We're so glad you’re reading this ode to fixturing. Why? Because fixturing your material to the machining bed is one of the most important steps of using the fast, easy, and reliable Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. Fixturing, also known as workholding, is the means of securely attaching your material to the machining bed. Fixturing unlocks a whole world of good stuff, ensuring that you maximize the high level of professional precision the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine affords you.
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.
Inches, millimeters, mils — what’s the difference? One of our customers asked for advice on which units to use when designing for the Othermill, so we put together this handy guide to units.
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.
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!
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.
It’s easy to get confused when trying to tell the difference between our smallest end mills, so we made a visual guide! Looking at them side-by-side, you can see that there are subtle differences. For example, a 1/100" flat end mill looks very similar to a 1/64" flat end mill, but the tip is shorter and slightly smaller. That being said, even experts confuse them occasionally, so we recommend keeping your end mills organized. Many people keep them in their original packaging, but you can also mill your own bit rack!