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.
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.
Even if you’ve only done just a few projects on the Othermill or Othermill Pro, you know the importance of using the correct feeds and speeds for your design and material type. This is a topic we’ve previously covered in detail in our Speeds and Feeds Guide and Materials Guides, but with the recent addition of SVG milling in Otherplan, we've made it possible to mill designs without creating G-code or thinking about speeds and feeds ahead of time.
Using SVG files is an easy way to mill simple shapes without using traditional CAD and CAM software. When you use SVG files, you can create your design using clipart, screenshots of images, hand drawings, or your graphic design software of choice, such as Illustrator or Inkscape.
Community member Troy Gomez recently shared this neat tool rack design he made for his Othermill Pro. He describes it as "very functional with stadium-style seating." The rack, which Troy 3D-printed using black ABS filament, has slots to hold 14 bits and pegs to hold two bit fans and an alignment bracket.
Winter is almost over, and that means it's time for another Othermill Project Roundup! Throughout the season, we've collected quite a few Othermill-made creations from community members near and far, and we're excited to share them with you. Projects range from 2D engravings made using SVGs, to both simple and complex PCBs, to 2-1/2D mechanical parts in all shapes and materials (wood, polycarb, and aluminum, just to name a few).
Recently we've gotten some inquiries asking what people are making with their Othermills. Projects range from introductory to advanced, and I thought I would collect some of the examples from the past two months in one place. It is impressive to see the volume of work being done out there. If you have a project or technique you'd like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New media designer and ITP master’s student Dhruv Damle recently wrote in to share a beautiful project he made using one of the Othermills at ITP’s Soft Lab: his oak and aluminum abstract map of Manhattan.
Teaching engineering is hard. It’s one thing to explain concepts, but most students require concrete, practical examples in order to fully understand those concepts. Practical examples cost money, and they also require time and effort to develop. That’s why we’ve started creating free educational content for Mechanical Engineering courses!
In many Engineering Mechanics and Materials classes, “dog bone” tensile test specimens are required at some point, as part of determining the yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of various materials. For each of these materials, the test specimens are often milled one at a time in the university’s machine shop by a certified lab technician, until there are enough for the entire class. What if there were an easier way that didn’t require a machine shop or certifications, and could even be used as a teaching tool?