The Tool Crib


This topic will explain the Tool Crib, the options found in it, will describe how to access it, and will provide links to related topics.

The Tool Crib

The Tool Crib is comparable to the tool changer on a machine. It adds two advantages to the CAM system. First, the Tool Crib can be loaded and saved before you create machining features. When the feature operations are created, the system automatically selects the appropriate tool from the Tool Crib. Second, when selecting tools for feature operations, the tool crib shows all tools that are currently defined. By having the tools already defined, you can eliminate the need to search the Tool Library.

In order to load tools into the Tool Crib before creating features, you must create the tools in the Tool Library.


Tip: To learn about all the functionality available in the Tool Library, see the Tool Library Functionality topic.

When tools are created in the Tool dialog box of a CAM wizard that are not pre-loaded into the Tool Crib, they are automatically added.


The left side of the dialog box contains the All Tools list and the tools are grouped by Tool Category: Drill, Mill, Lathe, Laser, Plasma, or Waterjet. When a tool is selected from a tool category on the left, all pre-loaded tools for that tool type are displayed in the Tool Parameters list on the right side. You can also click All Tools.


Note: When the Tool Crib is accessed by clicking Tool Crib from a CAM Wizard Tool dialog box, the list automatically shows only the available tools for that operation type.


To access the Tool Crib, do one of the following: 


  • In the CAMtree, under Job Folder (Milling Job, or Turning Job), right-click Milling Tools or Turning Tools, and click Tool Crib. For Mill Turn jobs, view the Mill Turn Tool Crib.


Use this method to view all the tools currently loaded in the Tool Crib.


  • In any CAM Wizard Tool dialog box, click Tool Crib.


Note: This method lists only the tools that are available for the selected operation type. For example, clicking Tool Crib from a Profile operation the Tool page lists end mills, and not threading tools.

The Dialog Box Parameters

When using the Tool Crib, select a category on the left side of the dialog box, and then select a tool type under that category. You can also click All Tools. The available tools are displayed in the Tool Parameters list on the right side. The Tool Parameters list shows the parameters of each tool as defined in the Tool Library.

Tool Parameters

  • Use automatic tool numbering

    - Select this check box to allow the system to number the tools in the order they appear in the posted NC program. This option ignores the tool numbers assigned in the Tool Library.

    - Click to clear this check box to manually number all of the tools for the program. Once the check box is cleared, double-click the desired tool row. The tool number box becomes available for you to type a new number. Renumbering tools from this location does not change the number of the tool stored in the Tool Library. With this option, any tools from the Tool Library (called System Tools) use the number assigned to the tool in the Tool Library. Be aware that if you create any tools in a CAM Wizard (called Manual Tools), the software numbers them using the next available tool number at the time created. You must confirm that all tools are using the desired tool number before posting the final NC program. Note that the software can't eliminate duplicate tool numbers when using this method, it is your responsibility.

  • Import - displays the Open dialog box for you to navigate to and load a previously saved Tool Crib file (.mtcribs), or to the previously exported MachiningCloud export file (.zip). Using a Tool Crib file, your tool crib will automatically open in the Tool Crib. When using the MachiningCloud .zip file, selecting and opening the file will launch the MachiningCloud Import dialog.

  • Save - displays the Save As dialog box for you to create and save all current tool information from the Tool Crib in a .mtcribs file.

  • Add From Tool Library - opens a filtered version of The Tool Library to allow you to add tools to the Tool Crib.

  • Delete - removes the selected tool from the Tool Crib.

Related Topics

The CAM Overview

The Tool Library

The Mill Turn Tool Crib

The Tool Library Functionality