Today, we’re excited to share a new release of Otherplan. Otherplan 1.1 adds a new type of collision warnings and includes several bug fixes. Read on for the details or download it now:
Z Axis Frame Collision Warnings
The Othermill is only as smart as the instructions you give it. To help prevent collisions during milling, Otherplan 0.29 introduced collision warnings that analyze your job setup and warn you about potential issues before starting a job. In Otherplan 1.1, we’ve expanded collision warnings to protect against an additional type of collision that can cause big problems when milling: Z Axis Frame Collisions.
Z Axis Frame Collisions occur when G-code instructs the Othermill to retract the spindle past the top of the Othermill. As with other frame collisions, this causes the spindle’s position to be misaligned. If the job continues, the tool will mill more deeply than it should – potentially causing damage to your part or spoilboard.
Video showing a Z Axis Frame Collision
Otherplan 1.1 helps you avoid this fate by analyzing your G-code and tool position to ensure that a frame collision will not occur. Because the total range of spindle travel in the Z axis is dependent on the length of your tool, Otherplan will check for collisions every time you change a tool – even in the middle of a job. If a collision is detected, you’ll be given the chance to change and re-locate the tool, continue anyway, or cancel the job.
What should you do if you see a Z Axis Frame Collision? There are a few likely causes.
- Often, CAM software designed for larger CNC mills have defaults that can cause the spindle to retract too far. Reduce the value in the the “retract height” or similar setting.
- If you’re using a long tool, you may need to change to a shorter tool, or insert your tool deeper into the collet, so that there’s room for it to retract and clear the top of your material.
- If you’re using a large piece of material, you may need to alter your CAM or use a shorter tool so that there’s enough clearance for the tool to fit.
As with every release, Otherplan 1.1 contains bug fixes to improve your experience. This time around, we’ve included the following enhancements:
- We corrected a PCB file interpretation bug that occasionally caused registration issues on two-sided boards.
- Windows users should no longer see errors when opening files stored on USB and network drives.
- To ease debugging, Support Info Exports now include information about custom tools in Otherplan’s Tool Library.
- Otherplan now handles a rare case where setting the G55 coordinate system would cause the Othermill to hang.
As always, you can send feedback or get help by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy milling!