Path ToolShape

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ToolShapes are a core part of the Path Tools system. ToolShapes are the templates from which ToolBits are created. They represent the 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.

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 shapes already exist and are provided with the FreeCAD installation:

  • ballend.fcstd
  • bullnose.fcstd
  • drill.fcstd
  • endmill.fcstd
  • v-bit.fcstd

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 in the XZ plane and draw half the profile of the bit.

   - Put the top center of the bit on the origin (0,0)

- For any constraint serving as a parameter for the tool (like overall Length) create a named constraint

   - The name is the label of the input field
   - Names are split at CamelCase boundaries into words in the edit dialog
   - Use a ; in the name to add help text which will show up as the entry fields tool tip
   - If the tool is used by legacy ops it should at least have one constraint called Diameter
   - Use construction lines for constraints that are not directly accessible, like Diameter and Angle

- Any unnamed constraint will not be editable for a specific tool - Once the sketch is fully constrained, close the sketch - Rotate the sketch around the z-axis - Save the document as a new file in the Shape directory

Tool Thumbnail Images

Toolbits will have a small icon image of the tool in the tree if the image 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