Metalnat's Lessons Learned from Broken End Mills

Posted by Goli Mohammadi on Apr 11, 2017 8:37:00 AM

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Over on Hackaday.io, Burbank Makerspace cofounder Metalnat Hayes is sharing the trials and tribulations of designing and fabricating a no-code custom controller infrastructure for mobile devices as part of his Supplyframe DesignLab residency. 

A proponent of learning by doing, Hayes recently shared the details of a few fumbles on the Othermill. We like his post because we believe mistakes are among the most powerful teachers. 

Hayes learns about the importance of:

1. Proper setup sequence when using the alignment bracketIf you load your file into Otherplan and then tell it that you're using an alignment bracket, it doesn't offset your plan from the bracket. You have to turn on the bracket, select your material size, and load your .brd file before it'll offset your plan from the bracket, preventing a broken end mill. This is a usability issue that we know about and is on our list for fixing. 

2. Real-world measurements and interference: Even though the JST connectors he was using fit where they were supposed to, they didn't fit next to each other because the footprint he used didn't properly account for the plastic casings. He also accidentally doubled his header spacing.

3. Changing bits in Otherplan and on the Othermill: He changed the end mill on the Othermill but didn't configure the new end mill in Otherplan first, leading to his second broken end mill.

4. Proper fixturing: He cleaned the bottom of the board with isopropyl alcohol and then applied double-sided tape, only to have the board pop up when it was done being milled and break a third end mill. Our guess is that the surface wasn't completely dry from the alcohol before the tape was applied, comprimising the integrity of the tape. 

Read his full post for all the details. In the end, though, he's able to beautifully mill his three-button board on the Othermill.

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And he cheerfully proclaims, "All growth outside of comfort will be riddled with failures, but upon these failures we learn the lessons to succeed. On towards the next steps!" Right on, Metalnat!

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And remember, on our site, we have an entire, robust library of support guides to help you with all your milling projects, every step of the way. Happy milling! 

Topics: Customers, Circuit Boards, Electrical Engineering


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