Understanding the Tool File Interface

Understanding the Tool File Interface

This article provides an overview of the options and settings available on the Tool Files tab of the Configuration Editor (Options) Interface.  For a complete list of available tabs and options visit  Overview: Configuration Editor (Options) Interface.

Understanding the Tool File Interface

The Tool Files tab allows you to set up, modify, export, and import tool files.  Tool files can be accessed in two ways. The first is through Toolbox Setup > Options > Tool Files. The other way to access the Tool Files is through the Processing Center.


When accessing tool files through the Options, there are more tools available.


  1. Set as Primary – Allows you to select which tool file to use as the primary (default) tool file if others have been installed.
  2. Edit in User Interface – Allows you to edit the tool file using the user interface.
  3. Edit in Spreadsheet – Allows you to edit the tool file spreadsheet. Only experienced users should perform any edits using this tool.
  4. Rename – Allows you to rename the selected tool file.
  5. Copy – Allows you to create a copy of the selected tool file.
  6. Delete – Allows you to delete the selected tool file.
  7. Import – Allows you to import tool file(s).
  8. Export – Allows you to export the selected tool file(s).
  9. Export as XLSX – Allows you to export the selected tool file as a .xlsx file.

The Tool File user interface contains options and settings that will help you set up and maintain your tool file to match the tooling options for your machines.

With the new IPP (Integrated Post Processor) tool files, the following tabs will be displayed across the top of the user interface: Tools, Settings, Fields, Custom Settings, and Integrated Post Processor Settings.

The Tools tab will allow you to set up the types of tools available for your machinery. Each of the different kinds of tools (vertical drills, horizontal drills, routers, and saws) contain its own set of parameters and settings. However, each type will have these same fields:
  1. Common Tool Name – This can be a unique name (or number) and is used within the software for machine token tool assignments.
  2. Actual Tool Name – This is the tool name (or number) that has been assigned at the machine. Common tool names and actual tool names may vary. They will often vary if a shop has multiple machines that require g-code. For example, a CNC machine and a point-to-point machine may be set up to use the same common tool name ("101" = 1/2" end boring bit), but the actual tool names that will be called out in the g-code, may be different.
  3. Feed Speed – This value is the speed the tool will use once it has penetrated the material.
  4. Entry Speed – This value is the penetration speed the tool will use from the face of the material to the end depth of the machining operation.

Vertical Drills


Horizontal Drills


Routers

Routing tools have additional settings for designating default machining operations. On the right side of the interface is a series of check-boxes. The options selected for the tools will help the software select the correct tool when using the Solid Model Tools (this is a module that must be purchased), which allows you to create manufacturable products from 3D AutoCAD solids.


Saws


Settings

The Settings tab contains a wide range of options and settings. These settings are used to set up the tool file to match the options that are available with your machinery. They also contain settings for designating file paths, and barcode formats (if applicable).


Fields

The Fields tab contains parameters for setting up the machining fields available with your machine. Some machines may have more than one field. Some examples would be CNC machines with more than one bed or point-to-point machines that can machine both faces without having to machine a part twice. In these cases, one field would be set up as normal, while the other would be set up as mirrored. 


When processing a work order, you may encounter an error stating that a part is too large for the field. This occurs when the material exceeds the maximum part size in the X and/or Y axes. This type of error will require the material parameters to be correct, and the work order will need to be recreated.

Custom Settings

The Custom Settings tab displays, in a table, all the tools that have been assigned for use when creating products using the Solid Model Tools.


Integrated Post Processor Settings

The Integrated Post Processor Settings tab includes variables that will change machine code calculations.

It is advised to speak with the Tool File Technician before making changes. Making changes here may require other parameters in other tabs to be changed.

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