Locating the Bracket (Otherplan Classic)

This guide refers to Otherplan Classic, OMC’s legacy application for Mac OS X. For the cross-platform version of this guide, please click here.

Once installed and located, the provided bracket tells Otherplan Classic the precise position and orientation of any material aligned to it. This has many wonderful applications, including making it possible to accurately match up the front and back sides of a double-sided circuit board.

This guide walks you through how to attach the bracket to the Othermill and locate it in Otherplan Classic. You should locate the bracket in Otherplan Classic every time you install it.

Alignment bracket The alignment bracket.

What you will need:

  • Otherplan Classic 0.14.2 or a more recent release
  • Othermill’s alignment bracket (included in your accessories box)
  • Three small bracket screws and Allen wrench (also included in your accessories box)
  • You should also familiarize yourself with the tool-locating process tutorial.

Step 1: Start the process of locating the bracket.

Connect your computer to your Othermill and launch Otherplan Classic. After you have homed the machine (see our Othermill Project Guide for more info on homing the machine and other setup), click on Setup Fixturing in the Setup panel of Otherplan Classic.

Setup Fixturing.

The following dialog box will appear:

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.44.12 PM

Click on the radio button to select the bracket, then click on Locate at the bottom of the dialog.

Step 2: Attach the bracket to the bed.

The bed will move to the Loading position so you can easily install the bracket. Before attaching it, you should clear all material from the spoilboard.

Place the bracket on the near edge of the bed and screw in the three fixturing bolts (one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle). The bolts should be lightly tightened using the provided Allen wrench so that the bracket is securely attached and doesn’t move around.

Be careful not to over-tighten the bolts. The threaded holes in the bed are delicate and excess force will strip the threads.

Click Continue to move to the next step.

Step 3: Reverse the tool or insert a 0.125-diameter probe.

Note: If you already have 0.125"-diameter probe tool located, skip ahead to Step 5.

The bracket-locating process uses a 0.125"-diameter probe tool to find the edges of the bracket. If you don’t have a probe tool, any tool with a 0.125" shank can be inserted upside down and used as a probe.

You should see the following dialog box:

Insert the probe.

Step 4: Locate the tip of the probe.

Once you’ve installed the probe or reversed the tool, click Continue. The machine will home and then ask you to align the tool tip to the Safe Zone in the x-carriage. Align the probe tip to the Safe Zone and click Continue.

Locate the probe.

Step 5: Get ready to locate the bracket.

Before proceeding, double-check that:

  • The bed is clear of any obstructions. Even very small pieces of debris, like a piece of tape or a tiny chip of material left over from a past cut, can interfere with bracket locating.
  • The bracket is firmly attached to the bed using the three fixturing bolts provided.
  • The tool in the collet is upside down (the shaft is pointing toward the bed).
  • All protective windows are in place.

Click Locate to continue.

Locate the bracket.

Step 7: Locate the bracket.

Three things will now occur automatically (the first two steps will be skipped if you currently have the “0.125in Diameter Probe” located):

  • The probe will be located and you should see the tool in the upper right of Otherplan change to “0.125in Diameter Probe.”
  • After locating the probe, the Othermill will be re-homed.
  • The probe will be used to locate the bracket. The probe will touch off the bracket in six places, twice per side.

If everything worked correctly, congratulations, the bracket is now located and you can start cutting your double-sided boards!

Locate the bracket.

Remember, for the sake of accuracy, you should locate the bracket every time you install or reposition it.

Troubleshooting

If the Locate Bracket sequence went awry, there are two possible errors you can get:

  • If the probe failed to make a sufficient electrical connection with the bracket, you’ll get this error message and the sequence will be cancelled. You’ll need to locate the bracket again. First ensure the bed is cleared, the bracket is firmly attached to the bed, and no debris is stuck to the probe tool. Then restart the bracket-locating sequence.

Bracket locating failed.

  • The second possible error is a warning only and will still allow the bracket to be located and usable. However, unless your bracket really is bent out of shape, this message probably indicates an error, so it’s recommended that you run the bracket-locating sequence again. Unusual shape.

If either of these problems persists, please contact our support staff at support@othermachine.co. We’re here to answer questions and help!