Latest ToolBox Features
Receive orders and sales directly from your website.
Let your customers get instant pricing and place orders from your website 24/7 with the ToolBox Web Store.
Compete in today’s market
Modern customers expect to be able to get pricing and shop online from any business, including yours. Adopt the latest technology in online laser cutting ordering.
Win more jobs
Win more jobs from existing customers by allowing them to get prices and place orders at their convenience, and open the door to new customers who find you online.
Reduce the cost of estimating
Reduce costs & boost the efficiency of your estimating! Remove risks from quoting (what you enter is what you get) and provide more competitive pricing to customers who order online.
- Updates to parts are simple and instantaneous, whether its unit of measure, material, thickness or quantity.
- Set a site-wide minimum order charge.
- After an order has been placed, a customer and vendor receive an automated email with the order information, including the quote number.
- Administration settings page, for branding and login controls.
PDF 2 QUOTE
PDF to CAD converter
Laser job shops – are you all too familiar with how long it takes to input PDFs, fix them up, generate an accurate CAD file, and then quote it?
With our new pdf2quote tool, you can convert a vector PDF into a CAD file instantly – no tracing required!
pdf2quote converts a vector PDF into a CAD file instantly – no CAD package or CAD skills required.
- pdf2quote will automatically identify the internal geometries contained within the outer border once selected.
- You can use pdf2quote to identify multiple parts within one PDF.
- pdf2quote allows you to process multiple PDF files in one session.
- You can manipulate the part definition pdf2quote.
(No CAD package or skills required)
- Delete a line or entity.
- Change a line or entity to cutting.
- Change a line to folding.
- Change a line or entity to information.
- Change a line or entity to engraving.
- When you change a line or entity it will reflect the system colour to indicate the entity type.
pdf2quote enables an easy to populate pop-out window while viewing the PDF, so the user can input part information, including:
- Name or rename the part.
- Define the material and grade.
- Define the material thickness.
- Nominate quantity of parts.
- pdf2quote provides a tool to scale the part– just add width or height of the part in the data input panel.
- pdf2quote provides constant updated information on all parts and their status, so that you are always aware of your position in the process of part definition.
- No tracing required with pdf2quote.
- CAD files and part data generated by pdf2quote can then be uploaded into ToolBox and an accurate quotation can be provided to your customer.
- Parts are automatically marked as “not for manufacture”.
Only works with vector geometry embedded in a PDF, raster images will not work.
Due to the nature of PDF’s they are not capable of producing CAD files that are accurate enough for production, but they are accurate enough for quoting.
You can drag and drop STEP files of rectangular hollow sections and tubes into ToolBox, which will flatten the part and calculate runtime in the quoting module. ToolBox has a separate material database for Long Products.
MULTIPLE CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES
You can add all of your cutting machines easily, and it’s helpful to have the machine specifications at hand. In ToolBox your cutting technologies and the associated rate tables are broken down into individual tables and sections of the programs to make managing of the rates, speeds and overall processes easier in the long run.
Part Library is an exciting new time-saving feature within ToolBox. It allows you to save parts that you’ve produced for a customer.
Part Library saves time on repeat orders and quotes, because it retains the material and process data, and allows you to drop an existing part straight into the quote, ready to calculate, based on the latest pricing.
Data stored in the Part Library includes:
- Thumb: Thumbnail image of the part stored in the library.
- Part ID: The unique identification number given to this part.
- Part name: The Part Name of the part that is saved in the library.
- Bounds W x L: The overall size of the part saved in the library.
- Cutting Technology: The cutting technology this part was saved from when quoted/ordered.
- Material and Thickness: What material and thickness this part was saved in when last used.
- Secondary Processes: Any secondary process data applied to this part when saved will be stored here.
- Last quote: The last quote number this part was used on.
- Last Price: The last price calculated for this price in the above quote number.
- Last Quantity: The quantity this part was last quoted for that produces the above price in the above quote.
Using ToolBox, you can include the majority of the secondary processes that occur within a job shop. An algorithm has been devised to allow this to happen. Preloaded samples make it easy to understand the process. In ToolBox, time and price are calculated and can either be displayed on the quote, or may be hidden in amortised prices.
Some examples of secondary processes that can be added include:
- Powder coating.
- Mig welding.
- Counter sinking.
- Tig welding.
