Bantam Tools Blog

Otherplan Public Beta 0.28: Simplifying Tool Selection, Othermill Pro Support, and More

Posted by Ezra Spier on Jun 9, 2016 9:12:03 AM
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We’re excited to share today’s release of Otherplan Public Beta 0.28. In this release, we’ve added a new feature that helps you choose tools for PCBs, support for the new Othermill Pro, a firmware updater, and much more. Download it now or read on for the details.

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Bridged Trace Warnings

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Perhaps the most difficult step in milling a PCB is choosing which milling tool (or combination of tools) to use. Larger tools can mill more quickly, but smaller tools are often needed for tiny surface-mount components. While it’s always been possible to use Otherplan 3D preview to inspect the areas of the board with tight tolerances and identify trace bridging, this process is now much easier.

With Bridged Trace Warnings, Otherplan automatically analyzes the geometry of your PCB design. Taking into account the tools you’ve selected, Otherplan looks for areas where traces are not fully isolated from each other. If it finds any such bridged traces, you’ll see a warning, and the 3D preview will update to show a red marker indicating the bridged traces. This saves time and makes the tool-selection process simple. Since this is a new feature, we’d appreciate any feedback or example files you're able to share — just email us at [email protected]. And for more information abotu Bridged Traces, check out our new support guide.

Othermill Pro Support

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We recently announced the Othermill Pro, our next-generation desktop mill. It’s got some impressive specs: a 26,000 RPM spindle, increased linear feed rates, and support for milling PCBs with 6 mil trace-and-space. Otherplan 0.28 contains full support for the Othermill Pro, with optimized feeds and speeds for PCB milling. Of course, Otherplan will continue to support the Kickstarter-model Othermill as well as standard Othermills.

Firmware Updater

With this release, the Otherplan Public Beta is now able to update the Othermill’s firmware. Firmware is a key component of the Othermill — it’s the software that runs on the Othermill’s motor controller board. The firmware translates G-code (whether created by Otherplan or by a third-party app like Fusion 360) into the electrical signals sent to the Othermill’s motors. It’s also open source.

We periodically release updates to the Othermill’s firmware. With Otherplan 0.28 or later, you’ll automatically be notified and guided through the update process if there's an update available. The firmware updater works on both Windows and Mac, and it supports the commercial Othermill and Othermill Pro.

Other Updates

We’re always looking for ways to improve Otherplan, and we’ve included these other updates in this release:

  • For multi-tool PCB milling jobs, we’ve reversed the tool order so that the smallest tool is used first. This reduces the number of tool changes required for multi-tool jobs, as the largest tool is often used to mill PCB outlines.
  • We added the ability to rotate PCB designs before milling. To rotate a PCB, open a PCB design file, expand the Placement section, and enter an angle.
  • We added a menu option to increase the resolution of the 3D preview.
  • We updated Otherplan to save the dimensions of the material you last used, to make it easier to re-start jobs and recover from crashes.
  • We fixed a bug that caused crashes when importing files with long filenames.

As always, we’re excited to hear your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any to share.

Our sales team is also standing by if you have questions about how the Othermill Pro might accelerate your in-house prototyping. Just follow this link to request a consultation.

Topics: Circuit Boards, Otherplan

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