cases. An additional autocluster type is now
Single autoclusters were not being used if an array of two
fit previously, and similarly nesting an odd number of a clusterable
part would often resort to the std array instead of array of clusters
and then a single. This was particularlay noticeable when
with large trapezoidal shapes.
Measure in nesting mode now uses snaps
Plate geometry editing has introduced snapping into the nesting editor,
and as such exact measurements may now be made.
Plate Editing Tools
Edit Plate button has been provide4d on a toolbar across the top of the
nesting editor. Activating plate editing mode displays
draw rectangles, circles (both 2-point-diamteric and 3 point), and
general polylines. Any shape drawn which lies inside the
creates a hole, any shape drawn outside the plate creates "more plate".
In this way you can both cut holes in plate and extend a
size (in conjunction with snaps) using Edit Plate.
When drawing polylines, use the SHIFT modifier key to temporarily
toggle ortho mode (right angle lines), and the CTRL modifier key to
switch a segments to an arc instead of a line.
- In Nested Quoting you can cut some plate away that you
to charge the customer for, for example a large cutout in a part.
for this to be effective you must either have a crop
well or charge full plate selected, otherwise the rectangular extents
of the nest are used regardless of any cutouts therein.
- You can make a stock plate slightly wider or longer to suit
actual measurements rather than nominal measurements, to fit more parts
on the plate.
- Conversely you can make a plate slightly smaller or cut a
hole out of it where parts have been cut from it that
A Revert Plate geometry button is provided which undoes all plate
geometry editing. You can individually "delete" a hole you
cut in the plate by snap-drawing an identical hole over the top of it,
thereby "filling it in". Use quadrant snap if filling in a
Quote Totals which are not currently valid are hidden
If changes are made to the quote which require a full
recalculation, the quote totals are hidden so as not to possibly
present the user with incorrect, out of date information.
Fixed Line Pricing
The price for a line item may now be fixed. For
example if a
calculated line price for 10 off an item is $297.23
extra charges and discounts) then the sales person can fix this price
to be say $300.00 or $30.00 per item (however they prefer to specify
Fixed prices are displayed highlighted in yellow:
Internally Primecut records these price fixes as adjustments
to the line price, and these adjustments are accumulated
bottom of the quote editor so that everything adds up and the
salesperson can see the cumulative effect of their adjustments on a
number of lines.
"Extra Charges" are now split into two rows: Item Charges
being the sum of the line charges, extra
off-machine processing charges, and Job Charges
being the sum of the workorder/Job programming charge,
freight charge and extra charges.
Line price fixing is after discounts and charges, ie you
are fixing the final sell price for the item (excluding taxes).
In Place Editing of Line Quantity
In addition to the quantity tools described earlier (set,
multiply,divide) setting line items quantities has been further
simplified allowing you to edit the quantity in the grid view (along
with line sell price and item sell price). If the line price
been fixed, then changing the quantity uses the unit sell as its fixed
price, eg doubling the quantity doubles the fixed total sell for the
Edge Crops can now optionally define Offcuts
A Checkbox has been added to the Edge crop dialog; if ticked
an offcut will be produced
Part Labeling can limit to n characters
You can now limit the part label to the first or last n
characters to speed up marking, especially useful when
many parts on a plate have a similar prefix. The Wrap
option wraps the text onto the next line, whjich
was the previous behaviour.
Part Revision Filters Improved When Searching By Quote,
Workorder or Customer
Previously the "Latest Revision
" and "All Revisions
" filters could produce some technically correct but
undesirable results when filtering by customer, quote or workorder.All
or example would show all revisions of the part linked to
(specifically referenced by) the workorders and quotes, not necessarily
all revisions of the part, and in particular sometimes would often
exclude the latest revision if for example when parts were edited in
Parts mode, and not then used immediately in a quote or workorder.
The old "Latest Revision
" filter in this instance would not show the part at all.
For example if quote 999 referenced "Base Widget" rev 0, and
parts mode Base Widget was modified creating rev 1, then searching for
parts and showing ALL Revisions for quote 999 would show only rev 0,
while Latest revision wouldn't show the part at all. This
be somewhat misleading.
