Prototyping circuit boards is an important part of product development. Ordering prototypes from a PCB manufacturer is either very slow or very expensive (and still kind of slow). To speed up the process, many people etch boards themselves, which is much faster than ordering them but requires toxic chemicals.
It’s hard to manufacture stuff repeatably. Unlike the software universe, where you can make exact copies, the physical universe isn’t uniform and nothing is created exactly the same way twice. Everything manufactured from physical materials falls on a spectrum, and it’s up to you to decide what part of the spectrum you’re willing to accept.
What’s an .svg file? Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) is a common image file format. Unlike raster image files (like .jpg, .gif, and .png) that store images in grids of colored pixels, .svg files store image information as lines and shapes. As such, they can be scaled to any size and still look perfectly sharp, unlike a .jpg, which may look fuzzy and pixelated when scaled up.
More importantly, because .svg files store shapes instead of pixels, Otherplan can turn the shapes into toolpaths, which you can then cut on the Othermill.
Adafruit’s Collin Cunningham is like the teacher you always wish you had in school. In his top-notch video series, Collin’s Lab, he makes topics like RFID, MIDI, and solar accessible to anyone with interest. We were thrilled that in his latest video, Collin walks us through using an Othemill to mill the PCB for our simple (but awesome!) capacitive synthesizer project. He jams out on the final product, proclaiming that it’s “pleasingly glitchable, capacitively touchable.” Collin approves.