Global Variable Default Tooling Configuration

Overview & Tutorial: Global Variable Default Tooling Configuration


The first step in setting up a new CNC machine at your company is to purchase a toolfile configuration from Microvellum. A Microvellum Project Manager will assign a toolfile tech to create your new toolfile. The tech will need to gather sample data from you as well as machine-specific data such as tooling.

Once you receive that toolfile, the next step is a thorough test. To start using your new toolfile to produce G-Code for the products in your library, you must link the tools configured at the machine to common machining operations within Microvellum.


  1. Open Toolbox and click "Toolbox Setup > Library Specification Groups" and click the button "Open Global File."

  2. Fig. 01  - Command Path to Open Global File

  3. Click the Machining tab.

  4. Fig. 02 - Global File Machining Tab

  5. Expand the category Default Routing Tools and notice that each machining operation has a tool assigned to it. Those tools are set up in your toolfile with a Common Name, and you assign that Common Name of the necessary tool here to each routing tool variable. (The Actual Name is used by the CNC.) Those two names may be the same, but it is not required. Just remember that any tool assigned in the Global file is the one Microvellum will be looking for in the toolfile when creating G-Code for that routing operation. If the program cannot find it, it will generate an error in the log.

  6. Fig. 03 - Routing Tool Variables Followed by an Assigned Tool

    Fig. 04 - Toolfile Routing Tools Common Name

  7. Click on the value in the variable value column and change it in the edit box at the top of the window. Click the OK button next to the edit box, click OK in the bottom right corner of the window, and after that close the Spec Group window.

  8. Fig. 05 - Edit Global Tools Assigned 

You are now ready to begin using your toolfile and global file in conjunction with each other to produce G-Code for your various routing operations.

Tool Information Override by Material

Tooling information may be controlled from the library data or the material. You may control Tool Numbers, Entry Speeds, and Feed Speeds from the material, as explained below. This control is separate from that defined in the library data. 

As an example, some users would like to have a different tool assigned to cut melamine and one for cutting laminate parts. Instead of trying to create a new global variable for melamine material, and a new tool number, configure a tool override in the melamine material file. In that interface, there is a text box for Code in which you may enter the tool override.

Fig. 06 - Edit Material with Tool Override ("|T6 F450" where T6 represents tool 6 and F450 represents the feed rate)

To control tooling information from the material, open the material file, and select the material to edit from the Material Inventory window, right-click and select Edit Selected Material. 

Enter the tooling information in the Code box that you intend to supersede anything already located in the library data.

Sample tool override expression syntax:  T101 F3|T102 F3  (See below)
T101 = Route Tool Number override
(A space to separate the tool number from the feed speed.)
F3 = Feed Speed (in this case 3 = meters [Biesse])
(A pipe to separate the 'Route Tool' from the 'Nest Tool.')
T102 = Nest Tool override
(A space to separate the tool number from the feed speed.)
F3 = Feed Speed (in this case 3 = meters [Biesse])
The "Nest Tool" override is needed only if a "Nest Tool" other than what was defined as the default in the tool file is desired for routing the nest borders. Otherwise, only the "Route Tool"
override, and its "Feed Speed" information will be needed.

We know of at least one user that used this method for shop plywood and solid surface. Their goal was to prevent excessive wear on their 3/8" bit for finished panels.

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