In a machining era that is quickly becoming dominated by 3D printing technology, it is important to not overlook some of the advancements that are developing in the CNC world. After all, not everything can be build-to-spec from the ground-up, and for those projects which just ‘need some relief’, we turn to our mills—and what a nifty mill the Othermill is!
Other Machine Co., a San Francisco-based upstart, recently raised their $50k kickstarter goal to begin production of the Othermill—in fact, they exceeded their target-goal more than six times over (way to go guys!)! The Company’s desktop CNC mini mill is an awesome little contraption—and the perfect companion for your desktop 3D printer. At only sixteen pounds and sporting a 10” x 10” x 12” chassis, the Othermill is super light-weight and has handles on it so that you can take it everywhere with you, including your next speed-dating session—because it never hurts to attract a like-minded gadget freak.
Like some of the other nifty home-grown tabletop machines that we have seen come out of California recently, the Othermill was created carefully, with an emphasis on employing high-quality components and engineering that will allow it to stand the test of time. Right down to every last lubrication-free, wear-compensating, Teflon-coated lead screw securing the stepping motors, this thing was designed with love.
What is probably the greatest part about the Othermill is that it is designed to accept a broad range of tools. In fact, it can use virtually any tool with a 1/8” shank (which includes all Dremel® and Foredom® Flex Shaft Accessories). The Othermill’s construction is optimized for building circuit boards, but with proper bit selection, the device is more than capable of milling plastics (including ABS, PVC and HDPE), single or double-sided FR-1 copper-clad PCB, non-ferrous metals (copper, brass, aluminum, etc), machining wax, and various types of woods, including plywood.
The CAM in the Othermill is designed to work intuitively for the user, to craft with a dedicated WYSIWYM (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Make) attitude. The machine is intended to be used with TinyG, an open-source motion controller program made by Synthetos. But because the Othermill accepts Eagle BRD, SVG and G Code file inputs over USB, you have options to get creative and work with your own custom stuff, if that’s your thing.
While the Othermill is not yet currently available for purchase, Other Machine Co. exclaims that it will be the most versatile and affordable mill on the market. Whether or not this will prove to be true will be left for the community to decide, but at the moment, things look pretty promising for the product, and for the enthusiastic and innovative new company behind it.
(Images via Other Machine Co.)