In this update the part revision matching has been made more
and more intuitive: If ANY revisions of a part are referenced by a
quote or workorder, then ALL revisions of the part are associated with
the same quote or workorder when searching. Thus All
will show all revisions of the part, whether or not
they are referenced by the filtered quotes/workorders, and Latest
will always show the latest revision- as users generally
To preserve the existing functionality another filter option
has been added: Linked
. When a customer, quote or workorder filter is in effect
filter shows only the specific part revisions referenced by those
quotes and workorders. If no customer/quote/workorder
is in effect, then this filter is the exact opposite of Unused
, other wise it is equivalent to the old "all revisions"
Control over whether Text is Used or Ignored when Nesting
Prior to version 4.5.306 Primecut text was always
when nesting, which can greatly slow down the autonesting process in
particular due to the relatively high complexity of text geometry.
In version 4.5.306 we began ignoring text to speed up
however this has some disadvantages:
NOTE In this last case the proper way to handle it is to
Area Layer, and delete the cutout from the Area Layer. This
two benefits, 1) the entire cutout is "occupied" and can't be
nested within, even by tiny parts, and 2) the part ship weight, nest
efficiency and scrap calculations will be correct; using the text only
technique the cutout which is actually a part in itself is considered
- Text no longer appears on certain report metafiles
- Text no longer appears on the parts in the nesting editor
- Some customers were using text to "occupy" cutouts in parts
prevent nesting in them in cases where the cutout and surrounding part
were both valid parts to be kept.
In this version we introduce a per part setting
called Nest Text,
which if set keeps the old behaviour, acounting for text
when nesting. In this way the nesting of text is up to the
Further there is a global setting Part Default for
which controls how existing parts created before this
update are treated, and the default for new parts that are
What should the default setting above be set to?
on how important to your company process seeing text on the parts and
in in reports is. Note that even with Nest Text
off the text will still appear in the plate nestmap report
but not in the overall nest image typically found on the summary page.
And if you have the default setting off, you can still
it on a part by part basis as required.
New Report Viewer
The new report viewer was implemented to fix some issues with
printing or viewing reports in quick succession which could cause
lockups. Other benefits of the new viewer include thumbnail previews, a
text search function, two-up layouts and smooth scrolling:
At the far left of the toolbar, to the left of the print
buttons is a Refresh
button, which regenerates the report if there is some reason
to believe background database info may have changed.
The Print All
button prints all tabs in a multi-tab report., while Print
just prints the current tab, or a page selection from it.
In a single tab report tyhses will be replaced with a single
Next there a four buttons for standard file exports (PDF
), the magnifying glass button lets you choose a different
for the report (eg enter a different plateID), or enter different
filter information (eg different dates for the Plates reconciled
Brteween dates report) and the binoculars button activates the
function. Note, text seach searches within the
current tab only, and is case-insensitive
Next are the zoom controls, Fit Page
, Fit Width
and Full Size
as well as an explicit zoom % control, then a
self-explanatory page number control, and view style
, Smooth Scrolling
and Smooth Scrolling Two-Up
Finally the Close
button may be used to close the current tab, and during
(while primecut is writing the report to screen) it acts instead as a Cancel
button which stops the generation process.
Ability to close Incomplete Workorders added
Previously a workorder had to be completed (all parts reconciled)
before it could be closed. You can now Force Close
more incomplete workorders from workorders mode:
- Login as an administrative user (one who has the
permissions to change Global settings)
- In the workorder selector select the workorder you want to
close. (Completed or not)
- Right click and choose Close Completed Workorders (as
- You will be prompted when an incomplete workorder is
whether to force close it, or to force close all incomplete , to skip
this one, or to skip all incomplete.
