How to Create a Tool in PowerMill

A virtual representation of your physical tooling needs to be created inside PowerMill before creating toolpaths.


Tools are required when creating toolpaths. Here is how to create a tool in PowerMill.


Selecting the appropriate tool type 

  1. Open PowerMill
  2. Click on the Tool tab at the top > All tools types are listed in the Create group.
  3. Select the tool type that best represents your tool

Create a tooltip

  1. In the tool settings, enter the tool's name and dimensions. The tool number and number of flutes can also be added.
    1. The Tip page represents the cutting portion of the tool. This is where the tool flutes are.

Create a shank

  1. Click on the Shank tab in the settings dialog
  2. Use the Add a shank component to add a shank
    1. The shank is the holding portion of the tool
  3. The shank diameter and length can be adjusted to define the tool. More components can be added if the tool is tapered or has multiple steps. Add a new component to do so

Create or assign a holder

  1. Click on the Holder tab in the settings dialog
  2. The holder can be created using the same steps as the shank.
    1. The holder is the component that holds the tool and is inserted into the machine's spindle.
  3. You may already have a holder in your tool database. Use the Search for holders in the tool database icon to search
  4. Click Search on the tool database holder search page
  5. Holders will appear in the search results window if any exist
  6. Select the appropriate holder and click Apply Holder
  7. Click Close to close the search page
  8. In the Tool settings under the Holder tab, set the Overhang length
    1. The overhang is the measurement from the tooltip to the face of the holder.

Save the tool to the database

If you frequently use a particular tool, it is advisable to save it in your tool database for future use.
  1. Click the Add this tool to the tool database icon in the bottom right of the settings page
  2. Ensure the Tool and Holder Geometry is checked before saving
  3. Click Export
  4. Click Close on the tool settings page