Bantam Tools Blog

Show Us Your Circuits and Win!

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Aug 2, 2018 1:27:07 PM

bt 6 mil circuit

Heads up: We're running a PCB challenge where everyone is a winner! Here at Bantam Tools, we love all things CNC-related, and we celebrate the fact that our versatile, reliable Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine can handle a whole host of materials — from metal to wood to wax and plastic — like a champ. With it's professional precision (6 mil trace & space!) and accessibility, though, where it really shines bright is in milling printed circuit boards. After all, the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine's middle name is PCB.

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Weekend Project: TouchTone Synth with Custom PCB

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jul 14, 2018 1:38:41 PM

Open-source hardware company Adafruit is known for their impressive library of project tutorials, and one of their newest offerings is a neat little TouchTone Synth with custom PCB milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, designed by Noé Ruiz. The project employs Adafruit's Circuit Playground Express (their all-in-one board that has sensors and LEDs built in, with no soldering required), Microsoft's MakeCode (free web-based code editor for physical computing), and the custom PCB milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine to make sweet music. Fun!

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Eddie's Tips for Measuring Enclosures to Engrave

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jul 5, 2018 10:35:21 AM

Ever since Eddie Serratos shared his full step-by-step instructions on how to make an Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal using the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, we've been wowed by the variety of boxes he creates, as seen on his Instagram page. Not only do these boxes serve their functions well, they're also great examples of CNC eye candy due to the beautiful engravings he adds to them. We reached out to Eddie to find out how he does it, and he said that the single most important step is accurately measuring the box. Here he shares his tips with us. 

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Patchr + Bantam Tools = Super Simple PCBs

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jun 29, 2018 11:10:07 AM

The Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine was designed to make CNC milling, and in particular making PCBs, easier and more accessible than ever before. We set out to democratize PCB production, putting a powerful tool within reach of engineers, artists, educators, students, and makers of all stripes. To some, however, the software choices available to create PCB design files seem prohibitive and difficult to use. Enter Patchr, innovative new PCB design software that employs an easy-to-use circuit design tool.

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Topics: Workflow, Electronics, PCB Design, PCB Files

How Building Momentum Uses the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine to Teach Problem Solving

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jun 26, 2018 10:38:06 AM

Engineers Albert Vega and Brad Halsey are highly skilled real-life MacGyvers who've honed their skills on the field in challenging conditions. They understand that developing keen problem solving skills is much more than mastering any one set of tools — it's a mindset. To that end, together they cofounded Building Momentum, "a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that provides science and engineering consulting and technology development and training to defense, education, corporate, and entrepreneurial organizations."

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Topics: Circuit Boards, Stories, Education, Prototyping

Cal Maritime Team Wins First Place in U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on May 31, 2018 1:17:39 PM

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that wind generation could double by 2020 and double again by 2030. As the number of wind-energy-related jobs increases, the U.S. will need qualified candidates to fill positions at all levels. To help facilitate this process, in 2014, the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) co-created the Collegiate Wind Competition.

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From the Archives: Convert Gerber Files to G-Code with FlatCAM

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on May 9, 2018 11:10:55 AM

Here at Bantam Tools, we believe one of the most important assets we can provide to CNC mill users is a robust library of support materials. Sharing knowledge is caring about community. To that end, we've been digging through our extensive Bantam Tools archive of support materials and unearthing some timeless gems to resurface and share.

Over on our YouTube channel, one of our most popular videos happens to be from 2015, and it's still proving to be useful, getting views and positive comments to this day. It covers Converting Gerber Files to G-Code with FlatCAM, a skill useful to any PCB designer and CNC mill user. 

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Topics: How-To, Gerbers, CNC, PCB Design, PCB Files

Guide to Proper Use of Digital Calipers

Posted by Bantam Tools Support on May 1, 2018 10:59:36 AM

 

Digital calipers are your best friend when it comes to taking accurate measurements of small objects. In order to take accurate measurements, it’s important to know how to use calipers properly. For Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine users, calipers are downright indispensable for ensuring that your material dimensions in software are consistent with the material’s actual dimensions.

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Topics: Precision, Tutorials, Workflow, Support

Use SVG Files to Effortlessly Mill Basic Parts Without Learning CAD and CAM

Posted by Bantam Tools Support on Apr 12, 2018 12:05:37 PM

Using SVG files to create 2D parts is fun and easy, plus it's really accessible for those new to milling, especially students in K-12 classrooms, hobbyists, and folks in makerspaces. Conveniently, the versatile, reliable, and easy-to-use Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine supports importing SVG files like a champ. Here's a guide to the Bantam Tools Desktop Milling Machine Software's SVG workflow. We give you the basics and then explain advanced SVG setting and share tips for exporting SVG files from popular design software. Before you know it, you'll be milling your own custom designs with ease.

Also be sure to check out our full Engraving Dog Tags tutorial for a complete step-by-step walkthrough.

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Topics: How-To, SVG Files, Workflow, CNC, Stamps, Support

Noah Coleman's Tutorials: CNC Milled Glass Stamp and Motorcycle Cruise Control

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Apr 6, 2018 11:00:49 AM

It's no secret that the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine is an absolute champ at precisely milling PCBs, but with the wealth of materials it's capable of handling, the buck certainly doesn't stop there. Enter educator Noah Coleman. We first met Noah in 2017 when he was the Technology Coordinator in the Art & Technology Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He was in charge of running the department's digital fabrication lab and helping students realize their digifab projects.

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Topics: Materials, Tutorials, Projects, CNC, Stamps