Bantam Tools Blog

Ezra Spier

Ezra heads up software development at OMC.

Recent Posts

Refining 30º Engraving Bit Support in Otherplan 1.0

Posted by Ezra Spier on Nov 3, 2016 9:42:45 AM

In Otherplan 1.0, we’ve made some adjustments that cause the 30º Engraving Bit to mill a bit differently than it did in previous releases. Because this update will affect the precision and accuracy of milled PCBs, we wanted to share a little bit of background on why we’re making these changes, and how they might affect you.

During in-house testing, we’ve seen results with our 30º engraving bits that don’t quite match our expectations. In particular, we’ve noticed that on PCBs milled with the 30º engraving bit, the traces seem to be narrower than they should be, and the spacing between traces seem to be wider than they should be. This is especially noticeable on boards with small trace pitch. Because even one thousandth of an inch can affect the success or failure of a board, we searched for the cause.

After looking into a number of potential issues, we realized that the issue was actually in software. The tool definition – the part of Otherplan that describes the exact shape and size of the tool – is slightly incorrect for the 30º engraving bits that we offer in our store. Essentially, Otherplan thinks that the 30º engraving bit is thinner than it actually is, at the depth it’s milling. Even though milling with wider parts of the bit will usually result in functional prototypes, the prototypes will not be as accurate as the designer intended.

In order to address these issues, we’ve made a few changes in Otherplan 1.0:

An updated definition for the standard 30º engraving bit: We’ve changed the tool definition in Otherplan 1.0 to reflect the true dimensions of the 30º engraving bits we provide in our store. You will likely notice few changes, if any. But if you are milling boards with very fine traces, you may find that some of the traces will no longer be able to be milled with the bit. (See below for details on what to do in this situation.)

New high-precision 30º engraving bit in Otherplan and in the OMC Store: For folks who do need accurate traces down to 6 mil, we’ve begun stocking a new 30º engraving bit that is the right tool for the job. This new high-precision 30º engraving bit has a tip diameter of 0.003 in, compared to the standard bit with a 0.005 inch tip diameter.

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Topics: Software, Otherplan, New Products

Otherplan Hits 1.0! Now with SVG Support, Mill All Visible, and Custom Speeds and Feeds

Posted by Ezra Spier on Nov 3, 2016 9:42:38 AM

Yes, it’s true: Otherplan 1.0 is out!

In one of the biggest updates to Otherplan ever, Otherplan 1.0 has three new major features: support for .svg files, the ability to mill multiple plans, and custom speeds and feeds settings for your tool library. Details are below, but why wait? Download it now:

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Topics: Otherplan, Software

Otherplan 0.32: Custom Tools, Faster PCB Toolpaths, and More

Posted by Ezra Spier on Oct 6, 2016 9:28:42 AM

It’s Otherplan release time! Otherplan 0.32 is full of enhancements, including two of the most frequently-requested features of all time: support for custom milling tools and a new PCB toolpath algorithm that speeds up jobs significantly. As always, we’ve also included a few performance and usability improvements for good measure.

There’s a lot in this update; read on for the details or download the update now:

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Topics: Otherplan, Software

Otherplan 0.31: Improved EAGLE File Support, Faster PCB Toolpath Generation, and More

Posted by Ezra Spier on Sep 8, 2016 9:19:24 AM

Otherplan 0.31 is ready! This release improves Otherplan’s EAGLE .brd file support, has faster toolpath generation for PCB files, and includes a handful of usability improvements. Download the update now and read on for the details.

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Topics: Otherplan, Software

Otherplan 0.30: Out of Beta, with Improved Preview Rotation and Performance Optimizations

Posted by Ezra Spier on Aug 9, 2016 1:12:17 PM

Yes, that’s right: it’s time for an Otherplan release!

Freshly out of beta, Otherplan 0.30 brings cursor-aware preview rotation, a number of performance optimizations, and a firmware update for the Othermill Pro. Read on for details or download now:

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Topics: Software, Announcements, Otherplan

Bringing Otherplan Out of Beta

Posted by Ezra Spier on Aug 1, 2016 9:27:49 AM

It’s been an exciting few months for the Otherplan Public Beta. Since its initial release last fall, we’ve released eight updates — each fixing bugs, adding major functionality, and making the app more reliable.

Today, we’re excited to announce two things: Otherplan Public Beta is coming out of beta, and we now recommend all users to switch away from our Mac-only app, if possible. Read on for the details.

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Topics: Otherplan, Software, Announcements

Otherplan Public Beta 0.29: Collision Warnings, Bridged Trace Updates, and Firmware Update

Posted by Ezra Spier on Jul 7, 2016 9:42:48 AM

Otherplan Public Beta 0.29 is out! In this release, we’ve improved bridged trace warnings, added new collision warnings, updated the Othermill’s firmware, and fixed a handful of bugs. Download it now or read on for the details.

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Topics: Otherplan, Software

The Othermill Guide to Units of Measurement

Posted by Ezra Spier on Jun 15, 2016 1:42:37 PM

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.

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Topics: Design, Tips & Tricks, Support

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

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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Topics: Circuit Boards, Otherplan

Boost Your Boards: Speeding Up PCB Prototyping with Engraving Bit Isolation Milling

Posted by Ezra Spier on May 9, 2016 3:35:36 PM


What if I told you that you could mill precise PCBs in a fraction of the time, increase trace precision, and essentially eliminate the experience of breaking bits? Starting with version 0.27, the Otherplan Public Beta makes this possible with a new feature: engraving bit isolation milling.

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Topics: Circuit Boards, Otherplan, Electrical Engineering, End Mills