Bantam Tools Blog

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 t'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

Build Your Own Bantam Tools 8-Bit Capacitive Synth

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Feb 26, 2018 10:21:12 AM

 

With the professional precision and reliability the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine offers, it can singlehandedly turn your classroom into an electrical engineering lab. We're giving out PCB Synth Kits to the first 30 educators who sign up. We're confident that once you see what our easy, fast, and affordable Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine can do, you'll want one in your classroom.

There's something infectious about 80s synth music. You almost can't help but to get visions of classic Atari games. Bantam Tools content developer Emily Coker was intrigued by a synth project we put out about four years ago and wanted to give it a healthy refresh. The result is our new 8-Bit Capacitive Synth project (click link to see full project), a super fun build for anyone with a Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, from seasoned pros to students.

Educators: Be sure to sign up to get your free synth kit as a sample of what the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine can do. 

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Topics: How-To, Tutorials, Electrical Engineering, PCB Design, PCB Files

Technique: How to Apply Solder Masks to Milled PCBs

Posted by Dr. Craig F. Feied on Jan 31, 2018 10:32:14 AM

Editor's Note: A solder mask is a thin layer of polymer applied to the copper traces of a printed circuit board (PCB) for protection against oxidation and to prevent solder bridges from forming between closely spaced solder pads. Community member, physician, and technologist Craig F. Feied has developed a great technique for applying solder masks to boards milled on his Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, which he has documented and shared here.

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Topics: How-To, Tutorials, PCB Design, PCB Files, Solder Mask

Learn How to Design, Mill, and Paint Custom PCB Pins

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Jan 24, 2018 10:14:00 AM

Adafruit's super-talented Collin Cunningham shared a great how-to for making custom pins using copper PCBs as the base material—double-sided, copper-clad FR-4 boards, to be exact. Collin used not just any mill, but our reliable little PCB mill to make the project. We got a sneak peek at these neat pins in our recent roundup of community builds.

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Topics: How-To, SVG Files, Tutorials, Circuit Boards, Projects, Adafruit, PCB Design, PCB Files

Tips and Tricks to Get More Out of Your Desktop CNC Mill

Posted by Shelley Villano on Apr 8, 2016 12:31:53 PM

Whether you are new to CNC milling or have been using a desktop CNC mill for some time, there’s always a way to make your workflow more reliable or efficient. Here are three simple and easy tricks you can use to simplify your workflow and make higher quality parts faster.

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Topics: How-To, CAM, Tips & Tricks, CNC, CAD

Introducing the Bit Fan, a New Othermill Accessory You Can Make

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Jan 27, 2016 8:42:15 PM

We just developed a really cool new accessory for the Othermill that makes your tools last longer and gives your milled parts a nicer surface finish. It also enables you to to see your workpiece more clearly. Win win! We call our new friend the Bit Fan. And the best part is that you can mill your own Bit Fan in 7 minutes!

Update: based on a suggestion from user Peter Luong, we made an STL version of the Bit Fan. If you don't have HDPE but you do have a 3D printer, you can print the Bit Fan!

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Topics: How-To, Machining, Machining Wax, Things We Like, Tips & Tricks, CNC

How to Make PCBs On a Desktop CNC Mill

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Jan 22, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post provides an overview of how to design and prototype printed circuit boards on a desktop CNC mill. Most students do not have access to a CNC mill in their electrical engineering or electronics classes. In most classes, students make circuits using breadboards, which allows them to make connections by plugging wires and components into a grid. This method is great for very simple circuits, but it quickly becomes messy as circuits increase in complexity, to the point where it becomes very difficult to troubleshoot.

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Topics: How-To, CAM, Circuit Boards, Workflow, CNC, CAD, Electronics, Electrical Engineering

Convert STL to STEP

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Jan 20, 2016 11:59:36 AM

This guide shows you the basics of converting an STL file to a STEP file. STL files are a 3D mesh format mostly used by 3D printers, but in the world of engineering CAD and CAM, most software requires solid models. The most universal solid model format is STEP (.stp, .step). Ideally you'd begin with a solid model and avoid STLs entirely, but maybe you found the perfect object on Thingiverse or you used a 3D scanner, and there’s no reasonable way to begin with a solid model. Or maybe you're already doing solid modeling, but you need to incorporate an STL model into it. This guide shows you a file conversion process that has worked well for me.

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Topics: How-To, Tutorials, Tips & Tricks, Fusion 360, CAD

Video: Use FlatCAM to Convert Gerber Files to G-Code

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Oct 16, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Prototyping circuit boards is an important part of product development. Ordering prototypes from a PCB manufacturer is either very slow or very expensive (and still kind of slow). To speed up the process, many people etch boards themselves, which is much faster than ordering them but requires toxic chemicals.

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Topics: How-To, Gerbers, CAM, Tutorials, Windows, Circuit Boards, Videos

Make Your Mill More Precise with Circles, Squares, and Diamonds

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Sep 16, 2015 9:40:00 PM

It’s hard to manufacture stuff repeatably. Unlike the software universe, where you can make exact copies, the physical universe isn’t uniform and nothing is created exactly the same way twice. Everything manufactured from physical materials falls on a spectrum, and it’s up to you to decide what part of the spectrum you’re willing to accept.

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Topics: How-To, Precision, CAM, Tutorials, Videos, Othermill, CAD, Metal