For large-format printing and plotter cutting, it is important to lay out many objects of various shapes on one sheet. The nesting plugin for CorelDraw allows you to automate this operation and generate a CDR file that contains not only cut lines that can be sent to the cutting plotter, but also graphics, taking into account the specified bleed. This allows you to print wide format first and then cut using the same work file.
The work of the plug-in is organized in the form of projects. Each project contains detailed information about all nesting parameters, including source files, calculation parameters, etc. To create a new project, click the plus button in the project manager and give it a name.
The principle of working with projects in FP is the same as in other plugins of the library. A detailed description of all the features of the project manager and its settings can be found on the auto imposition plugin page.
To perform nesting, you must first make a list of objects that will be used in the work. To do this, select the desired shape in the document and click 1 the plus button. If the object is suitable for nesting, then it will be included in the list and an icon will be generated for it for easy navigation. By clicking on the icon, you can find this object in the source CDR file. Objects for nesting can be added from various documents.
For each added object, you can specify the amount that will be placed in the nesting, 2 as well as the size of the graphics bleed, if it is supposed to be used.
It is important to understand that it is necessary to add boundary objects to the list that will serve as cutting lines. Graphics should be located under this line. When generating a CDR file for placing graphics, all objects under the cut line will be selected, placed in the clip with the required bleed, and placed in the finished CorelDraw file with nesting.
The second important nesting parameter is the sheet on which the layout will be performed. You can set either a rectangular sheet with an exact size or select a CorelDraw object that will be used for nesting. The last option in the list allows you to set the exact number of rectangular or irregular sheets to be used.
To place a nesting inside an irregularly shaped object, first select or draw an object of the desired size and shape in CorelDraw. The add button will become active as soon as you select it in the document.
Please bear in mind that the plugin will try to place the maximum number of source objects on the target sheet. If this is not possible, a part of the object will not end up on the finished sheet with nesting. The same situation can happen if the size of the source object, taking into account the bleed, exceeds the size of the target sheet.
On this tab of the plug-in window, you can set a number of important parameters that will have a significant impact on the speed of work and the quality of the final result.
To increase the nesting search speed, the plugin performs some simplification of the shape of objects. A higher value of this parameter will increase the speed of work, but may reduce the exact calculation. This setting can have a significant impact on nesting speed, especially for non-rectangular target sheets.
The distance between objects must be set no less than the maximum graphics bleed that will be placed in the finished file. If only cut lines are needed, then this parameter can be left at 0.
When performing the nesting calculation, the plugin can take into account the possibility of rotating objects at different angles. This option may increase the calculation time. For most applications, it is sufficient to set the rotation to 90 degrees.
The plugin will try to more accurately take into account the external shape of the object for nesting, not limited to rectangular borders.
If there are objects with holes inside, the plugin will try to place objects in them. This will allow the most optimal use of the material when cutting and printing.
To perform the nesting calculation, you must go to the last tab and start the process. The search for suitable layout options is an iterative process and can continue indefinitely. To control the depth of the search, you can specify the desired number of iterations using the slider. 1 If you move it to the extreme left position, then the search process will go to a manual stop.
During the search, the plugin can find various suitable nesting variants. They are added to the list from which you can then generate a CorelDraw file. You can control 2 how the plugin adds options to the list — either all that are found, or only those that place objects on the sheet more sparingly.
Each nesting variant in the list 3 contains information about the placed shapes, the number of sheets and the area occupied by the objects. By clicking on a variant, you can open it to perform file generation in CorelDraw.
To get the finished CorelDraw file with nesting, you need to click 1 on the appropriate variant in the list. The plugin will show all the sheets included in this variant. You can select the ones you want to render 2 as a CDR file and press button 3.
The plugin will create the necessary file by placing the cut lines on a separate layer. If you need to place the graphics as well, then you need to check the checkbox 4. The plugin will place the graphic for each cut line in the clip with the required bleed value and put it in the right place in the finished file.
By clicking on the 1 button in the main window of the plugin, you can open the settings in which you can set a number of important parameters for calculating and generating a finished file with nesting.
These parameters 2 allow you to control the search depth slider on the generation page. You can adjust them depending on the typical complexity of the work for deeper or faster search options.
For the finished CorelDraw file, you can specify the color of the cut lines and the name of the layers for graphics and lines. 3 This parameter will allow you to synchronize the work of the plug-in with the further workflow for printing and cutting on the plotter.
In the Saving tab, you can specify the location of the finished file after nesting.
Project settings management is performed similarly to other plugins and is described in detail here.