Working with Othermill

Othermill is a desktop CNC milling machine. Use Othermill to create custom circuit boards, product prototypes, and other 3D objects. 

  • To use the Othermill during open lab time registered Makerspace patrons must complete the Desktop Milling Safety Orientation and sign the Desktop Milling User Agreement.
  • After completing the Orientation and User Agreement patrons will become registered Othermill users.
  • Registered Othermill users can checkout the Othermill kit from the Makerspace, as well as request pre-cut pieces of foam for hands-on learning and prototyping.
  • The Othermill kit can be checked out for 4 hour periods.
  • Patrons can only mill materials that have been provided by, or purchased from, the DH. Hill Library Makerspace.
  • Patrons must supervise the Othermill whenever it is in use. If a patron leaves the Othermill unattended, Makerspace staff will stop the machine by pushing the pause button in the Bantam Tools software. Exceptions can be made for bio-breaks, provided the patron alerts Makerspace staff before leaving.
  • Patrons must vacuum and clean the Othermill after each use.

Setting up Othermill

  1. Ensure the other mill is clean and free of debris. Vacuum out any materials leftover from previous use;
  2. Plug the Othermil into a power outlet and connect it via USB to a computer, then turn on the machine;
  3. Open up the Bantam Tools software;
  4. Remove the safety window;
  5. In the Bantam Tools software, locate the fixturing, changing if necessary for your job;
  6. Affix your material to the Othermill base, using double-sided tape, hot glue, or our precision fixturing and toe clamp set;
  7. Insert the correct end mill for your milling project:
    • Use flat end mills for cutting 2D shapes like circuit boards, flat-sided 3D shapes, and for detail work 
    • Use ball end mills for cutting curves and 3D shapes into woods, waxes, and plastics
    • Use engraving bits for fine detail work
  8. Put the saftey windows back into place.

Setting up the Bantam Tools software

The Bantam Tools software is the application that controls the Othermill. Load your design files into the Bantam Tools software and the program will figure out the most efficient toolpaths to complete yoru milling project. You can use the Bantam Tools software on any of the Makerspace laptops, or you can download it on your own computer. 

Compatible File Formats

Bantam Tools Desktop Milling Machine Software supports files from many popular design tools:

  • Vectors (.svg)
  • EAGLE (.brd)
  • Gerbers
  • G-code (.nc, .tap, .gcode)

Bantam Tools Desktop Milling Machine Software is free and can be used without any hardware. So load up your files and see what it would look like to mill them.

General Saftey Guidelines

  • When the Othermill is running patrons operating the machine and patrons near the machine must wear safety goggles
  • If a bit breaks or is damaged patrons must stop the machine and report the broken part to Makerspace staff
  • If the machine begins to falter, or to run poorly or inconsistently, patrons must stop the machine by pushing the emergency stop button
  • Access to the Othermill will be revoked if safety procedures are not followed.

Available Materials

Only materials that have been provided by the Hill Library Makerspace can be milled on the Othermill. 

Banned Materials

Materials banned for use on all Makerspace desktop milling equipment include, but are not limited to:

  • Metals — not allowed due to safety and noise issues
  • Steel, stainless or otherwise — will dull/melt the cutting tool.
  • Iron — will dull/melt the cutting tool.
  • Magnesium — chips can ignite and are difficult to extinguish.
  • Titanium — will dull/melt the cutting tool.
  • Fiberglass, including FR-4 circuit boards — makes unhealthy dust.
  • Hard stone and precious gems — will dull/melt the cutting tool and create dangerous dust.
  • Glass — will shatter, creating dangerous shrapnel.
  • Silver chloride or other powdery materials — very crumbly, doesn’t hold its shape.
  • Chocolate, cheese, or other food products — The Othermill is not food safe. Besides, these things are better eaten.