ShapeNest is a tool to make CNC profile cutting quick and simple. This allows you to get the most from resources and materials using Oxy-acetylene, Plasma, Laser, Water-jet and in fact any profile cutting technology.

It is also a practical solution to the problems of fitting parts on stock material and efficiently cutting them out, carefully taking in account heat distribution, component handling, operator convenience, use of consumables and cutting time.

Your production will be in better shape

Compared to more antiquated methods, Shape Nest will save at least 15% on materials, consumables and time. Easily paying for itself in a few months.

Quick turn around from job to job

Offline programming ensures the cutting machines keep cutting. Design drawing data can be used to directly describe and define the shape to be cut with lead in and run off moves added automatically to your own preferences. Repetitive shapes, either simple or complex can be recalled and sized using the shape library, thus reducing programming time.

We offer a 30-day free evaluation and one annual subscription option.

The annual subscription is a one-time fee (paid at checkout) and an annual maintenance of £395 per year. The subscription is activated with a USB dongle (sent to your premises in the post) and the maintenance covers updates and support for the year. It’s possible to cancel this subscription at any time, but you will lose your updates and support once your previous years maintenance has elapsed.

If you’re an existing CES customer on an older version of ShapeNest, you can upgrade a new version here on our website.

If you’re a customer currently on a subscription and would like to cancel your subscription, you can do so on your account page. Alternatively, you can contact us directly and we can cancel your subscription for you.

Here is a step-by-step guide to using ShapeNest:

1) Part definition point, lines and circles

These basic shapes and more complex functions are picked from icons and menus, hot keys are also used to give a very rapid and effective user interface.

Where CAD drawings are available from internet and magnetic media, simply read in the geometry and display the finished part.

2) Save the component as an outside profile with apertures and holes, giving it an easily recognised name and with a preferred, but not mandatory, material grade and thickness.

3) Call up a new rectangular plate or recall a remnant, giving material grade, thickness and plate sizes. Select from the list of components you have stored and preview the shape as you select it. Semi-automatic nesting puts the shape just clear of the edge or adjacent to other components. Spin and slide the shapes to best fit the material repeating parts and optionally use multi-head cutting, check the order of cutting and if you want to you can add a start and stop positions, then put in continuous cutting in place of short rapid moves. Add special features for line, punch and part marking.

4) Click the Icon to produce the cutting program with operator instructions and dimensioned drawings. The cutting program is transferred automatically into the job queue for the DNC link down to the cutting machines.

5) On the cutting the machine the operator can browse the Job Queue to select the next nest of parts to be cut.

Cutting analysis give an inventory of parts in the nest and manufacturing time.

Here is a full list of functions and features in the ShapeNest profile cutting software:

  • Part geometry and standard shapes definition
  • CAD interface for DXF DSTV and others.
  • Auto trim and extend
  • Line marking
  • Text marking
  • Component library sorted by Customer and Plate thickness
  • Dimensioned drawing
  • Cutting instructions
  • Continuous cutting
  • Scale – Rotation – Mirror
  • Microsoft Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Platforms Windows 32 and 64 bit  XP to Windows 8
  • Multiple head cutting
  • Common line cutting
  • Automatic overlap check
  • Variables and expressions input definitions
  • Automatic Lead-in and Run-off added
  • Calculated cutting time and distance
  • Stand Alone or Networked
  • Job Queue DNC Server – Single or Multiple machine
  • Cutting program management
  • Operator instruction sheets
  • Part Inventory  and Plate Utilisation % figures
  • Repeated features – Linear and circular repeat
  • Looping (program format)
  • Open and closed profile definition.
  • Preview component selection
  • Left hand / Right hand mirror
  • Interference check
  • Dynamic position checking for overlaps – shape in Blue – profiles are too close.
  • Duct – bends – square to rounds, cones, cylinders, lobster backs
  • 3D visualisation of ducts .
  • Drilling and punching on sub-sequent machines.
  • System manager stores all the setting for Shape Nest for easy selection from lists of options.

ShapeNest is delivered with a completely automatic DNC system to link your PC with your cutting machine on the shop floor. DNC Server allows the operator at the cutting machine to call programs from the Job Queue. So the software constantly monitors all connections ready to deliver the requested program to the control unit. This is particularly useful with shift work.

The default setting is the Burny 2 but can be configured to other systems. ShapeNest DNC can be extended to cater for many cutting machines using Serial RS232, WiFi and Networked folders.

  • Connected to the COM (Serial RS232) Port
  • RS422  (Current Loop)
  • USB to serial adapter option
  • Single Cutting machine
  • Two Cutting machines by two Com ports (optional upgrade)
  • Manual switching box on the shopfloor
  • Automatic multiport switch 4, 8 or 20 Ports (optional upgrade)
  • WiFi connection for up to 250 Cutting machines (optional upgrade)


The ShapeNest download file contains all the software, cutting data and supporting files for DNC and device drivers to work. Should you run into issues installing ShapeNest, contact us directly for assistance.

About ShapeNest

Unlike our other software ESTIM, ShapeNest is a hardware-only solution. To get started, you can download our 30-day free trial and then upgrade to the full software solution where we will send you a USB dongle to activate the extra features.

We include a year of support in your initial purchase and then the only recurring cost is further years of maintenance and support. You can manage your subscription status on your account page and you can cancel at any time (with your remaining maintenance duration unaffected).