The Othermill is designed to be robust and cut accurately with a minimum of maintenance. These basic maintenance tips will help your machine run smoothly.
Each Time You Mill a Project
Make sure your machine is clean. Use a good vacuum after each milling job to remove as much of the resulting material debris (called swarf, which is just the best word ever) in and around the machine as possible. Use a small paint brush to loosen any debris that accrues around the inside of the spindle housing.
Before and after milling, make sure all the rails and the bed are clear of dust, tape, or glue, and make sure you have a tidy working environment. Sticky substances on the rails can cause the machining bed to dislodge them from the frame and will impact your milling project.
Keep track of all cutting tools in order to know how long they’ve been in service. A dull end mill will make fuzzy or jagged cuts and can cause the machine to cut incorrectly. Old tools are also more likely to break while cutting.
Every so often, inspect the spindle belts and collet for visible wear. Spindle belts can become stretched and loose or have worn patches. If the collet looks dirty, clean it by gently tapping it on a hard surface to dislodge debris.
If the machine sounds rough or uneven, inspect the spindle:
- Use the z-axis jogging arrows in Otherplan to lower the spindle so the belts are in reach.
- Power the machine down.
- Remove the pulley belt (or belts if you have a double pulley) at the top of the spindle by gently pulling them off with your fingers. Rotate the pulleys as needed to get the belts free, and set the belts aside.
- With your finger, grasp the end of the spindle that holds the tool and wiggle it gently to make sure the spindle does not move side to side or up and down.
- Make sure that the spindle spins freely.
- If you feel movement, let us know at email@example.com.
If your rails get sticky with tape or glue, carefully remove the adhesive with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will also remove the protective lubricant applied to the rails when the machine is assembled.
- To keep the rails from corroding, apply 1-2 small drops of a lubricant such as Break Free CLP to the top of the rails near the bearings. The bearings are the part of the x, y and z carriages that make contact with the rails.
- After applying the lubrication, use the jogging arrows in the Otherplan window to move the machine across the rails you just oiled. Only apply lubrication if you’ve used alcohol on the rails. The Othermill does not need any other type of lubrication.
Store your Othermill in a cool, dry place to avoid damage to the electronics and corrosion on the rails.
Before you mill, make sure there are no loose items on the bottom of the Othermill. Loose tools, wrenches, and large pieces of material can be caught in the rails or under the machining bed and cause damage to your machine.
How to Replace the Spindle Belts
The Othermill uses belts to connect the spindle motor and the spindle, and occasionally, these spindle belts can wear out or break. If this happens, replace the damaged belts with new ones from the accessory kit that came with your Othermill. Note: Some Othermills have double pulleys that require two belts, and others have single pulleys. The process for replacing the belts is the same.
Using the z-axis jogging arrows in Otherplan, lower the spindle closer to the bed. Be careful not to hit the bed with the tool!
Power down your machine.
Remove the belt with your fingers. For worn belts, rotate the pulleys as necessary to get the belt completely free. If your Othermill has a double pulley and only one belt is damaged, you may have to remove the undamaged belt to fully remove the damaged one.
Loop the new spindle belt around the front (spindle motor) pulley, and make sure it’s seated in the empty groove.
Stretch it around the matching groove on the rear pulley.
With your thumb holding the pulley in the groove, spin the spindle pulley and press the belt into the gap between the pulley and the motor housing.
If your Othermill has a double pulley, repeat the above process for the second belt. If an undamaged belt was removed to replace the damaged one, replace it before using your mill.
How to Update Otherplan
Otherplan checks for updates every time it is launched. If a new version of Otherplan has been released, Otherplan will prompt you to download the new version.
To check for Otherplan updates manually, click Check for Updates in Otherplan’s File menu.
How to Update the Othermill’s Firmware
Every time the Othermill is connected, Otherplan will check to see if its firmware needs to be updated. If an update is available, you will be prompted.
To update the Othermill’s firmware manually, click Update Firmware in the Machine menu. The Update Firmware button will only be available when there is firmware to update.
If you have questions about the care and condition of your mill, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.