My employer is looking for new nesting software to help speed up the process. We run a few different punch machines with a limited amount of tooling. I've read that SigmaNest and MetaMation are good but am looking for others.
Here is some of our obsticles:
- Run more than one brand Punch machine
- Pre-Painted material will need paint side on a given face
- Tooling limits when using 12 ga
- Our assemblies have a large quantity of parts that may not be used on a given order...We make commercial semi-custom HVAC units and have a lot of options one can pick.
- I'm sure there's more.....
We sell and support "Radan family" (Radnest, Radpunch, Radprofile, etc) from Vero Software (Hexagon AB). Our customers plan their models in Solid Edge and use Radan for manufacturing...
Here is an success story video (HUN):
You've already mentioned SigmaNest and that is what we are currently looking at for nesting (punch and plasma), scheduling and part/batch identification. Granted, my organization is using SW and we are looking at SolidNest or the SigmaNest for SW option.
If you haven't found it SigmaNest has an integration with Solid Edge.
I recently did the same homework. Metamation is as slick as it gets this week in the USA. They are also expensive. You get what you pay for until you get to the sub $10 category. Then you get junk that will just suck up your time.
I looked at Radan. There work-flow has a fatal flaw for me. Either your models can't have flat patterns in them so they can generate the flat pattern and store it you model. Or you have to use DXF import. neither of those options were desirable for me. If your model can't have flat patterns, how can you draft flat patterns for quality control? I'm not going to copy the model for export, that create the same problem as DXF. Another set of files to manage.
"Fatal flaw"? Don't worry!
My Radan expert colleague (Tibor Veres) has made a very short video about SE+Radan:
It really works well, our SE+Radan customers say this!
I have no doubt the software works. My problem is that the software uses the flat pattern slot of solid edge files to do the flat pattern work (in the vid, big arrow stating no sheet metal). I already use the flat patterns to create and store folding tables and I don't want to make a copy of the files for import or export DXF's. The whole reason to get nesting software that connected directly to CAD is to avoid the need for another set of files. For my work flow, that is a fatal flaw.
I was interested enough to have them demo the software over the net with me. This is how I found out how the software works and learned they convert the bent parts to flat using solid edge (and it's flat pattern slot).
We never did get to the point where I could find out if they can use the" Document Name Formula" to label the flat patterns. I have been structuring my files, file names, and properties with that in mind for nesting file names.
I created a naming system for all my files:
AABC XXXX YYYY ZZZZ
AABC is the design of the box
x y and z are the box dimensions in inches assuming 2 decimal places.
IE XXXX should be XX.XX
each part has a name AADE
I have a complex chart to map AA,B,C,D,E to specific parts that repeat other than the overall size that handled with the XYZ's.