I'm building an estimating/job planning/job ticketing solution for a printing company.
I mave calculations set up to calculate how many of a certain sized piece will fit on a given press sheet. Included are user-defined variables for matching or against grain, best of either (but all the same direction), or mixed grain.
Now, I would like to have an area where FMP can show the user a graphical representation of that.
I haven't worked with charts much, so I don't know if that is where I should be looking?
Here are 4 examples of common press sheet layouts. All of these are fit on a 23x35" press sheet, but there are many possible variations.
Top left: 8, 8.5x11" pieces
Top right: 4, 17x11" pieces
Bottom left: 6, 8.5x14" pieces (mixed grain)
Bottom right: 3, 11x17" pieces (other grain direction from the example above it)
That's all I really need: just boxes within a larger box, somewhat close to scale.
One idea that a colleague proposed was to have a library of common press sheet layouts, like these 4, and just have it pull the image into a container field when the calc matches the criteria for that sheet. That could work, but it would be a lot of images to build, and then would only work for those. I would rather have something dynamic that would just do it on the fly, from the supplied criteria.
Other variables I want to build in include eventually:
If pieces should be positioned off of center (most common), or pushed against one side or into one corner.
If pieces should butt up agains each other, or if they should have a gutter in between them (pieces with "bleed," for those familiar with printing terms).
My example diagrams all have gutters, except the one with 6, 8.5x14" pieces.
If press gripper should be accounted for (a certain distance/margin along one edge of the press sheet that cannot have printed image).
Room for color bars, trim marks, etc.
Those things can just be accounted for in the calculations, and don't necessarily need to show up on the diagram, unless we're shooting for the moon.
But, if I could just figure out the basics, then we are set.
Another wish list thing would be the ability to combine multiple sizes (gang runs).
If FMP can't do it with the built-in tools, I'm not opposed to a plug-in based solution, if it is affordable.
Thanks for any help you can offer!