- Rivet nuts.
ToolBox’s Folding macro has been developed by specialists with decades of experience using brake presses.
We take into account:
- Setup time, dependent on the longest fold length.
- Number of folds.
- The weight and size of the part.
- The number of people to handle the part.
Calculated outputs include cycle time, setup time, and price. Two settings allow you to manipulate these. In order to keep it simple, these are rolled into two percentage settings:
Setup override %:
- Increasing (or decreasing) the setup override % will increase (or decrease) the setup time for bending.
This is the one-off amount of time for any amount of bending. The more parts that require bending, the more this time gets spread out, resulting in higher per-part charges for low quantities of bending and lower per-part charges for higher quantities of bending.
Production override %:
- Increasing (or decreasing) the production override % will increase (or decrease) the production time for bending.
This is the time it takes to bend each part. If you find the bending time calculations are too small, you can increase this percentage.
After uploading the drawing through our 3D module, ToolBox automatically places fold lines on the correct layers, populates the fold length and amount, and produces a flat DXF.
For 2D drawings that have fold layers already designated, and just need defining, then ToolBox will automatically find these folds and fill out the required data. In cases where the drawing does not have the correct layers for folding, simply select the fold line and then set the layer to folding.
You know the difference between a good and a bad part drawing. But not all of your customers do. ToolBox automatically corrects simple errors such as duplicated lines or lines not joined. Drawing Doctor gives you even more control so that you can correct drawings with title blocks, side elevations, dashed (tapped) holes, and more.
ToolBox allows you to quickly correct problematic drawings within the one system. All corrections can be done on-the-fly after uploading.
- Import, view and interact with 2D CAD files.
- Fix most problematic drawings without requiring a CAD system.
- Split multi-part drawings and remove unnecessary entities such as title blocks.
- Import data into an associated manufacturing or accounting system.
- Export cleaned drawings as DXF or DWG.
(Drag & drop one or multiple files)
The main task of the quoting process for 2D profile cutting (laser, plasma, oxy, flame, waterjet and others) is to interpret a drawing of a part to establish which elements define the part, and then calculate the time needed to cut it, and how much material is required.
Calculating time and material are relatively trivial tasks if you know what you are doing, however, the interpretation of what elements in the drawing represent the part can be problematic.
The difficulty with 2D drawings is that no structure is enforced. When a designer sits down to draw a part, they are usually focussed on communicating the shape and properties of a part to another human, not necessarily a computer program.
…read more about common problems that ToolBox can solve below.
(Drag & drop one or multiple files)
By dragging and dropping files or assemblies into ToolBox, metal components and other components, such as nuts and bolts, will be separated out. You can rotate and measure parts within the 3D viewer. As the files are from a 3D model, all fold lines and material thicknesses are automatically identified. All that is needed is to select the material and thickness and send the parts back to the quote screen.
Solid modelling software is not required, and the user does not need experience in this type of software.
- View and explode 3D model files within the ToolBox 3D viewer.
- Detect material type, thickness and part quantity automatically.
- Extract all 2D sheet metal components for calculation.
- Export as 2D parts in DXF or DWG.
Export data to generic CSV files, or other CAM, ERP, and MRP systems.
The ToolBox development team has integrated with the following systems:
- Sigma Nest (WOL files)
- Cadman jobs
- Cadman L
- Bystronic plant manager
- Trumph TruTops (including GEO file generation)
COMMON LASER QUOTING PROBLEMS ToolBox CAN SOLVE
The Tempus Tools product suite helps laser job shops with a huge swathe of common problems. Here are some problems, and how our ToolBox product can solve them.
Zero length entities
Entities with a length of zero need to be ignored by the software that is interpreting the drawing file.
Files loaded into ToolBox will automatically have their zero length entities removed.
Points and dimensions
Any points or dimensions entities in the file need to be ignored.
Files loaded into ToolBox will automatically have their points and dimensions removed.
Lines can be drawn on top of each other. This can lead to inaccurate time calculations.
In the example below, it is obvious that the designer wants a 1,000mm x 100mm rectangle. The designer has done their job and communicated their design to another human being.
However, if we look at this drawing from the perspective of a computer trying to work out how much cutting there is, we have a problem. The bottom horizontal line actually consists of two overlapping lines. The diagram below exaggerates the problem to make it visible.
