divide an area efficiently

Hello,

I'm not sure if this is the correct subforum but here's my question.

I wish to create a piece of software that calculates the most efficient way of cutting certain dimensions from standard size sheets.

I will try and explain.

Say you have standard sheets of material measuring 2000mm x 1000mm and you need to cut an arbritary set of rectangular sizes out of such standard sheets. You may also have to use multiples of these standard sheets to get all the sizes you need. An example might be, you need 2 pieces of 100mm x 400mm, 5 sheets of 200mm x 350mm, 4 sheets of 283mm x 600mm and so forth.

As an artist, this is something I need to do regularly and it takes me *ages* to work out the most efficient method which causes the least waste.

If I could create software that I could simply input the sizes I need and it tells me the most efficient way, that would be a great timesaver for me.

Unfortunately I do not know the correct mathematical formula which would help with such a problem and I wouldn't even know where to start.

Does anybody know if this is possible?

Regards,

David