Nesting to Dummy Plates Optimizes Template Choice
In quoting, when there were multiple different sizes of plate
available, Primecut would previously select the biggest template when
creating dummy plates from templates. Primecut now tries each
template size in turn, and will use the template that:
- Can nest the most parts (large parts may not fit at all on
- Uses the least mass of material (based on fiull plate
weight, ie minimizes offcut and scrap weight)
Angled Pierce Support added for Bevelling
A new property has been added to Bevel processes: Vertical Pierce
. This defaults to true, and when true the torch
pierce vertically then tip over to the initial bevel angle (if there is
one set) before moving off. This is the standard and
method of piercing for bevelling. There may be occasions
when it is needed to pierce on an angle, for example applying a top
bevel above a land to the edge of an already cut plate. In
cases set Vertical Pierce to false.
To assist with this we now display the bevel pierce vector in the
processing editor, as well as the initial bevel transition "fan".
Additionally, warnings are inserted into the NC
non-vertical piercing is used, for safety, as detailed in the note
Piercing at an angle
can cause a "rooster tail" of sparks and molten metal to be ejected
from the plate at an angle away from the torch, much further than when
vertical piercing. This poses a Hazard to the operator and
other personnel standing near the cutting area. Additionally
may result in shortened consumable life. Use only
Nestmaps now have Adjustable Label Size and Color
The nestmap labelling has been improved. Nestmap label sizes
can now be adjusted via the Tools
The Nominal Label
setting there allows you to set the approximate height of
labels when teh various nestmap images are printed full page.
if the Nominal label
is set to 10mm, and an A4 landscape nestmap image is
full page landscape on an A4 piece of paper the labels should be 10mm
high. If the same A4 landscape nestmap image is printed full
lanscape on an A3 page size then the label heights will be
approximately 14.1mm, whereas using the A3 landscape image on the A3
paper would result in the expected 10mm height.
If you generate a nestmap and the labels are the wrong size, go into
the menu ( Tools
tab), change the height to make them bigger or smaller,
the Refresh button on the report editor to regenerate the labels.
Note the changed label size is stored for each user.
You can also set a contrasting color, which is useful if printing in
color or viewing on screen.
A third option Use
has been provided which defaults to true.
which is only recommended if your parts have very short names, will
print the partnames on the nestmap instead of the key numbers.
Quoting: New Customer settings for Machine Time Discount,
Customers previously had settings for default Material Discount
and Cutting Discount. Default settings for machine time
and Overall Discount have been added for consistency. Note
may be represented visually as markups if Markup Based Quoting
is in effect, see below.
Quoting: Markup Based Quoting
A global setting is now available which switches the Discount
percentages (material, machine time, cutting and overall) to Markup
percentages. Note a negative discount is equivalent
positive markup and vice versa, eg -20% discount is equivalent to a 20%
Global Settings -> Quote Tab -> Markup Based Quoting
(default is false, ie represent as discounts)
If the discounts or markups are set negative, they are highlighted red
when quoting, and blue if non-zero and positive.
An quote example with Markup Based quoting active, a material
markup of 20% and a machine time discount of 5%:
Quoting: "Nest+" Cost Allocation Calculation Replaces "Nest
Nest Based quoting has always provided the most accurate overall
measure of material and machine usage, however a disadvantage in
comparison to Part Based quoting is that individual parts have their
costs affected by how they are nested and sequenced, and thus nearly
identical parts may be assigned very different "item each"
depending on where the parts are nested and what other parts they are
nested with, and depending on how the plates are sequenced.
the total price is "fair", but the distribution between items sometimes
rectifies this. Nest+ will produce the same
overall quote value and the old Nest Based system, now
referred to as Nest
. It calculates the prices in the same manner as Nest
(legacy), however it then performs a "fair" redistribution of
part charges within each material/thickness group by allocating each
item a weighted fraction of the total cost as follows:
Item Material Cost = Total Material Cost * Item fraction of Total Ship Weight
Item Machine Time Cost = Total Machine Time Cost * Item fraction of Machine Raw Time
Machine Raw Time
is the processing time excluding toolchanges and rapids,
ie it is sequence and nest independent. The Total Machine Time Cost
does include allowance for rapids and
toolchanges, so these are still accounted for, but more evenly spread
over the items.
In some cases where relatively simple parts are being nested and
quoted together with particularly complex parts, the Nest (Legacy)
method may be considered fairer so that the toolchanging and rapids
involved in the complex parts "stay with " the complex parts instead of
being shared with the simpler parts and thereby inflating their
apparent costs, and deflating the complex part costs.
