Bringing Otherplan Out of Beta

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

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.

Otherplan Public Beta Progress

Last October, we released the Otherplan Public Beta, the first version of Otherplan capable of running on both Windows and Mac OS X. Since then, our four-person software team has been working hard to bring the Public Beta closer to parity with our original Mac-only version of Otherplan, fix bugs, and add new features that improve the experience of using the Othermill.

We’ve made a ton of progress. In addition to building out Otherplan’s functionality for milling single and double-sided PCBs and handling G-code from third-party CAM software, we’ve also created some entirely new features that go above and beyond what was possible in our original Mac app. These include:

These improvements are just the beginning. In the coming months, you'll see improvements to the 3D preview, support for custom tools, a streamlined interface for setting up PCB jobs, and the ability to save and load projects. And we have many more features, optimizations, and integrations in the works, prioritized based on customer feedback.

Otherplan and Otherplan Classic

After months of internal and external testing, we're confident that the Otherplan Public Beta is stable and ready for use by our customers. To reflect this milestone, we're removing the "Public Beta" designation and will now refer to this version of the software as "Otherplan." As of today, we recommend that all users milling PCBs and using G-code, whether on Windows or on Mac OS X, switch over to Otherplan.

From now on, the older, Mac-only version of Otherplan will be known as Otherplan Classic. We know that many of you rely on the specific set of features available in Otherplan Classic, so it will still be downloadable and supported. However, all new features and improvements will be made on our cross-platform app.

Otherplan is where we've spent the bulk of our development efforts in the past year, and that trend will continue. We encourage all users to switch to Otherplan when possible. But, we will continue to support Otherplan Classic until all of its key features are available in Otherplan.

For a comprehensive list of differences between Otherplan and Otherplan Classic, please take a look at our Otherplan Classic support guide.

What about SVGs?

One of the hallmark features of Otherplan Classic is support for basic 2D milling jobs with SVG files. This has been a popular feature among our users — and for good reason! It’s one of the simplest (not to mention, least expensive) options out there for 2D CAM.

We know that many of you have come to rely on this feature and have integrated it into your workflows. That’s why we’re continuing to maintain Otherplan Classic. If you’re happy with your current workflow, rest assured that it won’t be going away anytime soon.

We do plan to bring SVG support to the new Otherplan, but if you're a PCB or G-code user, you shouldn't wait to switch over. For those users, Otherplan has many advantages over Otherplan Classic.

In the meantime, if you’re a Windows user and you’d like to use SVGs on the Othermill, there are alternatives. Autodesk Fusion 360 and Vectric Cut2D are fantastic, inexpensive CAM options that provide a smooth workflow for 2D graphics files that you’d like to mill.

What’s next?

Today, we're releasing Otherplan Classic 0.14.8, which in addition to the name change includes the following updates:

  • Updated firmware for V2 Othermill (read about the changes in our Otherplan 0.29 release notes).
  • Fixed bugs that caused additional plan offsets when connecting to an Othermill with spoilboard installed.
  • Added basic support for Othermill Pro.
  • Changed motor power timeout settings for Kickstarter Othermills to increase positioning accuracy.
  • Adjusted material size limits to match Othermill travel limits.

We release updates to Otherplan every few weeks, and as mentioned above, we have many new features and enhancements in the works. Now that our cross-platform app is stable, we’re able to respond to bug reports and feature requests more quickly.

We appreciate your feedback and are particularly interested in scheduling some conversations to learn more about your experiences with Otherplan. If you have 15 minutes to spare for a phone call, please let us know — we’d love to connect and get your input.

Thanks again for your support and for using Otherplan. If you have any questions or would like to email us feedback, please feel free to contact us at support@othermachine.co.

Topics: Software, Announcements, Otherplan