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Arrangement of shapes in an area

  1. Aug 2, 2011 #1

    I'm trying to research a method or algorithm to determine how to best fit a couple of diferent shapes into a given area.

    Type of area: Rectangular
    Types of shapes: Rectangles, Triangles, Circles

    Where I work at we have to figure out how to best arrange the shapes we need into a steel metal plague (10ft x 15ft for example) in order to require the least ammount of plaques so we can give the customes a lower price overall.

    I've tried my luck with google but I can't quite pinpoint the correct search criteria for this.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.:smile:

    EDIT: BTW, if this topic belongs to another section please direct me to it.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2011 #2


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    This is pretty well-known problem. It's also a very difficult problem. The one I usually hear about is how to fit disks of a certain size inside of a square so that you maximize the area. There's plenty of naive algorithms to fit disks into a square(most likely won't obtain an optimal solution), but as far as maximizing your area, it's hard to do.
  4. Aug 4, 2011 #3

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

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