Expert Machinist > Cutting Tools > The Tool Setup Dialog Box
The Tool Setup Dialog Box
The upper portion of the Tool Setup dialog box contains the Tool Table for the current machine. The Tool Table defines the correspondence between a descriptive tool name (Name) and its location on the machine, that is, its pocket number (Number). You can optionally supply a value for the gauge length register (Offset) and comments output for the tool (Comments). Each machine tool has its own Tool Table.
When you select a Tool Table entry in the upper portion of the Tool Setup dialog box, the system updates the lower portion to display this tool’s parameters and section sketch.
The lower portion of the Tool Setup dialog box contains the following tabs: General, Settings, Cut Data, BOM, Offset Table, and User Defined.
The General tab
Name—A descriptive tool name (for example, BALL125), which uniquely identifies the tool with a certain set of parameter values. The tool name is used throughout Expert Machinist to identify the tool. You can store the tool’s parameters in a text file and then retrieve it to use in a different manufacturing process. The tool Name serves as the name for this parameter file, therefore, all the operating system’s restrictions for file names apply to Name (for example, it cannot contain spaces or periods). The name must be less than thirty-two alphanumeric characters long.
The tool name can not contain hyphens (-). Underscores (_), however, can be used.
Type—Select one of the predefined tool types available in Expert Machinist. Tool types correspond to the type of the machine tool and of the machining feature (for example, you will need a milling tool to mill a Pocket; to machine a Hole Group feature, you can use both milling and drilling tools). The tool type, in turn, defines the tool’s cross section and, therefore, the set of parameters you have to specify for the tool.
Material—Specify the material that the tool is made of.
Units—Length units of the tool. The default length units of a tool are those of the stock. If you change the Units, this will affect the actual tool dimensions.
The Geometry section contains the text boxes for defining the Geometry parameters, that is, parameters that specify all the dimensions of the tool. These dimension values are used in calculating the tool path and material removed, and should accurately reflect the actual tool dimensions and length units. Some of the parameters are required for defining the tool's cross section, others are optional. The actual parameter names in this category depend on the tool Type.
The Settings tab
The Settings tab contains the text boxes for defining some of the tool table elements and various optional parameters that define tool properties other than geometry:
Tool Number—Corresponds to the Number field of the Tool Table, which defines the tool's pocket number.
Offset Number—Corresponds to the Offset field of the Tool Table, which supplies a value for the gauge length register.
Tool gauge lengths (Gauge X Length and Gauge Z Length)—Optional parameters used to create length qualifiers in the LOADTL or TURRET statements.
Long Tool—Select this checkbox if the tool is too long to retract to the Rotation Clearance level during 4-axis machining. If you mark the tool as long, the tip of the tool will move to the Safe Rotary Point (specified in the Operation Setup dialog box) during table rotations.
Comments—A text string that will be stored along with the tool parameters and output with the tool table using PPRINT. If you want the tool table to show this comment, click Edit > Table Comments in the top menu bar of the Tool Setup dialog box, and select the Use TOOL_COMMENT parameter option. If you want the tool table to show a comment different than the tool Comments parameter string, click Edit > Table Comments, select New comment, and type in a new comment string.
The Cut Data tab
Before specifying the cutting data you must set up your Materials directory structure. The cutting data (feed, speed, axial and radial depths) for roughing and finishing with this tool, based on the stock material type and condition. This data is stored in a separate file with the same file name as the geometry and other tool parameters, but located in the appropriate Materials directory.
The BOM tab
The BOM tab provides information about the Bill of Materials for the tool.
The Offset Table tab
A table of offset registers and distances for mill tools with multiple tips.
The User Defined tab
The custom parameters to be associated with the tool. This functionality is controlled by the mfg_custom_tool_param_file configuration option.