Introducing the Bit Fan, a New Othermill Accessory You Can Make

Posted by Owen Smithyman on Jan 27, 2016 8:42:15 PM
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bitfan-good-on-tool.jpg

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!

Once you’ve made one, simply slip the Bit Fan onto the end of your tool and it will blow chips (or swarf) out of the way as you’re milling. Once you try milling with the Bit Fan, you'll never go back.

How to Make a Bit Fan

Tools and Materials

  • HDPE, 0.25" thick, at least 1.5" square — note that we sell both 0.25" and 0.375" HDPE, so make sure you choose the right file below
  • Flat end mill, 1/16” 
  • Nitto tape
  • BitFan.nc for 0.250" HDPE (right-click and choose Save As)
  • BitFan-375.nc for 0.375" HDPE (right-click, choose Save As)
  • BitFan.stl (if you don't have HDPE but you have a 3D printer)

Instructions

1. Attach the HDPE to the bed with Nitto tape.

2. Insert the 1/16" flat end mill.

bitfan1.png

3. Set up your material in Otherplan to match the size of the HDPE you’re using.

4. Change to a 1/16” flat end mill in Otherplan and locate the tool.

5. Open BitFan.nc in Otherplan.

6. Select a 1/16” tool in the BitFan.nc plan.

7. Start milling!

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Here's the Bit Fan with the angled blades facing up:

bitfan-good.jpg

How to Use the Bit Fan

Slip the fan onto the front of the tool, with the angled blades toward the tip of the tool. The flat side should face away from the tip.

  • Press on the blades, not the thin part between them
  • Be careful of the tool as you do this, it's possible to cut yourself
  • Push the fan all the way up against the collet nut as shown in the video above
  • Be wary about collisions if you are milling in a thick piece of stock

Here's the Bit Fan correctly installed on a 1/32" flat end mill, showing proper orientation:

bitfan-good-on-tool.jpg

We hope you enjoy using the Bit Fan as much as we do! As always, feel free to contact us at support@othermachine.co with questions or comments. We're always happy to hear from you!

Topics: How-To, Machining, Machining Wax, Things We Like, Tips & Tricks, CNC