Inches, millimeters, mils — what’s the difference? One of our customers asked for advice on which units to use when designing for the Othermill, so we put together this handy guide to units.
Whether you are new to CNC milling or have been using a desktop CNC mill for some time, there’s always a way to make your workflow more reliable or efficient. Here are three simple and easy tricks you can use to simplify your workflow and make higher quality parts faster.
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!
This guide shows you the basics of converting an STL file to a STEP file. STL files are a 3D mesh format mostly used by 3D printers, but in the world of engineering CAD and CAM, most software requires solid models. The most universal solid model format is STEP (.stp, .step). Ideally you'd begin with a solid model and avoid STLs entirely, but maybe you found the perfect object on Thingiverse or you used a 3D scanner, and there’s no reasonable way to begin with a solid model. Or maybe you're already doing solid modeling, but you need to incorporate an STL model into it. This guide shows you a file conversion process that has worked well for me.
It’s easy to get confused when trying to tell the difference between our smallest end mills, so we made a visual guide! Looking at them side-by-side, you can see that there are subtle differences. For example, a 1/100" flat end mill looks very similar to a 1/64" flat end mill, but the tip is shorter and slightly smaller. That being said, even experts confuse them occasionally, so we recommend keeping your end mills organized. Many people keep them in their original packaging, but you can also mill your own bit rack!