ProNest’s multi-head cutting features

By Hypertherm
Posted on 11/15/2018 in SPARK the blog, Nesting software

Own a multi-head plasma, waterjet, or oxyfuel? This week we look at ProNest’s multi-head cutting features, which greatly increase the power and flexibility of ProNest for nesting and programming machines equipped with multiple cutting heads.

As is customary with ProNest, we like to make things easy to use. For machines with multiple cutting heads, this feature is no exception. As with regular nesting, there are two primary methods of getting your parts down onto a plate with multiple head cutting.

Manual Nesting:

Assuming your ProNest machine settings are already correctly set up and the torch spacing is a valid size, adding any number of incremental torches will result in incremental parts being automatically added to the nest as ‘subordinate parts’. You will notice, these subordinate parts are always visible, being slightly less opaque than parts associated with the primary cutting head (the solid filled parts).

You can make last minute changes to torch settings (Number of Torches, Torch Spacing Type, and Torch Spacing) used during manual nesting by clicking ‘Options’ on the Part List task pane and adjusting settings as necessary. You can also utilize, two of three torches, for example, by dropping a part onto the nest and changing the number of torches (found on the ‘Parts’ tab of the ribbon menu).

Automatic Nesting:

As you’d expect from ProNest, nesting a multi-head job automatically is as simple as clicking the green ‘AutoNest’ button found on the ‘Home’ ribbon menu. To change any multi-head settings prior to Auto-Nesting, you may choose to use the amber Auto-Nest button (setup- then start).

For both manual and automatic nesting, cutting head spacing can be set up as equal, fixed or variable. Equal spacing will adjust head spacing based on the width of the plate. Fixed will space the heads at a uniform distance for a nest or job. For machines that support it, the variable spacing option will automatically adjust head spacing based on the size of the part, so that the minimum part separation between multi-head parts is used. This option typically results in the best plate utilization for multi-head cutting.


When you are happy with your nest, click Output. Depending on your machine, all cutting head spacing setup information (Torch Offset for example) will either be applied automatically within the NC program or included in the setup comments at the top of the program.

Multi-head cutting with ProNest: Easy to set up, easy to nest.



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