Heuristic approaches to large-scale periodic packing of irregular shapes on a rectangular sheet
The nesting problem is a two-dimensional cutting and packing problem where the small pieces to cut have irregular shapes. A particular case of the nesting problem occurs when congruent copies of one single shape have to fill, as much as possible, a limited sheet. Traditional approaches to the nesting problem have difficulty to tackle with high number of pieces to place. Additionally, if the orientation of the given shape is not a constraint, the general nesting approaches are not particularly successful. This problem arises in practice in several industrial contexts such as footwear, metalware and furniture. A possible approach is the periodic placement of the shapes, in a lattice way. In this paper, we propose three heuristic approaches to solve this particular case of nesting problems. Experimental results are compared with published results in literature and additional results obtained from new instances are also provided.
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