Consumable or cutting costs are unaffected by the Nest+
redistribution as they are themselves independent of nesting and
sequencing, being charges per process length, start or time.
New Account Type Customer Setting
Customers now have an integer Account Type field, useful for
example for storing whether a customer is on cash, 7 day account or 30
day account terms. The definition and
interpretation of the
Account Type fields is left to the user; Primecut only
maintains this field for reporting purposes.
Due Date Enhancements: Deliver by, Delivery Lead Times, and
Extra Processing Lead Times
Previously workorders had a Due date property, line items would
effectively inherit this and when nested on plates the plate
date would become the mininmum due date of any of the line items
nested on it. This however took no account of
times, or the fact that some parts would need to be cut earlier if they
needed extra processing which also involved some lead time.
Now, workorder dues date is interpreted as Deliver By, and the line
items each compute their own Cut By Date property based on:
Cut By Date = Workorder Delivery Date - Workorder Delivery Lead - SUM( Item extra processing lead times)
Delivery and Extra processing leads are specified in whole days..
The delivery and extra processing lead time subtractions are work
week aware, and atthis time we assume a Monday-Friday work week; this
may be customisable in future. eg If the delivery date is a
Tuesday, and the net lead time is 2 days, the computed Cut By Date will
not be the Sunday, but will advance back to the previous Friday.
When creating a new workorder the initial delivery lead time is
obtained from a per customer default, but is editable.
Similarly the standard off-machine processing types now have
default lead time, and the actual lead time applied for the extra
processing is editable on the workorder item.
NOTE: Job and Plate reports showing Due Date will be still showing
the earliest delivery date. You may well want the plate to
instead show the Cut by Date, if so see.
- tblPlate now stores the AdamPlateID, being a reference to
original purchased plate in a remnant family. This was
before by means of a recursive SQL query on parentPlateID
this made some reports quite complex to implement. The "Adam
Plate" will be shown in the plate properties next to Parent Plate as
- Object type support for non-plate parts and plates enhanced
progress)- parts now also store object type info as well as plates.
The New Plate window and templates now support interpretation
the object type parameters, for example round pipe displays
and "ID" instead of just "P1" through" P5".
- Quoting onto dummy plates created from material families is
supported; this in particular allows material families to be used as
"material aliases" for applying different pricing schemes tio the same
- Quoting: Machine time charging can now be suppressed on a
machine by machine basis without generating warnings. Machines -> Costing Data
-> Charge Machine Time?
(defaults to True).
- Future support for attachments (eg pdfs etc) for plates,
workorders/quotes and workorder/quote items added to the database (part
of schema 40). No client support for using these tables yet,
is to come later.
- Fold information implied from drawing open paths is now
shown on the part information tab:
Part-based Upper Bound on Nest Based Material Allocation
When calculating nest-based material allocation, either for a nest
based quote or for costing a nested and cut workorder, the nest based
material calculation method could under certain circumstances allocate
an unreasonably large area/weight of material as being used.
A nest based costing uses the following rules to determine how much
material to allocate to each part, first calculating how much plate has
be "used" and then how much should be allocated to each part:
Plate Used Area Determination
- An initial estimate for the allocated plate area is formed
by one of 3 means:
- If the plate has Charge Full Plate
set, then the full plate area is charged (this is
the true shape area of the plate if it is a remnant or skeleton).
- Otherwise, if a crop line (not
a skeleton crop) has been placed on the plate,
then the rea
of plate used is the true shape area of the plate under the crop line.
(Crop lines can thus be used to control how much plate should
charged when quoting).
- Otherwise, the area used is the area of a rectangle
encompassing the extents of the nest, expanded by the plate gap.
The initial area allocated is then compared to the sum
of the nested part expanded rectangular areas
multiplied by a factor ( the global setting Max
Part Rect Area Waste
which defaults to 120%), and is limited to that as an
- The resulting area is finally compared to the true shape
plate area multiplied by a factor (New in
the global setting
Plate Usage Threshold,
defaults to 90%.
