Trimloss last updated

17th January 2018

by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services

Thinking clear       Thinking software

Thinking Trimloss


by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services


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Advanced Shape Cutting


From a smaller shape library than used by our competitors, we are able to offer all the required shape cutting, thus making correct shape selection much quicker.  This is because there is much flexibility in many shapes.  For instance, the shape which is a rectangle with any number of cut off corners, each cut off being potentially different, is just one shape in our library.  In competitor’s libraries, this might require up to 14 individual entries in their library.  




It is usually only glass shops with a toughening plant that have a significant need for the shape features of Trimloss.  There is however an increasing demand from Trimloss users without a toughening plant, simply so that they can use our shaped spacer bar software to produce detailed spacer bar cutting details, from which the spacer bars can be made by the time the purchased toughened glass arrives.  Trimloss can also produce the toughened glass order with reference numbers against each ordered piece of glass which then appears on the tougheners glass label enabling a toughened delivery quickly to be sequenced to match both the prepared rectangular or shaped spacer bars and your final unit labels, as well as any required segregation for Georgian or leaded.  


Another feature being introduced is the nesting of shapes to avoid some often large off cuts.  The most obvious shapes to benefit from nesting, are right angled triangles, or any shapes that remotely resemble a right angled triangle, even though they may have more than three sides, or no corner which is a right angle.  


Some competitors however do not even use a library of shapes.  What they use instead is what is called the DXF standard of drawing each shape from scratch.  We can also do this from just one of the shapes in our library, but in most cases, it is much easier and quicker to use a specific shape in our library.  For a right angle triangle for instance, we need only select left or right handed and then enter the width and the height.  Using the DXF method of some competitors, the same shape may require up to eight numbers to be entered.  With an isosceles triangle shape where two sides are of equal length, our library allows either the vertical height or the slope height of the equal sides to be input.  Using the DXF method of some competitors, you might need a mathematics degree to be able to work out all the geometry before it can be input.  

Every one of our shapes can be handed or re-orientated from the original.  This makes it easy to ditto an order item requiring the exact reverse hand.  In addition to that, we can allow a step on any edge or any combination of edges on any of our shapes.  In addition to that, we also automatically calculate the detailed spacer bar geometry, so that a manually produced shaped spacer bar is going to fit exactly.  All this is possible because we use generic formulas to calculate the intersection of any two lines, whether they be straight or curved, horizontal, vertical, or angled.  In short, we do not need the shape definition to help calculate the correct intersection points.  This also means that we can cope with the most complicated shapes, even those which have been drawn using a CAD package.  The advanced mathematics we employ to calculate the stepped edges on glass and the detailed spacer bar geometry, is EXCLUSIVE to Trimloss and is highly praised by customers.  

Some competitors’ shape nesting software requires operator input, physically to drag shapes around on the screen.  This may seem initially to give more scope for waste reduction.  The end results can then however, be far too complicated for easy break out, because instead of handing nested pairs over to the rectangular optimiser, as with Trimloss, they cannot mix the two methods of waste reduction in one cutting diagram.  There is a popular misconception in the industry that waste reduction via shape nesting does more than any other features to reduce waste.  Experience tells us that whilst shape nesting is important, it is not by a long way, the most important feature.  The rectangular optimisation of Trimloss can alone produce waste figures of typically 3% to 5% lower than some of its competitors, and this is on all production, not just shapes.  



A common shape definition output by most window design software for conservatory roofs, is the specification of the angle of each corner and the length of each side.  Unfortunately, the accuracy of this data is far too limited, such that after plotting around the shape, the end point misses the start point by typically 3mm and sometimes as much as 5mm.  Trimloss tells the input operator how big is the error and if it is to be tolerated, in which case Trimloss then very cleverly spreads the error around the whole shape so that it is no longer detectable.  




Sample Scale Drawings of a Miss Shapen Rectangle



Shapes are always defined as being viewed from the outside of the window.  There is now a new feature however, which enables coated glass stock sheets to be defined as having the coating on the top or the bottom on the cutting table.  From also the type of coating, Trimloss then works out automatically, whether the shape on any leaf needs to be handed to produce the correct results.  The one shape definition for the whole unit, therefore works for any and all coated glasses in a unit.