Good feedback. I'll try to incorporate my answers into the wiki pages too. If someone gets there first, thank you.
GeneFC wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:24 pm
1. As noted above, a warning is thrown if both parts of an endmill are the same diameter. I am not sure if the upper shank diameter currently matters for FreeCAD, although in the future there might be some undercut feature for a smaller shanks or some collision avoidance feature for larger shanks.
2. The naming in the Job tree is definitely weird. I get a label that takes part of the tool name and adds to it. I do not understand why there are two levels in the tree for each tool. Is it not possible to include all of the parameters in a single tree entry?
Naming can certainly be improved. I'll work on that.
There are two levels to the tree because there are two objects. The Tool Controller is the same as it always was but the tool referenced by the TC is now a first-class document object. You can select it and toggle visibility to see the solid model of the tool. You can also edit the toolbit in the tree without changing the version on disk. This means you can share files that have custom tools without having to also share the toolbit and shapefiles. Right click on the toolbit in the tree and you'll have menu items to save it to disk if you want your own local copy.
3. I struggled for quite a while to get the tool dock to recognize my preferred custom locations for saving tool bits, shapes and libraries. I finally needed to edit my user.cfg file to make the links work. Using the "Store absolute paths" and "Remember last library" in the FC Preferences dialog did not seem to be effective.
'store absolute paths' has nothing to do with your preferred locations. If checked, the tool library will refer to the toolbit with a full absolute path and the toolbit will do the same to reference the shapefile. If unchecked, it will assume the toolbit and shapefile are located in Bit/Shape directories relative to the library location. I'm not sure if 'remember last library' does anything anymore. I think it's deprecated with legacy tools and I will probably remove it entirely.
4. Creating a new tool seems a bit awkward. The first thing that happens is to ask for a shape. The next is to ask for a tool name. It would seem that the first item would be to ask for parameters rather than a tool name. The shape would be the first item in the parameters. The current order works, but I predict that new users will have the same questions I did.
After picking the shape file, you're actually setting the filename where the tool will be persisted. This is a little different than the tool 'name' property. There might be a better way to do the workflow but if I don't ask for the filename first, then the dialog has to prompt the user when they click 'ok' at the end and this seems confusing.
5. The "dock" always opens up locked in a fixed position rather than floating like I left it when I previously closed FC. I liked the behavior of the old tool library, and don't want the dock to consume a permanent location on my screen.
The dock can be made to float like any other dock. Its state probably isn't retained between restarts. That's something we can work on. The idea here is to use a non-modal panel when 'using tools' (rather than managing your collection of tools). In the past, the tool library was modal which really kinda sucks. A non-modal dock lets the user keep it open continuously as they add/configure operations. A modal dialog interrupts the user workflow.
For example, have you ever been configuring an operation and realize you don't have a TC for the right tool? You have to either cancel the operation, create the TC, and restart, or assign the wrong tool, exit, create the TC, and edit the operation again. It should be possible to just add the TC from the dock while you're editing the operation. As of this writing, you can add TCs while editing operations, but the list of available TCs in the operations doesn't update yet. Gotta leave something to fix in the future
I understand that having a dock open all the time isn't desirable for everyone, especially those with smaller monitors which is why I'm doing everything I can to keep it small and to make it easy to toggle. The hot-key sequence (P,T) will toggle the state as will pressing the toolbar button. Having used this for a couple weeks, I can say it grows on you fast!
6. The default drill bit tip angle come in as 119 degrees. This should be 118 degrees to match typical industry practice.
I think this is problem with a toolshape or maybe a floating point error. Not related to the toolbit workflow though.