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.
Clocks provide a unique form factor that is ripe for creative manipulation. Springboarding from the basic clock face with numbers and two hands, artists and makers over time have reinvisioned the many ways to display time. One particularly clever mode comes to us from designer and educator Ben Light, a mechanical engineer and prolific artist who is currently an adjuct faculty member at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Ben's Kinetic Magnet Clock design employs readymade disc and spherical magnets, along with black and frosted acrylic plates, aluminum clock hands, and a custom PCB, all milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. He's documented his step-by-step instruction, so you can mill your own.
Whether you're designing a miniature coffee pot to be milled out of brass for a diorama or an aluminum gear for a custom mechanism, understanding the programs and processes in the 3D workflow is essential. Bantam Tools offers a library of support guides for 3D workflow. Each is listed below with a quick synopsis. Click the headers to check out each guide in detail. We can't wait to see what you mill!
Imagine what rock classics like "Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix or "Fool in the Rain" by Led Zepplin would sound like if not for the unique and infectious sounds added to their music by guitar effects pedals. Originating in the 1940s, effects pedals have dramatically increased the creative output of many a famous musician, allowing for experimentation and pushing the boundaries of what sounds their instruments (most often guitars) could make.
In the spirit of that playful innovation, maker Eddie Serratos devised the Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal project, featuring a PCB milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. Eddie shares, "I wanted to create a project that people who are new to making their own circuit boards could very quickly and relatively easily put together — something that didn’t have too many parts." Eddie documented his full step-by-step and has shared it on our site so you can build your own.
"Good engineers know that they make mistakes. They always want the physical prototype. So our goal is not to replace the printed circuit board manufacturing facility, but to get you to that board house faster. That’s the challenge," Bantam Tools CEO Danielle Applestone explained in a recent extensive interview on Make.
Interviewer DC Denison, editor of Maker Pro News, has covered the intersection of makers and business for many years now, and he asked a healthy array of questions, covering everything from hardware development to the potential of desktop manufacturing in educational environments to Bantam Tools' recent acquisition and rebranding. One interesting observation he made is that the qualities that Danielle values in a lean hardware startup — most notably flexibility, rapid iteration, and intelligent design — are embodied in the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine.