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A set of designs with guidelines to orient the material cutting and indicate the amount of material that is necessary to meet the order. This cutting work can be done manually or by using automated machines. In some cases, the cutting need is for only one unit (e.g.: a sheet), therefore the cutting plan idea can also be used for one sole design, even when it comes from a set. Perhaps the most appropriate for one sole design is to use a cutting diagram, layout diagram, diagram or layout.

The cutting plan purpose is to attain the best possible yield of the material. It can happen however that the user may sacrifice a part of this objective in exchange for the cutting stock process, that is to say, the time gain in the use of the cutting machine, of the labor available for the work and of the raw material time in stock, et cetera. Another purpose is the assistance in the purchase and sale price composition.

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