Otherplan 0.31 is ready! This release improves Otherplan’s EAGLE .brd file support, has faster toolpath generation for PCB files, and includes a handful of usability improvements. Download the update now and read on for the details.
Otherplan 0.32 with the Arduino Micro .brd file loaded.
Improved EAGLE File Support
Since its inception, Otherplan has imported EAGLE .brd files. However, due to the complexity of the EAGLE file format, users have reported cases where Otherplan’s importer didn’t do quite what they expected. In Otherplan 0.31, we’ve overhauled our EAGLE importer and have significantly improved our support for EAGLE .brd files.
In this overhaul, we’ve updated our .brd file support to better match EAGLE’s behavior and generate boards that more closely match the expected design.
Here are a few highlights:
- Fixed issues that caused thermals to appear in unexpected locations
- Improved support for isolation properties of elements inside polygons
- Corrrected handling of outlines where parts of the outline are contained within a component in an external library
- Correctly set the rotation of components that have the Spin setting selected
- Error message now shown when importing a .brd file with no dimensions (previously, import would succeed but show no traces or holes)
- Elements in the Milling layer (46) now included when milling holes
- Elements in tRestrict (41) and bRestrict (42) layers now taken into account by Otherplan
- Thermal Isolation setting on elements now respected
- Polygon rank now taken into account
- When a large trace clearance is set, Otherplan no longer clears polygons that extend past the board’s outline
Because of the number of changes to Otherplan’s EAGLE support, please take a close look at your boards before milling. Also, our EAGLE guide contains more information about known issues with .brd files. If you notice anything missing or out of place, please email us your .brd file at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faster PCB Toolpath Generation
Nobody likes waiting, especially when fine-tuning milling settings for a PCB. In Otherplan 0.31, we’ve updated and optimized the algorithm used to generate PCB toolpaths. For many PCBs, this optimization can result in toolpaths being generated at two to five times the speed of previous versions. This difference is particularly noticeable with large and complicated boards.
All in all, this update, along with the responsiveness improvements made in Otherplan 0.30, should significantly improve your experience when configuring PCBs for milling.
We’re always on the lookout for ways to improve Otherplan, and in this release we’ve included a few additional updates:
- The “remove your tool” step in the tool change procedure has been combined with the “insert your tool” step to reduce the number of clicks needed to change a tool.
- Otherplan’s Machine Status panel now includes the alignment bracket’s rotation, if installed. This is useful for configuring coordinate systems in CAM software to account for the bracket rotation. (See screenshot, right.)
- Otherplan’s menus have been refreshed for consistency and completeness.
As always, we’re excited to hear your feedback and we’re available at email@example.com. Happy milling!