Tools are grouped into libraries, which are shown as tables such in the screenshot above. There are several sources for tool libraries:
- A few built-in libraries are always available.
- Additional libraries can be created, saved and loaded from within the Tools page.
- User libraries placed in a particular folder are imported on startup.
All library files placed in the following folders are scanned on startup:
- Windows: C:/Users/kalle/Documents/millalyzer/lib/tools/
- macOS: /Users/kalle/Documents/millalyzer/lib/tools/
- Linux: $HOME/Documents/millalyzer/lib/tools/
Among the built-in libraries, one contains vendor-supplied data for about 300 solid endmills. This is the most reliable dataset because the geometry parameters are known with high confidence. Measured edge angles for some reference cases were found to match vendor-provided parameters with good accuracy. Additionally, there are three more built-in libraries that contain generic tool data:
- Generic solid tools (for metals)
- Generic indexed tools (for metals)
- Generic tools for wood and polymer milling
These libraries contain tools with typical geometric features which can be used when no better information is available. As discussed on the tools page, milling forces can change very substantially with tool shape parameters such as rake and helix angles. Therefore, using a generic tool with approximate angles may not yield accurate results. Generic tools may still be a useful starting point for comparative analyses.
It can be difficult to find a suitable tool from a long table of 300 endmills. The tool filter can be configured to ensure that only a specific subset of the available tools is visible. In most cases, the user knows which material group the tool needs to be suitable for or which minimum depth out cut (APMX) is needed for the application at hand. Such parameters can be used to narrow down the tool table to a few candidates.