I’m getting more comfortable with my machine and amassing a collection of cutters and am suddenly struck by the question: “What strategy do y’all use for numbering your end mills and bits?”. At first, I was just doing it sequentially, but it looks like Carbide3d has a system for numbering their bits by size and type. How do you choose numbers for new tools you add to your library?
I just have a set of 4 tools in CAM (6mm for hogging material, 3mm for finer work, a chamfer mill and a 1mm ball endmill for finishing curvey things) numbered 1-4.
Since there are so few tools in there, I don’t feel the need to come up with a numbering system.
I do have a lot of endmills but I don’t regularly use most of them. When I do, I just throw them in with a random number. In the meantime I keep track of them with a giant CSV file mapping endmill to storage location.
I use a homebrew pattern. I use the first digit to represent the number of flutes and then the second two digits to represent the diameter in mm. So for me, a #230 is a two-flute 3mm endmill, and a #105 is a single flute 0.5mm endmill. For ball endmills I use an 8 in the first digit since it looks like a B, and for V bits I use a 5 (since it’s V in roman numerals) and then the angle as the second pair of digits. So a #863 is a 6.35mm (1/4") ball, and a #560 is a 60 degree VBit.
I only do this so when Carbide Motion prompts me for the tool there’s a little bit of extra information in the number that I can mentally validate to reduce the chance of me making one of my many, many mistakes
One thing to keep in mind is whether or not your GCODE Sender (CM, CNCjs, UGCS etc) is intercepting Tool Change T commands or not. GRBL itself will error if a tool number above 255 is used. The intercepted senders appear to have a higher limit set and this may not be a problem for you.
Mostly I use Carbide 3D tooling, but when adding V endmills, I use the degree angle after 3, so the 45 degree endmills are 345, &c.