Previously this was fixed at 90%).
allocated area exceeds this threshold, the allocated area is set equal
to the true shape plate area (ie all plate is used, same as Charge
above). Note this can both increase
allocated area on
a plate where the computed allocated area is just less than the plate
true shape area, or can decrease it when it exceeds the plate true
Part Expanded Rectangular Areas
are the areas allocated to the parts when performing a
quote. They are computed as the extents rectangle of the
expanded by the plate gap (if nested on a plate, or 10mm if not),
multiplied by the part's Nest Efficiency
. The nest efficiency is typically 110% but is
by part as a part property, and defaults for this value for new parts
are global settings. It is intended to represent the
waste introduced when nesting.
Part Area Allocation
Once the Nest area ahas been allocated the parts are allocated a
proportional share of this based on the ratio of their
ship weights to the total ship weight of parts nested on the plate.
This is done plate by plate, so parts nested across multiple
plates may receive slightly different material allocations from plate
to plate depending on how the plates are nested.
Global Settings Controlling Nest Allocation
Two settings mentioned above are new in this version, and found on the
Quote tab of Global Settings:
Example of the Max Part Rect Area Waste Filter in use:
The following was nested onto a skeleton plate. The customer
prefers not to use crop lines, or he could have cropped the right hand
and top nested areas out of the plate, resulting in a fair nest
allocation. Instead Primecut will use the nest extents
resulting in an initial allocated area greater than the plate area
itself. This would then have been reduced to be exactly the
area after determining the allocated area was greater than 90% of the
plate true shape area in previous versions. The nett result
that the full plate is allocated, and charged, which might be
considered unfair to the customer's whose parts have been nested in
In 4.5.333 however the initial plate area is first compared to the
product of Max Part Rect Area Waste
(say 120%) and the sum of the expanded part rectangular
As it exceeds this (by some margin!), the allocated area is
limited to it. This results in a fairer material allocation,
Do Not Set Max Part Rect Area Waste Too Low!
This filter places an upper bound on the charged material
quantity, limiting it to a greater than unity factor times the area
that would be allocated if a part based quote was performed.
such it acts in the end-customer's favour only. Your
nesting and packing of parts can still further reduce the nest
calculated charges below this upper bound to the customer's benefit,
but inefficient nesting, or parts that just don't nest nicely, can
result in material waste which the customer is not charged for, ie a
loss to the cutting company. A suggested starting point is
setting default, 120%. Remember also this is applied on top
the part nest efficiency which defaults to 110%.
As it is applied at
the nest allocation level, rather than the individual part level, it is
still possible for individual small parts to be allocated an area much
greater than expected if they are nested together with much larger
parts, as the the filter works on the total area.
Visual Enhancements to Quote and Workorder Editing
Customers Are Color Coded
The color setting in the customers section is now displayed editing and
selecting workorders and quotes.
Workorder Nearly Due Is Colored Differently
The workorder selector now only colors the Due Date column, not
the whole row for clarity. The "Nearly Due" coloring (yellow)
has a settable thershold, and the threshold is workday aware,
it takes into account weekends. The threshold defaults to the
fixed value of 2 days, however with now being work day aware, jobs due
on a monday or tuesday will start highlighting in yellow on Thursday or
Friday of the previous week.
The setting controlling how many work days before due to highlight the
job is set in global settings, in the workorder/Job tab:
Number Required Is Editable In Place
As it was in quoting mode..
Part Revision Refresh Indication Improved.
The refresh icons have been moved into the revision number column,
indications have been simplified, and the refresh icons are
clickable to refresh a single line item.
