Carbide Create - New Tool Library

In the thread about Carbide Create Pro ( Carbide Create Pro- What do you want to see? ) , a number of suggestions centered around the tool library in Carbide Create and wanting something better. So, he’s my question:

  • What are you looking for in a tool library?
  • What program have you seen that does a good job with tool management?

If you want to post a napkin sketch, go ahead.

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Let me name the tool (So the custom name appears in the list).
Let me set my own default feeds and speeds for a bit (and remember them).
Either let me set my own default depth or just do away with the “0.394” max depth that defaults for every toolpath (The one has bitten me a lot. If I see a value, I assume I set it.)


Thanks John. I ask this to try and understand your request, not to argue:

I understand a “depth per pass” being set with a tool since that’s a cutting parameter but the cutting depth is related to a particular design. That doesn’t seem like it should be saved with the tool. Do you disagree? (Assuming we make it difficult to avoid not setting the max depth in the toolpath)

Import and Export the Library in Vectric Carve format so we can move between programs easier.

You are right, it probably should not be a per tool setting. I think I was just looking for some place to turn that particular default off.

Always feel free to disagree with me. I am very comfortable being wrong. :slight_smile:


here is a comment I made in another thread on this.

When we set F&S for a given endmill we usually set a default that does not apply to all types of material lets say a .25in square endmill in pine is much different to the F&S in aluminum. The values need to be changed for each and this may lead to errors. The information from one successful project is lost in the system when we change the value again. The tool library should add another dimension where we could retain settings for several materials. In fact the optimum F&S should be calculated automatically from the information and values provided in the CAD/CAM like and integration of Carbide Create with G-Wizard. In this case the default values would be adapted to the Shapeoko/Nomad with the ability for the more advanced user to change the defaults. Knowing that would be a long term goal maybe a calculated field should display the effective chipload for a given toolpath. This could be used to compare to the Shapeoko cookbook @Julien is preparing.

Many of the problems reported here are operator induced where errors are made entering parameters can translate into crashes. Entering a DOC of .25in instead of .025in would probably have grave consequences for the project and/or the CNC but it could take time to find the reason for the crash and the typo may not be spotted before a few attempts have been made.

I think the idea of being able to import from a VCarve DB since many endmill mfgs make this avail in that format for their product.

I realize this is a bit complicated - you’re totally right, f&s go with a matched set of material and tool - so let us set it for that set. Under each tool, let us set f&s for a set of materials. Then it’s easy to choose the material when setting up the whole project and “it just works” - it’s a little more data, but it’s data already rattling around in the feeds & speeds chart - seems like it would make things a lot easier to get started with, and stay useful a lot longer.


I use a different software for my laser, so it isn’t an apples to apples comparison, but “tools” in that software are defined specifically by material. So to take this in as a router CAM tool database you’d first define a material, then the tool, then type of cut (profile, pocket, 3D contour, finish pass) and you’d get a speed/feed/DOC from there. SO like this:

walnut–>1/4" 3 flute upcut–>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour roughing–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour finish–>feed/speed/DOC
walnut–>1/8" 2 flute upcut–>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour–>feed/speed/DOC
walnut–>1/2" 90 degree V—>v carve–>feed/speed

pine----->1/4" 3 flute upcut–>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour–>feed/speed/DOC
pine----->1/8" 2 flute upcut–>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour–>feed/speed/DOC

6061 T6–>1/4" 3 flute upcut–>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour–>feed/speed/DOC
6061 T6–>1/8" 2 flute upcut—>profile–>feed/speed/DOC
------------------------------------->3D contour–>feed/speed/DOC

This would all have to be somewhat manually entered, but could be done with prompts like:

“What material would you like to enter?”
“What cutter will you be using?”
“What type of tool path?”

You could get really into it with dropdowns of common materials, common cutters (like the ones C3D sells, or “other” which would be manually entered), and of course common operations (profile, pocket, contour, V carve, texturing). And there should be a way of copying a chain to other materials, like move a definition from walnut and copying to hard maple which would be similar.

Just how I picture a tool crib in my head. I usually know what I’m trying to cut first


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I agree that the tool database would be based on the material you want to cut, on the Shapeoko Wiki, there is a fairly extensive list of material with F&S for different endmill,this is a start.

When you setup a project, there is a field for the type of material that would need to be expanded to include the materials on the list plus the provision for adding some others.

The optimal chipload for the cutter should also appear in the DB and it should be modifiable by user. When a toolpath is chosen, this chipload should be compared to the calculated value and I suggest a simple red, yellow and green to signify when the numbers are not within the range of the optimal chipload for the endmill/material combination.

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I like the spreadsheet approach that Estlcam has. Maybe better pop-up descriptions. Same tool with different settings for each material. (Just typed numbers, do not run at these settings.)

  1. Allow me to set the Speed and Feeds for Carbide3D AND my tools
  2. Fusion 360 does it well. I create 3 libraries (Alum, Wood and Steel) I can create nearly any program without a need to fix any speeds/feeds.

Considering this software is probably most heavily used by people new to CNC, I really agree with @DanoInTx 's comments.

Being able to select a tool and type of material, then have the software automatically adjust for the type of cut (pocket, contour, v carve etc) would help a lot of people out. Having it ship with the speeds and feeds worked out for the C3D tooling for multiple materials would make it a very complete package. Recommended DOC and step over would be another great feature for people learning

Obviously as mentioned the ability to add your own tooling is required, as well as the ability to fine tune the default tools. (Maybe having CM display the linear velocity would help with this)

Hey Stuart,

I wasn’t suggesting that it actually calculate all speeds/feeds, just a way to organize/store them where you could store speeds/feeds by material->tool->type of cut. It would obviously be nice if it came with the most common materials and at least the tools that C3D sells already filed in. Right now there’s the spreadsheets for 1/4" square/round endmills for the Shapeoko, and the 1/8" square/round for the Nomad, but these are two very different machines and C3D sells more than 4 tools. It WOULD be great if there was a full blown calculator, but that’s a pretty large undertaking.


  1. Drag-and-drop, or equivalent. reorganization of tool list
  2. Ability to delete Carbide 3D tool so as to use our own numbering systems.

@DanoInTx - That maps pretty well to the new database we’ve been building internally so I think we’ll end up with something like that.

Here’s where I think we’ve ended up based on the feedback here:

  • Separate tool libraries for Carbide 3D tools and settings and a “user” library that can be modified.
  • Settings saved into a separate JSON file instead of merged with the rest of the application settings like it is now.
  • Cutting conditions will be tied to each tool and material. For the user library, you’ll be able to create all of the cutting conditions you’d like for a given tool.
  • Add a “Copy to User Library” button so you can change the settings on a Carbide 3D tool without blowing out the default settings.
  • I think new users will find it easier to drill down TOOL->MATERIAL->CUT TYPE
  • I think it would be much easier to follow the @RichCournoyer idea of a wood, steel, aluminum, and plastic library but my gut tells me that multiple libraries would cause more support trouble. I think it’s worth more consideration though.

For what it’s worth, there is a full calculator in CC now and the output does match what a low of higher end speed/feeds programs come up. Unfortunately, there are a few problems we have to deal with that make it more trouble than it’s worth. (New users, small tools, inconsistent materials, inconsistent workholding) If we were using it to calculate feedrates for our VMC’s, I think it would be great.