In terms of calculating the time for the part, if we do not recognise this issue, then we are cutting 900mm more than we need to, and we potentially have an additional pierce.
Files loaded into ToolBox automatically have their overlapping lines merged into a single entity.
Gaps between elements
Parts can be drawn such that there are tiny gaps between elements. If not dealt with, you will have unnecessary pierces included in the time calculation.
2D CAD packages do not enforce drawing integrity. The job of the designer is primarily to communicate the design visually to another human. What may appear to make sense to the naked eye can contain issues when you zoom in.
In the example below, there is a small gap where clearly lines are meant to join. If there is more than one of these in this drawing, then we will end up with more pierce time than is necessary to cut this part.
Files loaded into ToolBox automatically have their gaps analysed. If the gaps are smaller than a predefined threshold, the gaps are healed automatically.
For gaps that are larger than the predefined threshold, a warning will be displayed under the part name on the left panel of parts, and there will be a “show endpoints” checkbox that can be ticked to highlight where the gaps might be:
Multiple parts in a single file
A single file can contain multiple parts which need to be isolated as their own part files. It is very common for designers to detail more than one part in a drawing. These parts will mostly be of different quantities or thicknesses, so tooling is needed to separate these parts.
In ToolBox, you can select one or more individual parts with the drawing file and use the Extract option to separate them into their own part files. The original CAD view is available so that the annotations regarding quantity and material are available to the operator.
ToolBox has an “Extract all” option that automatically identifies all parts in a multi-part file and extracts them into their own quote lines in a single click.
There are many ways of applying scale to a CAD file. If dimensional scaling is not detected, calculations will be performed on a part that is of the incorrect size. Parts can be drawn with certain dimensions and then have text on the file explaining that the line dimensions need to be scaled.
ToolBox has a feature coming soon that will recognise scale factors and offer the user to confirm a dimension scaling change to the parts.
Additional non-cutting information
A designer could add extra information to make the part design clearer for a human, such as by including close-ups of certain portions of the part, or side views. These additional elements do not form part of the part definition and must be excluded for time and material calculation.
Elements that have meaning other than cutting
Some elements on a drawing file are for cutting, but some are for folding, some for etching, and others for information only.
It is very common for parts to contain information needed to manufacture the part that should not be treated as cutting. These could be folding lines, etching lines or circle centre-point cross hairs of information.
In the example below, the vertical dashed lines represent folding lines. While they should not be treated as cutting, they do provide information that can be used to price the folding operation.
In ToolBox, you can assign a ‘type’ to a line or a layer that instructs ToolBox to interpret a path as cutting, etching, folding or information.
Cutting entities contribute to the time it takes to cut the part. These entities are treated as if they are going to be cut, so logical issues with parts can produce warnings (for example, a hole within a hole within a part doesn’t make sense so a warning is issued).
Etching lines add etching time to the part. The thickness of the material is not a factor.
Information lines are for information purposes only. They do not impact time or price and will not be checked for warnings or errors.
Folding lines do not impact cutting time. They are used in the detection of folding inputs for the part. When applying the folding secondary process, set the ‘source’ to be ‘drawing’ and it will count the number of folding lines in the part and calculate the distance of the longest fold line automatically. This saves you from manually typing in folding input information.
Elements in a drawing file might produce a drawing that looks like a 2D part when viewed from the top (XY plane), but can be drawn with Z-axis coordinates which may not connect when viewed from the side due to Z-axis values.
The introduction of Z-axis coordinates into what is otherwise a flat 2D drawing can cause issues by adding a third dimension.
In the sample below, what appears to be a single flat line from above, could actually be 2 lines that do not join up when viewed from the side:
ToolBox identifies these issues and displays a warning against the part file.
Coming soon is a feature that will automatically flatten these files when the Z-axis values are within +/- 0.1mm.
Entity Coordinate System (ECS) issues
Elements can be drawn using their own relative entity coordinate system (ECS). Normally this is set up so that the Z-axis is perpendicular to the plane of the drawing. However, this is not always so.
In most 2D CAD systems, a designer can define a part’s geometric constructs (points, angles, and vectors) in terms of its own relative ECS. However, quite often importing files that started life as 3D models define elements with their own ECS. This can be a significant problem when dealing with curved segments.
ToolBox automatically analyses parts for their ECS and corrects for them.