MetalOpt Blog by Howard Goding

A Cut List Pic

Welcome to the MetalOpt blogging page. This will focus on tools and tips to help current and future users of MetalOpt.

First a little about my background, I work for a glazing contractor preparing shop drawings of architectural aluminum storefront and curtain wall systems using the most current version of AutoCAD thanks to the Autodesk subscription program. I also prepare order and fabrication take-offs. I started drafting by hand in the mid-80s while I worked my way through community college. After many years going part time I graduated with an AAS in mechanical engineering. I have worked for two of the big architectural aluminum companies; Kawneer and YKK AP America. Being the only draftsman at my current job keeps me very busy.

MetalOpt 7 for Mac release

Posted by HG on May 29, 2017

This is the introduction of a Mac compatible version of MetalOpt. This release includes a new recap sheet routine for both the PC and Mac versions. The Mac version of Excel 2016 must be version 15.17 or newer. Older versions of Excel for Mac are not compatible. Customers can request a Beta version of MetalOpt 6.4m which is compatible with Excel 2011 for Mac although this version has mixed reviews. The PC version of MetalOpt must be used to utilize the AutoCAD material Tag data feature and the CSV export feature due to the use of activeX programing.

CADDtools Data Exchange update

Posted by HG on August 4, 2016

A new version of the CADDtools Data Exchange program has two additions to the program, a glazing insert routine and a table creation routine. Along with these additions there are more layer filter options to use on all of the routines. MetalOpt 6.4 includes the new layer filters.

  • Go to: Data Exchange program to download the file.
  • MetalOpt 6.4 compatibility update

    Posted by HG on June 21, 2015

    MetalOpt 6.4 has an update increasing the number of layers filtered from AutoCAD. This addition will accommodate a future release of the CADDtools Data Exchange program. In addition the website has been updated to accommodate new security features PayPal is instituting.

    MetalOpt 6.3 adds RazorGage saw stop functions

    Posted by HG on June 15, 2015

    MetalOpt 6.3 has an update adding a new fab sheet for the RazorGage saw stop and programing to create the RazorGage native file to be used directly on their software.

  • 1. Added RazorGage functions.
  • 2. Expanded the sorted data function from the CADDtools Data Exchange program. This will allow you to include up to eight additional preps per part and add it to the MetalOpt FOM and RazorGage fab sheet automatically.
  • 3. Added glass layer CADDtoolsGL functionality so MetalOpt can see the layer in AutoCAD.
  • 4. Created small routine to repair quick buttons due to Windows anomaly.
  • Thanks to the RazorGage folks for helping me with their formating options.
  • RazorGage.com
  • Undated CADDtools Data Exchange release

    Posted by HG on February 21, 2015

    This version of the CADDtools Data Exchange program utilizes the vb.net programing and eliminates the need to install the AutoCAD visual basic module. There are two versions for AutoCAD 2013 through 2015 and a version for AutoCAD 2012. Both versions work on 32 bit and 64 bit AutoCAD installs. To download the program go to CADDtools.com Data Exchange

    Excel 2010 sheet buttons disabled after automatic windows 7 update. Problem Solved

    Posted by HG on December 11, 2014

    After 23 automatic updates were installed the other day I discovered the sheet buttons in MetalOpt and other spread sheets were disabled. The VBA macros are still working in the ribbon, the sheet buttons were the only ones affected. I found a fix by deleting three temporary Excel files. Delete the file MSForms.exd from the following Temp subfolder in the user's profile.

  • C:\Users\[user.name]\AppData\Local\Temp\Excel8.0\MSForms.exd
  • C:\Users\[user.name]\AppData\Local\Temp\VBE\MSForms.exd
  • C:\Users\[user.name]\AppData\Local\Temp\Word8.0\MSForms.exd
  • To be safe I moved the files to an auxiliary temp folder so I could restore the file if necessary. After moving the files I closed and reopened Excel and the sheet buttons are working again. Problem Solved.

