Layout Programs

Matte Layout

Panel Cut

Based on my frustrating experience adjusting the settings on a mat cutter to produce an opening with correct border dimensions, I wrote a program, MatLayout, for doing the computation required for setting up the mat cutter.  The computation is absurdly simple: if you want top and bottom borders of the same width, all you have to do is subtract the height of the mat opening from the height of the height of the mat and divide by two, and likewise for left and right borders. The problem is that the opening must be of a dimension that allows overlap of the mat on the print of a fraction of an inch, and this small fraction is enough to introduce confusion.  Moreover, allowing differences in upper and lower border widths improves the possibility for error.  Unfortunately, an incorrectly sized mat is generally useless and can be expensive if produced too often. 

     After enjoying the usefulness of MatteLayout, I realized that I needed another program to lay out a specified number of rectangles or squares in a panel of a given size, so I wrote the program PanelCut.



MatLayout Input ScreenMatteLayout is simple to use:  you specify the size of the print to be matted, the overall size of the mat, the amount of overlap of the mat on print, (1/8” is the default) and click the “Compute” button to obtain the settings on the mat cutter required to yield the specified mat.  The program allows a specified increase in the bottom border at the expense of the top margin.


MatteLayout PC MatteLayout Mac







PanelCut ResultsPanelCut is a program for computing cutting patterns from a panel of given dimensions to yield a population of specified sub-panels.  Up to four different sub-panel sizes and the minimum required number of each may be specified.  For example, starting from a 32”x40” parent panel, one might require cutting patterns that would yield (as minimum numbers) eight 4”x5”, four  8”x10”,  two 11”x14” and one 12”x16”.  All possible populations of sub-panels consistent with input dimensions and minimum requirements will be generated; in some cases more than a hundred different patterns may be generated.  The user can scroll through a graphics representation of the collection which are presented in order of increasing percentage waste, where waste is defined as a residual that can accommodate none of the required sub-panels.  A default set of four panel sizes is supplied and the collection of patterns is based on this set.  An option is provided that lets the user change the default set as well as the size of the parent panel..  One restriction is that all cuts must span the whole width or length of the parent panel or any intermediate sub-panel.  

PanelCut PC PanelCut Mac