Lines with a zero quantity
(often representing an older revision that must still be tracked as it
is nested on plates) are now greyed out as "inactive".
refresh icon above indicates that the newest part
being edited in the workspace. Clicking refresh, you will be
prompted to first save the workspace, including the new revision,
before doing the refresh.
refresh icon indicates that the latest revision exists
database (has been saved). In this case the newer revision is
already in the workorder but with quantity 0, as might happen
immediately after editing a part and saving and unlocking it.
icon indicates a newer revision exists, but as the
required is 0, it likely does not matter. This is often the
when old revisions are still tracked in a workorder after being
updated- they can't be deleted from the workorder if they exist on
New Progress Column Replaces Status Column
Previously Primecut would indicate whether a part was partially
nested, fully nested, overnested or all cut by means of ticks etc in
its Status column. These have been replaced with more
Pie Charts which are available for line items as well as for
workorders. The example below is from the workorder selector
showing workorder progress. This column is sortable, which
be very useful for all Primecut roles (sales, nesting, production
planning etc) to quickly identify work to be done.
The portions of the pie chart indicate the portions of the parts
required to nest (white), nested
. An orange halo indicates one or more parts
have been overnested
. A red slice indicates rejected
parts, for clarity this converts to a red halo around a
circle if the workorder is ready. A green tick may be
superimposed if the workorder has been closed, or a red cross if the
workorder has been cancelled.
In the workorder or quote editor each items shows the same pie, and
at the bottom right of screen there is an enlarged pie for the current
selection of items (as well as a new enlarged part icon for single item
selections). A slider to the left has been added for
the display row height, to make the pie charts and the part icons
Some special cases are worth noting:
White circle: No parts nested yet
Blue solid circle: All Parts are nested, none
are yet scheduled.
Yellow solid circle: All Parts are nested and
Lime solid circle: All parts are ready
Lime solid circle with orange halo: all parts
are ready but overnested
Lime solid circle with red halo: all parts
ready, some rejected (6 cut in this example)
Quote Reports can now use simplified data structure
The need to use the QuoteLines and QuoteTotals "JITS" in the data
source has been removed, which allows more ease and flexibilty in how
these reports are structured, and allows them to generate faster as
is the total quoted price exclusive of sales tax if
is the line item price. Divide by
to get the unit price.
Create Item From, Automatic Part Harvesting and Material Aliases
Composite drawings containing a number of part drawings can now be
processed much more quickly, as primecut now has some "AI" built in to
aid recognition of labels representing quantity required, grade and
thickness and Part Name. To assist with recognizing material
names, materials now support aliases
, ie other names by which a given material or material
be known by. These aliases should be unique, ie any alias
only be an alias for a single material, or a single material family.
For more detail see Material
and also Part
Create a Quote from a Cut Job for Invoicing (QFJ)
A special type of (usually nested) quote can be generated from a
(usually cut, or at least nested) job. This is useful when a
has been processed without first quoting it and invoicing is to be
performed. If the job parts were nested together with parts
other jobs, while the nett charge is accurately calculated some
imbalance in how the cut based costing is applied can result in parts
from one job being more expensive than expected, while parts from
another job are cheaper, especially in terms of the material charge.
function has been added to "retrospectively" quote the job, called
Quote From Job or QFJ. Right click on the active quote in the
quote expliorer at top left of the screen and select "Quote From Job".
This copies the job into a quote 9with extra processing ,
and discounts) and then copies all the nests onto duplicate dummy
plates; but only the parts from the job under consideration are
included on these duplicate nests; other parts are ignored/excluded.
It will often be necessary to renest some of these
plates to obtain a fair price as the excluded "other-job" parts will
leave holes in the quote nests which will result in excessive material
being charged. Croplines may need to be removed or modified
Always check the QFJ nests visually for gaps before
generating the quote!
Consider the following nest of 8 rings (500OD, 400ID) for one
customer, and a single disk for (Diameter 300) for another customer.
In this case all the parts happen to have the same ship
though each ring clearly uses more plate than the disk. Being
nested together, the material allocated is the
around the rings, and this allocated area is distributed based on part
ship weight among all the parts, so each ring and the disk recieve 1/9
of the total allocated area/weight. The end result is that
disk has 19kg allocated to it for charging. If this disk was
nested by itself (or a part based costing performed) the disk would
only be allocated 7.5kg, ie the cut based allocation has "overcharged'
material to the disk by around 150%. The situation would
be worse still if we decided to charge the full plate: the
customer would be charged for 25kg of plate (ie 1/9 of the total plate
weight), ie a 230% "overcharge".