    I must give credit to the stackoverflow forum for the helpful information.
  • stackoverflow.com/questions/27411399/microsoft-excel-activex-controls-disabled
  • MetalOpt 6.2 released

    Posted by HG on September 10, 2014

    I solved the problem with Excel 64 bit installs which give a compile error. This error is caused by an internal reference "Microsoft Windows Common Control 6.0 (SP6). The 64 bit versions of Excel 2010 and 2013, use VBA7 so the VB6 reference which is missing throws an error. Thanks to all of the customers who patiently waited for a fix. A special thanks to Ken who was the first to find the problem and reinstalled his Excel as 32 bit until I could find a solution. This release fixes only 64bit installs and does not affect any of the functions on MetalOpt 6.1, thank you.

    Mac Office 2011 compatibility issue

    Posted by HG on September 3, 2014

    A note to Mac users due to limitations incorporated into the Mac office 2011, the optimizer is not compatible. MetalOpt utilizes xml programming to load a custom menu ribbon when you open the workbook. Due to limitations incorporated into the Mac office 2011, the menu ribbon is not loaded. This limitation inhibits your ability to execute the visual basic macros and run the optimizer or cut list programs. At this time there is no solution to this issue. I admit my knowledge on the Mac operating system and Mac office 2011 is limited although I will continue to pursue a solution. Thank you.

    Intoducing MetalOpt online

    Posted by HG on February 9, 2014

    I have created an online version of MetalOpt for you to try. It has similar operations as the main MetalOpt optimizer. The limitations are the online version will only let you optimize up to five different lengths. You have the option to run the optimizer only to get the number of stock lengths you require or you can run the cut list routine to get your results in a list form to print and use to cut from. The main features include:

  • 1. Optimize and generate a cut list.
  • 2. Input your own custom stock length size.
  • 3. Adjust for different saw blade thicknesses.
  • 4. The option to include an end cut length.
  • 5. Optimizing up to five different lengths.
  • 6. Option to include a part name to be added to your cut list.
  • New version of MetalOpt 6.1

    Posted by HG on November 17, 2013

    The long awaited new version of MetalOpt is here. I have been working on this big project for many months and here it is. The main new features include:

  • 1. Select multiple spread sheets to Optimize at one time.
  • 2. Added quick Optimize buttons to the fab sheet.
  • 3. Optimize multiple stock lengths at one time.
  • 4. Import and Export Glass data between MetalOpt and AutoCAD which is an extension of the CADDtools Data Exchange program.
  • 5. Create Excel CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. Creating the file from the cut list sheet will allow you to make labels to include with the cut list. Creating the file from the fab sheet will allow you to use the data with automatic stop saws. A new fab sheet and CSV routine was added for the FOM automatic saw stop.
  • 6. Solution for compatibility issues with newer versions of Excel. MetalOpt will be issued in two versions (.xls, & .xlsm); the new .xlsm format is compatible with Excel 2007 and newer.
  • 7. The MetalOpt.xlsm version has a new ribbon menu in lieu of using the "Ad-in" menu.
  • New MetalOpt web site

    Posted by HG on August 8, 2013

    This is the introduction of a new MetalOpt website. I have been working on many projects which kept me from updating this site for quite a few years. I have updated the site to the new web site standards while keeping a minimal structure so the site will load quickly. My goal was to make the site easier to navigate and read. Please feel free to comment below, it may get included in the next blog.

    Data Import Export Feature

    Posted by HG on July 28, 2013

    A popular feature created a few years ago is the data import export routine. This feature allows you to import data from AutoCAD into Excel and export Tag information back to AutoCAD. This is a multistep process to create the data in AutoCAD then extract the data using a visual basic program designed to use with AutoCAD. Once the data is extracted MetalOpt can use its visual basic program to import the data and make Fab sheets along with combining like sizes in one step. After you manipulate the data as you require, i.e. add tag information, you use the MetalOpt program to export the Tag information directly to AutoCAD. Please refer to the Instruction Video page for detailed video instructions for more information.

    Next Blog Soon

    Posted by HG on arch __, 2014

    This will be new content.

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