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AppliCad’s New ‘Block-Cut’ Material Optimizer Saves Material and Time

AppliCad has timed the release of the next version of its Roof Wizard software, featuring the Block-Cut panel optimization feature, to coincide with the 2014 International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas, NV in February. Click image to enlarge.

By Ray Smith, Managing Director
AppliCad USA

AppliCad has led the world in waste reduction and material optimization in its software tools for metal roofing for over 20 years. AppliCad is continuously striving for even better results and forever fine tuning their software tools to further improve ease of use and provide greater efficiency.

It is a most exciting time when AppliCad launches something new – especially as innovative as the much anticipated brand new ‘Block-Cut’ panel optimization tools to be launched with the next version of the renowned Roof Wizard software.

In one sense, there is nothing new about the new software tools. The method used with ‘Block-Cut’ has been employed to reduce material waste by roofers in Australia and New Zealand for a very long time. What is exciting about this announcement is that the capability is now automated, interactive and embedded in the Roof Wizard software, so just about anyone can learn how to do it reliably and accurately. An added bonus is that all the required installer reports are generated automatically to user defined templates with your company details.

The ‘block-cut’ method of waste reduction, is a development of the regular blocking process resident in the Roof Wizard software for over 20 years. Block-Cut is a new process where the estimator determines where panels/sheets can go and more particularly, where the offcuts can go, as part of a ‘block’ of panels, thus substantially reducing waste material. It takes the blocks created and sub-divides them to show where the off-cut is expected to be extracted from and applied to the roof.

This is actually taking what roofers do manually, automating it and completing it so quickly that various options may be explored to achieve the best fit. Those roofers who reduce waste by flipping sheets around on hip ends will take to this immediately. It shows them exactly how to achieve the best fit. This is done in the office, before getting to the job site. 

Indeed, it is done at quotation stage, allowing full use of offcut material to reduce the costs, improve your competitiveness and increase job profit margins.

The multi-colored panel placement drawing is sent to the job with the material, and the installation team can see at a glance where every single piece and offcut piece must be placed by color and section placement code – panel area B1 goes to roof plane area B1, B5 goes to roof plane area B5 etc. This achieves the optimal use of material that might otherwise be offcut waste – almost zero waste in this typical example.

Instead of the average job waste allowance being 10-12%, you can easily get it to 2-5%. This can go directly to your bottom line without major retraining and changes to your usual practices. 

Those not familiar with any attempts to increase profit margin by reducing waste might find this process a little bizarre, but experienced metal roofing guys down-under know and fully appreciate the value of this technique and are excited to have it in the new AppliCad Roof Wizard software. This one new feature could repay the value of the Roof Wizard software in just one moderate-sized metal roofing job.

For more details contact your local AppliCad sales team member, call 800-966-1698 or visit

About AppliCad

AppliCad USA Inc. is a specialty CAD applications software development company focused on the needs of the roofing, cladding and solar industries. To learn more,visit

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