Tormach’s PathPilot CNC control software offers a Tool Table facility that will accept up to 1000 different tool entries. This is more than enough tools for the small machine shop and if fully populated would represent a small fortune in tools and collet investment.
In PathPilot when you go to the Offsets tab to edit a tool, the following dialogue box comes up (sorry about the quality of the image ..) suggesting that you can be quite clever with the descriptions of your tools.
How you describe the tool helps local machining settings such as Conversational routines. It has no impact if you are loading an externally created GCode from CAD/CAM packages such as Fusion 360.
When I first started using PathPilot I had never bothered to add this intelligence when I described the tool. I simply wrote something that meant something to me. As time has passed and I have added more and more tools, the prospect of going back into the Tool Table and making edits to conform to these intelligent descriptions did not seem like a glamorous prospect, even for a rainy day job.
What has changed is that in the latest versions of PathPilot, Tormach has added a search routine for the tool table. This depends for its success in finding what you are searching for on the consistency of entries in each line description.
There is now an incentive to have a ‘rainy day’ session and clean up the table entries.
See Mill-tool-table-editor to download a folder containing the description of how to do this and also the Excel file used to manipulate the data.
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