ToolShapes are a core part of the Path Tools system. ToolShapes are the templates from which ToolBits are created. They represent the specific physical shape of a tool. A ToolShape does not completely describe the bit - for that some additional parameters are needed which will be added when an actual bit is parameterized from the template.
Initially ToolShapes are just FreeCAD documents with a single Body created from the Part Design workbench.
Creating new ToolShapes is an advanced topic. The most commonly needed ToolShapes already exist and are provided with the FreeCAD installation at:
- On Linux it is usually
- On Windows it is usually
- On macOS it is usually
These can be found in the Mod/Path/Tools/Shape/ subdirectory where FreeCAD was installed.
- Create a new FreeCAD document.
- Open the PartDesign Workbench.
- Create a Body and give the Body a label you want to show up in the bit selection.
- Create a Sketch on the XZ plane and draw half the profile of the bit.
- Constrain the bottom most center of the bit on the origin
(0,0). This will be the center of the axis on which the G-code will rotate the bit.
- Note: Do not add dimensional constraints at this time.
- Close the Sketch.
- Revolve the Sketch around the vertical Sketch axis.
- Open the Path Workbench.
- Select the Sketch in the Tree view. This ensures that the PropertyBag created in the next step will be nested in the Body.
- Select the Path → Utils → PropertyBag option from the menu.
- A PropertyBag named
Attributesis created. This PropertyBag will be used to control the dimensions in the Sketch.
- Double-click the PropertyBag in the Tree view.
- The Property Bag task panel opens.
- Click the button.
- The Create Property dialog opens.
- Create a property named
Diameter. This property is mandatory for ToolBits. Property names are case-sensitive and may not contain spaces.
Shapefrom the Group dropdown list.
- Select the appropriate Type.
- Optionally specify a ToolTip.
- Click the button.
- In the Property Bag task panel enter a value for the Diameter property.
- Similarly add all other required properties.
- Click the button in the Property Bag task panel when done.
- Double-click the Sketch in the Tree view.
- Add dimensional constraints and apply the properties from the created PropertyBag. For example to apply the Diameter property:
- Repeat this until the Sketch is fully constrained.
- Save the FCStd file where FreeCAD expects to find ToolBit files. See Description above.
- Note 1. If you are denied access to the folder on Windows, start FreeCAD in ADMINISTRATOR mode.
- Note 2. The Body of the ToolBit must be the first object in the Tree view. These instructions ensure that this is the case.
Tool Thumbnail Images
ToolBits will have a small icon image of the tool in the Tree view if the file is saved with thumbnails active.
- Before saving the document make sure you have Save Thumbnail selected, and Add program logo deselected in FreeCAD's preferences.
- Also make sure to switch to Front View and Fit content to screen
- Whatever you see when saving the document will end up being the visual representation of the template