At Bantam Tools, we’ve been making high-precision, accessible desktop CNC mills for years, so it’s no surprise that we love all things CNC-related and glean inspiration from many forms of making. Being aficionados of precision, we've recently been mesmerized by the works of renowned Bay Area puzzle maker Lee Krasnow of Pacific Puzzleworks. Krasnow is widely regarded by puzzle collectors as one of the world’s best designers and craftsman of interlocking geometric puzzles and secret opening boxes. We reached out to gain insight into how he got started, as well as his tools, techniques, and challenges.
It's safe to say that most folks seek shelter when faced with extreme adverse weather, but that's not the case for ChasinSpin. The quest for capturing storm images doesn't come neatly wrapped in a box. Instead it's driven by innovation, and ChasinSpin employs the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine to create custom PCBs for his custom-built tools. Intrigued, we caught up with ChasinSpin to learn more.
Heads up: We're running a PCB challenge where everyone is a winner! Here at Bantam Tools, we love all things CNC-related, and we celebrate the fact that our versatile, reliable Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine can handle a whole host of materials — from metal to wood to wax and plastic — like a champ. With it's professional precision (6 mil trace & space!) and accessibility, though, where it really shines bright is in milling printed circuit boards. After all, the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine's middle name is PCB.
Open-source hardware company Adafruit is known for their impressive library of project tutorials, and one of their newest offerings is a neat little TouchTone Synth with custom PCB milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, designed by Noé Ruiz. The project employs Adafruit's Circuit Playground Express (their all-in-one board that has sensors and LEDs built in, with no soldering required), Microsoft's MakeCode (free web-based code editor for physical computing), and the custom PCB milled on the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine to make sweet music. Fun!
Ever since Eddie Serratos shared his full step-by-step instructions on how to make an Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal using the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine, we've been wowed by the variety of boxes he creates, as seen on his Instagram page. Not only do these boxes serve their functions well, they're also great examples of CNC eye candy due to the beautiful engravings he adds to them. We reached out to Eddie to find out how he does it, and he said that the single most important step is accurately measuring the box. Here he shares his tips with us.
The Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine was designed to make CNC milling, and in particular making PCBs, easier and more accessible than ever before. We set out to democratize PCB production, putting a powerful tool within reach of engineers, artists, educators, students, and makers of all stripes. To some, however, the software choices available to create PCB design files seem prohibitive and difficult to use. Enter Patchr, innovative new PCB design software that employs an easy-to-use circuit design tool.
Engineers Albert Vega and Brad Halsey are highly skilled real-life MacGyvers who've honed their skills on the field in challenging conditions. They understand that developing keen problem solving skills is much more than mastering any one set of tools — it's a mindset. To that end, together they cofounded Building Momentum, "a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that provides science and engineering consulting and technology development and training to defense, education, corporate, and entrepreneurial organizations."
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that wind generation could double by 2020 and double again by 2030. As the number of wind-energy-related jobs increases, the U.S. will need qualified candidates to fill positions at all levels. To help facilitate this process, in 2014, the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) co-created the Collegiate Wind Competition.
Here at Bantam Tools, we believe one of the most important assets we can provide to CNC mill users is a robust library of support materials. Sharing knowledge is caring about community. To that end, we've been digging through our extensive Bantam Tools archive of support materials and unearthing some timeless gems to resurface and share.
Over on our YouTube channel, one of our most popular videos happens to be from 2015, and it's still proving to be useful, getting views and positive comments to this day. It covers Converting Gerber Files to G-Code with FlatCAM, a skill useful to any PCB designer and CNC mill user.
Digital calipers are your best friend when it comes to taking accurate measurements of small objects. In order to take accurate measurements, it’s important to know how to use calipers properly. For Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine users, calipers are downright indispensable for ensuring that your material dimensions in software are consistent with the material’s actual dimensions.