The overall charges are still
fair however the allocation of those charges between different parts
and thus jobs is based on ship weight of the parts, and in some cases
this distribution can be "unfair"
the rings customer gets a reduced material allocation due to the other
part being nested inside. The allocation of material to a job
depend strongly on the other parts it is nested with.
this case it would be wise at least for the disk customer to generate a
QFJ to charge from, if the customer is to be given a fair price.
The ring customer can probably be charged as per the cutting
analysis (ie slightly discounted as some material was recovered for
another job), or could have a QFJ generated which will charge them as
though no ther parts were able to be nested.
Machine Status/Planning Window
Zooming will now continue if the zoom in/out buttons are left held
Closing the status/planning window via the Windows 'Close Window Cross'
will now return users to the Application's main window
Support for Passthrough Machines
The new postprocessor (machine) settings are shown below:
- Ability to add "Trapdoor drops'" to drop parts
from the skeleton
- Maximum nestable part width and height
restrictions can be enforced
- Improved skeleton cropping- support for snaps, ortho, edge
start and edge runoff (see below)
- Definable clamping areas and tool safety envelope to
prevent collision of tools with clamps.
location tendency strengthened to assist with minimizing loose part
movement after cutting, ie piercing at the top left of parts on a plate
is recommended as this minimizes plate movement before the trapdoor
drop. On internal cuts "top left" tendency is now
automatically switched to "bottom-left".
editor now shows completed parts (those severed from the plate as red),
and trapdoored parts (removed from the plate) as black during animation
For passthrough machines, set Plate Dragger Mode Active to
must set Trapdoor active to true and set up a trapdoor tool to allow
the trapdoor to function. Trapdoor drops are currently added
manually in the sequencing editor.
Max Part Width and Max
Part Height define
the maximum X and Y dimensions respectively of parts that can be nested
on this machine's plates. The restrictions are in place
particularly on machines with a trapdoor but no outfeed conveyor, where
all cut parts must be dropped through the trapdoor and so must fit the
trapdoor and any subsequent part handling equipment.
The Clamp Zones
define hazard zones on the plate where no parts should be nested, such
as wehere the grippers grip the plate. Their settings are
The Tool Envelope defines how close
the tools can get to a hazard or clamp, and should represent in each
direction the greatest envelope requirement of all the tools.
example in the minimum Y direction the spindle may dictate how close we
can nest to the clamps, due to the clamp foot geometry, while
the other directions it may be the plasma bevel envelope.
The Trapdoor is set up as a "Trapdoor Tool", similar to a pause tool.
And also similar to pauses, trapdoor drops
are manually inserted in the sequencing editor.
Trapdoor Format defines
how the Trapdoor command is sent to the controller. The two
parameters are the X and Y coordinates to be sent, and how these are
calculated depends on the setting of Aperture Part Placement,
Trapdoor Aperture defines
the X-width of the trapdoor and is used for display purposes and
computing what parts are dropped when a drop occurs. Trapdoor
height is the Y extent of the trapdoor.
Aperture Part Placement determines
where on the trapdoor the part is to be moved to before the trapdoor
opens as follows: 0 centers the part(s) on the trapdoor, 1 places the
parts at the left edge of the trapdoor (minimizes plate movement before
dropping, recommended) and 2 places them at the right hand edge.
Trapdoor Time is used to allocate time for
the trapdoor drop for scheduling and costing purposes.
In the sequencing editor with a passthrough machine, narrow
zig-zag zoned part by part sequencing with start at the right
of the plate is generally recommended:
Afterwards you can select all parts, right click and choose Add
Trapdoor After to drop each part immediately after it
has been cut (recommended). Alternatively choose Trapdoor
Selected Parts in Batches,
which will cut as many parts as can be dropped in a single drop, then
drop them all together- this results in faster processing with fewer
drops but also involves moving loose parts around in the skeleton while
cutting, increasing the risk of parts jamming.
are displayed as red trapezia, we use trapezia rather than
rectangles to clarify display when there are many overlapping drops.
