Bantam Tools Blog

Mill Angled Joints for NeoPixel LED Strips

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jan 4, 2018 10:42:56 AM

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. 

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6 Schools That Used Our Mill for Greater Good in 2017

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Dec 30, 2017 10:40:18 AM


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.

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Detailed Guides for Every Material You Can Mill

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Dec 19, 2017 1:45:54 PM

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. 

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Mill a Bantmobile Classic Wooden Toy Car

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Dec 14, 2017 11:37:12 AM

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. 

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Make a Clever Kinetic Magnet Clock

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 28, 2017 10:56:03 AM

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, and aluminum clock hands, all milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. He's documented his step-by-step instruction, so you can mill your own. 

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Making 3D Parts? Check Out the Bantam Tools 3D Workflow Library

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 22, 2017 10:56:43 AM

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! 

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Build Your Own Overdrive Effects Pedal

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 17, 2017 10:51:04 AM

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. 

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Danielle Applestone Interview on Make: Hardware Dev, Domestic Manufacturing, and the Recent Acquisition

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 15, 2017 2:23:08 PM

"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. 

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Milled Wooden Moon Tiles Are Out of This World

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 6, 2017 9:53:11 AM

Topographic relief maps are endlessly fascinating, offering a miniature window into the peaks and valleys of a region. They're even more enthralling when they depict faraway lands, like the surface of the moon. Architect, designer and educator Sebastian Misiurek recently collaborated with design student Abby Klein, both based in Brooklyn, N.Y., to create the intriguing, wall-mountable Moon Tiles, milled out of hardwood on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. They even milled the aluminum brackets that hold the nine individual tiles together and wrote up their build notes, along with all their design files, to share with the community. Now you can make your very own Moon Tiles!

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Eddie Kramer's High-End Milled Spinners Are Stunning

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Nov 1, 2017 9:35:59 AM

Over the past year, fidget spinners, the multi-lobed toy with a ball bearing in the middle, have become wildly popular among young and old. Perhaps we all spend so much time staring at screens that having a tangible object to channel restlessness is just what the doctor ordered. At any rate, we've seen them in every color, material, and quality, but by and large, they're usually mass-produced, plastic, and not exactly what comes to mind when you think "artisanal." That is, until we laid eyes on Eddie Kramer's spinners, lovingly handcrafted on an earlier version of the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, no less.

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