Basic Project Workflow

The Othermill is designed to fit into PCB and small parts workflows. A major strength of the Othermill is that it allows you to prototype parts in-house quickly instead of waiting days or weeks for fabricators to prototype them for you.

The diagrams below illustrate how the Othermill fits into two types of workflows.

PCB Workflow

If you’re making PCBs, there are two workflows, depending on what software you use. The process is to generate Gerber files, or save a .brd file if you’re using EAGLE, which can then be loaded into Otherplan and milled on the Othermill.

Diagram of workflow for milling PCBs on the Othermill desktop CNC mill (Click for larger version.)

If you use EAGLE, you can import your .brd files into Otherplan directly. For other PCB/EDA software, you’ll need to generate Gerber files and import those into Otherplan. See our Altium, KiCad, and Gerber guides for more information.

Parts Workflow

For making small parts, there are two workflows, detailed below. The process is to design your part in CAD and then use a CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) tool or plugin to generate G-code files, which can then be loaded into Otherplan and milled on the Othermill.

Diagram of workflow for milling PCBs on the Othermill desktop CNC mill (Click for larger version.)

The Othermill also allows you to mill designs made in CAD programs like SolidWorks, Inventor, Fusion 360, and VCarve out of materials like aluminum and engineering plastics. This workflow includes the additional steps of CAM and post-processing. Autodesk CAM software such as HSMWorks (for SolidWorks), Inventor HSM, and Fusion 360 include an Othermill post-processor, which allows for seamless integration with the Othermill. We also provide a post-processor for Vectric software such as VCarve and Cut2D/Cut3D (see our VCarve guide). For other CAD/CAM software that doesn’t include an Othermill post-processor, you can still mill your parts on the Othermill by using a generic or TinyG post-processor and hand-editing the G-code to remove unsupported commands. See our G-code Reference guide for more information.

If you haven’t tried the Mac or Windows Hello World tutorials, we recommend heading there next.

Our support guides are full of information about many aspects of using the Othermill, and our support team is standing by if you get stuck. Happy milling!