When adding trapdoors to groups, the actual trapdoor drops are added as
the last item within the groups
(be it a part, zone or other manually created
groups). When editing a group a single trapdoor drop may
be deleted by first selecting the trapdoor drop so it is highlighted,
then clicking on the X handle. The drop may be moved
also by dragging its translation handle but this is not recommended- it
alters the parts that are dropped but not position of the drop within
the sequence, thus its effects can be confusing.
There is an
option to Remove All Trapdoor Drops also
to clear the trapdoors.
We recommend doing this after resequencing or optimizing
You can also choose Add Trapdoor After after
an individual cut or bevel process when editing a sequence/group/part.
This can be useful to trapdoor drop large cutouts which are
unlikely to fall through the machine's cutting aperture.
Sequence animation will now show completely cut parts (those severed
from the plate but not yet trapdoor dropped) as solid red, and those
parts which have been trapdoor dropped as black.
"Red" parts are loose in the skeleton until they are dropped
or manually removed and can cause cutting issues. If Add
Trapdoor After has been applied to all parts then the
animation will show the parts turning black immediately, while Trapdoor
Selected in Batches will show them turning red (loose in
skeleton) before several turn black at once as they are dropped.
New Postprocessor Edge Start/Stop conditions for Cutting Tools
tool parameters have been grouped more logically as can be seen above.
New settings have been added for special handling of cuts
as Edge start or Edge Finish, as highlighted above. In
Edge Stop Overshoot
can be used to extend an edge finish past the edge of the plate (whose
exact position may not be known at programming time) for remnant
cropping or skeleton cropping. If given a negative value as
it will actually shorten the cut, so the above setting shortens the cut
10mm before the edge, but then an 18mm leadout is applied by the Edge
Stop Leadout Length setting, resulting in effectively a
8mm overshoot. Additionally the Edge Stop
Pre-Leadout code inserts an M4 command which instructs Kinetic's Touchcut controller to ignore loss of arc.
Skeleton Cropping Enhancements
(Ortho Mode) can now be enabled when shifting crop handles, to enable
crops to be placed exactly parallel to plate edges. As in the
geometry editor, use the SHIFT key to dynamically switch the state of
Ortho mode while dragging handles.
Endpoint, centerpoint and nearest
snap points have been enabled, allowing crops to snap to cutting
geometry and to the plate edges.
Crops can be dragged across
processed parts, and they will automatically split into on-plate
segments, removing the on-part sections. Additionally the Lead
value is used to shorten the crops a small distance from the cuts to
allow for cut kerf. A typical values for Lead Snap is thus
under twice the kerf offset/radius , ie just under the kerf diameter.
This allows crop cuts to start and stop just on the edge of
Measure mode (F2) now also uses the snaps in the processing editors, so
can be more exact.
Example Showing New Plate cropping, and edge finish codes
following example shows a skeleton crop being placed across a nest of
parts. The end result is a series of short crop cuts.
first crop cut at the bottom can apply an edge-start on the plate edge
if required, and the last cut at the top can apply a plate runoff end
criterion; this latter condition is particularly useful since the plate
width is often not know exactly, meaning the top edge my not be exactly
where we think it is t programming time. A runoff condition
typically applied where a short distance before the nominal plate edge
we pass a code to the controller telling it to ignore unexpected loss
of arc, then we keep cutting a specified distance beyond the edge to
ensure the plate is severed. The arc will "pop out" and the program
will continue without raising an arc lost error. Note of
these runoff cuts can cause shorter consumable life.
Processing Editor can now Change Machine
The processing editor now has a Change Machine
button which remaps existing processing (on parts or plates) to a
different controller, remapping tools dynamically with the Review Tool
Matches dialog. Previously the part or plate would have to
been reprocessed entirely which would lose programming intent,
especially on complex bevelled parts.
Automatic Bevel Corner Loops
When beveling parts corner loops now appear and disappear as needed;
There is a new bevel process property Auto
to true), turn this off on the bevel process to disable this feature.
Corner loops are automatically hidden if the torch is
both sides of the corner or if the bevel rotation changes by less than
(180 degrees -bevel smoothing angle, typically 10 degrees) across the