Making a Pen toolpath

You can use just about any type of pen - as long as it fits in the pen holder Tooli can draw with it.

You will be asked to specify the following:

  • Toolpath name - This is optional. Allocating a meaninful name allows you to identify and sort toolpaths more easily - this becomes especially important if you are working in a complex file with multiple toolpaths.
  • Color Change ID - This is optional. You would use this if you were creating a file with multiple toolpaths and you wish the machine to pause so you can change the tool between toolpaths. For example a pen drawing that uses different color pens. Tooli will pause and Tooli Control will prompt you to install the new tool - at this point it will display the Color Change ID to indicate which color is required.


  • Tip Diameter (mm) - Specify the thickness of the tool, for example a fine point pen may be 0.3mm, a thick marker may be 3mm. Base this measurement on the thickness of the line you expect the pen to make, you can ascertain this by experimenting with the pen by hand. The value you enter here will effect how the thick the toolpath appears when you choose 'show toolpath' from the toolbar. This is especially helpful to help you judge the outcome when using a thick tool and/or small sized geometry, or when producing an infill. The 'Tip Diameter' data is only used when generating infill toolpaths.
  • Lift Height (mm) - The height you wish the pen to raise to when moving between toolpaths ie when rapiding above the surface and not drawing.
  • Plunge Speed (%) - The speed the z-axis travels when lowering the pen to the surface.
  • Surface Offset (mm) - This would typically be set to 0mm for most tools.
  • Pre Draw Dwell (ms) - The time (in milli-seconds) that the tool stays at the start point once lowered to the surface, before it starts moving in an X/Y direction.
  • XY Draw Speed (%) - The speed that Tooli travels when the pen is in contact with the surface (100% equals 10m/min).
  • Total Passes - How many times you want to execute the toolpath. Use this if you wish to repeat the drawing over it self - ie do more than one coat.
  • Infill Offset (%) - The offset distance (or stepover) used to create an infill toolpath - a percentage of the above 'Tip Diameter'. Typically this would be set to between 80% and 100%, when an infill is required. Set to '0', if no infill is required.
  • Wear compensation

    Wear compensation settings allow for high-wear tools such as soft pencils and pastels. The compensation will incrementally lower the vertical slide throughout the job, based on the parameters you set.

    • Start Offset (mm) - This is the vertical slide position that will be used at the start of the job, prior to any compensation. This should match the Z position you use when setting the vertical position of the Multitool toolhead, in the dove-tail clamp.
    • Stepdown (mm) - This is the distance that the slide mechanism will lower each time the ‘Draw Distance’ is reached.
    • Draw Distance (mm) - This is the distance drawn, between each stepdown.
    • once you have put in your settings click OK and you will see the selected line will now have green arrows at various points. This indicates a toolpath has been created and also shows the direction of the path.

    Exporting a toolpath

    Once you are happy with your toolpath it's time to export it. Exporting the toolpath will make a GCode file that can be sent to your Tooli using the Tooli Control app.

    To Export yout toolpath/s choose 'Export toolpaths' from the Export menu. Alternately you can simply hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and press 'E'. In the Export dialogue box select which toolpaths you wish to export (selected toolpaths will be highlighted in blue) then click 'Export selected toolpaths'.

    There is also an opportunity in the Export dialogue box to change the order of the toolpaths with the up/down arrows before exporting. You can also tell Art2Gcode to sort them by the Color ID, so you don't have to change your pen colors unnecessarily - will group by Color ID and sort into alphabetical order. Tooli will process toolpaths in the same order as shown here - top to bottom.