Bantam Tools Blog

How to: PCB Racer

Posted by David Casey on Dec 12, 2018 1:48:38 PM

The PCB Racer is a fun and simple project to get started with the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine and basic electronics. It uses a pager motor to turn the drive wheel of a small race car made entirely out of double-sided FR-1 PCB material. Almost all of the parts for the car are milled with the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling, including the chassis and the wheels. The remaining parts can be found at most electronics retailers.

Note: This project assumes you have basic knowledge of how to run the Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. If you're just getting started, check out our full library of guides

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Topics: PCB Files, PCB Design, Tutorials, How-To, Electronics, CNC, Circuit Boards

Best Practices for Cleaning PCBs After Milling

Posted by Pete Riley on Nov 14, 2018 3:26:44 PM

Last week, on our Instagram page, one of our community members asked what the recommended technique is for cleaning up PCBs after milling one on the precise Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. While we responded to the thread, we thought this information could be useful to more folks out there. If you've ever wondered that same question, this post is for you.

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Topics: PCB Design, Workflow, End Mills, How-To

From the Archives: Convert Gerber Files to G-Code with FlatCAM

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on May 9, 2018 11:10:55 AM

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. 

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Topics: PCB Files, PCB Design, Gerbers, How-To, CNC

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 it'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: Workflow, Support, SVG Files, How-To, Stamps, CNC

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 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. 

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

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

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

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