Cutr op de Houtpro+ beurs 1 t/m 4 november | Bezoek onze stand 1311 in hal 1 en ontdek de laatste ontwikkelingen.
 min read

Nesting Best Practice: Reducing Left Over Materials

Nesting is the process of arranging or fitting together parts in a way to reduce leftover materials. Basically, it's the act of fitting two or more pieces into one larger piece. We always want to optimize our sheet material usage and reduce leftover materials, so in this blogpost we will show you how nesting can help with this.

Why Nesting?

When it comes to woodworking, there are a lot of different factors that need to be considered in order to ensure that the project is completed correctly and efficiently. One of the most important aspects of any project is what is known as nesting.

Nesting refers to the process of creating a space within which materials can be placed so that they fit together with minimal leftover space. This is an important process because it helps to optimize material usage and reduce leftover material.

How Does Nesting Work?

There are a few different ways that nesting can be achieved, but the most common method is by using computer software to create a three-dimensional model of the space in which the materials will be placed. This model can then be used to determine the best way to place the materials so that they fit together perfectly. Once the model has been created, it is then simply a matter of following the instructions in order to achieve perfect nesting. By taking the time to nest materials correctly, it is possible to save a considerable amount of money on your project.

You can do this in many 3D drawing programs (like Fusion360, SolidWorks, VectorWorks etc.), but when you upload your design file and request a quote, the Cutr platform also nests your parts to see how many sheets of material you need. You can find these nesting results under the ‘Materials’ tab on the platform.

What to Consider When Nesting?

Material waste is one of the most costly inefficiencies in the wood industry. There are a number of ways to optimize material usage and reduce leftover material on a woodworking project:

  • Sheet size: Review the sheet size of the material you want to use upfront to see if your parts fit on the sheet and how much space you have left.
  • Orientation: Consider the orientation of your parts in relation to one another. You want to be sure that you place your parts in a way that as many pieces fit onto a sheet.
  • Spacing: Make sure you leave space on the sides and in between your parts for the milling tool. Generally Cutr keeps 19mm in between parts and 5mm on the sides. It is possible to reduce the space between parts but then you need to use a smaller drill diameter which can't run as fast as a larger drill diameter. So the saved space in material (cost) is offset by the cost of running the machine for longer. The 5mm on the sides is because a sheet of wood isn't always exactly square, so it's similar to the bleed space when you are preparing a file for printing.

Optimize Your Nesting Results

What if your nesting results are not optimized yet and you have a lot of leftover material? There are several options to resolve this:

  • Add parts to fill up your sheet: If you see that you have material left, consider adding more parts to your design. The material price will stay the same, so your price per piece will go down.
  • Check out different sheet sizes: Many materials come in different sheet sizes. Ask Cutr or check online which other sizes of the same material are available.
  • Use a smaller drill bit: If your project almost fits on one (or multiple) sheet(s), check if using a smaller milling tool will change a lot to the material usage.

Do you want to have less space between parts, because you pre-nested and found an optimal way to cut your parts? Please leave a comment in the ‘Notes’ section indicating the tool diameter that needs to be used.


The benefits of nesting are clear: optimized material usage, reduced leftovers, and increased production efficiency. However, it's important to remember that nesting is just one tool in your optimization arsenal. There are a variety of other best practices that can be employed to further improve material usage, reduce waste and save costs. By utilizing a combination of these techniques, you can create an even more lean and efficient manufacturing process.


Was this helpful? Great!

Upload your next design on Cutr now.

Featured Articles

The latest news, technologies, and resources from our team.

5 min read

A guide to 2D error free files

Create your production-optimized 2D drawing and ensure quick quoting from our design team. One of the most critical steps when designing your parts is providing correct 2D drawings. Besides saving time, delivering error free files can save you costs and help you turn your drawing into CNC wooden parts in a short amount of time.
Case studies
5 min read

Meet your Production Partner: Woodwave

Woodwave, one of our new production partners specialized in solid wood, was founded in 2006 when they were asked to do the interior for a Three-Masted Schooner. Back then they were mainly doing wood work in old harbours. In 2008 they switched to restaurants and hospitality and grew rapidly with the help of digitalization. Max, who is managing the work preparation, is showing us around in his workshop.
5 min read

How can I get my wooden parts delivered as fast as possible?

When ordering your wooden parts, you will need to consider the total time it takes to order the raw material, produce the parts and then deliver them to your desired location. This is called the lead time and depends on a number of factors. These 6 tips will help you ensure that this lead time is as short as possible.
5 min read

How to make your design ready for production

How can you best prepare your project and reduce the amount of Cutr design hours needed before production? In this blogpost you can find 11 tips that you can use to make the drawing of your wooden parts ready for production and help you save on additional costs and design hours.
5 min read

Reducing the cost of your CNC project

When you are designing something with wood, there are several factors that determine the cost of your CNC project. This article will help you understand what the main factors are that determine the cost of your wooden designs. Based on that, you can optimize your project to get the most out of it.‍
5 min read

Choosing the right sanding level for your desired finish

For the best finish of your wood project, sanding is essential. Learn more about how sanding exactly works, what sandpaper is best to use, and about manual versus machine sanding. Here's how to choose the best finish for your CNC project.