A while back, we spotted a gorgeous infinity necklace with matching wooden box that community member Riley Porter had milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine as a gift for his wife. We had to find out more, so we reached out and chatted with Riley, who happens to be owner of Synthetos and co-creator of TinyG, the motion-control system used in our mill. We found out that the necklace itself is made from reclaimed copper, the box top is a beautiful unstained amaranth wood, and the box top inlay is actually made from tinned PCB. Neat!
There’s a fairly new electronics publication called Diyode across the pond in Australia, and apparently, it’s “the first new magazine supporting electronics enthusiasts and makers that Australia has seen in 30 years.” Issue #8 just came out, and we’re thrilled that they did an in-depth review of our Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine and loved it.
Editor's Note: A solder mask is a thin layer of polymer applied to the copper traces of a printed circuit board (PCB) for protection against oxidation and to prevent solder bridges from forming between closely spaced solder pads. Community member, physician, and technologist Craig F. Feied has developed a great technique for applying solder masks to boards milled on his Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, which he has documented and shared here.
Adafruit's super-talented Collin Cunningham shared a great how-to for making custom pins using copper PCBs as the base material—double-sided, copper-clad FR-4 boards, to be exact. Collin used not just any mill, but our reliable little PCB mill to make the project. We got a sneak peek at these neat pins in our recent roundup of community builds.
We're constantly inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of our community members. There's no telling what amazing things they'll make using our small-but-mighty Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. We love that it's precise and reliable enough for professional-grade builds and affordable enough to be accessible. It's been a few months since we did a roundup of neat community projects spotted across social media, so we offer a vast array here. What are you milling? Be sure to tag your posts with @bantamtools or #bantamtools. We'd love to see what you're making!
With the wealth of materials our Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine can handle with ease, the potential of what you can make is endless, but the area where our small-but-mighty mill shines the brightest is in milling PCBs. After all, PCB is our mill's middle name. We put professional precision and reliability directly on your desktop, so the rate at which you prototype is only limited by your imagination, not the return rate of the board house you use. To boot, we've got you covered with a full library of support guides, detailing all aspects of milling PCBs. Here we offer an overview of our PCB-specific guides.
Adafruit made it easy to add intelligent LEDs to your projects with their NeoPixel LED strips, which integrate LEDs alongside a driver chip into a tiny surface-mount package controlled through a single wire. NeoPixels use a single Arduino pin, are cross-compatible, and can be used individually or chained into longer strings. And now, thanks to a project by CrashSpace co-founders Tod E. Kurt (@todbot) and Carlyn Maw (@carlynorama), NeoPixel strips can take even more shapes and sizes using NeoJoints, angled solder connectors you can quickly mill on your Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine.
As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect back on the past 12 months and set our sights on the year to come. Our aim has always been to dramatically increase the accessibility of CNC machines, and we're deeply inspired and driven by what our machine has been helping folks accomplish out in the wild. In particular, we're proud that the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine is an integral part of the tool array of many an educational institution. We hope to increase that access in 2018. To celebrate, here are six of the many schools who have used our mill to teach, learn, research, and discover in 2017.
The magic of the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine is in the many materials you can mill. From plastics to metal to wood and wax, bringing digital files to life in the physical realm is even more exciting when you have a wide array of material options to choose from. We've put together detailed guides on each of the materials you can mill with our machine, complete with downloadable tool libraries, tips on fixturing, pointers on which end mills to use, and more.
With a form factor that appeals to young and old alike, there's just something timeless and special about classic wooden toy cars. What's even more special is when you mill your own on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine and add custom touches. Just in time for gift-giving season, designer Ben Light offers a great little how-to for what he's calling the Bantmobile.