Desktop Othermill carves out circuit boards
Othermill is a lightweight three-axis mill that works with CAD files
What if you could easily add custom-designed circuits to DIY projects like 3D-printed stuff? Here’s a small mill that can churn them out with precision and power.
Othermill is a Kickstarter project that has quickly exceeded its fundraising goal. It’s designed to be a portable, desktop three-axis mill that can produce printed circuit boards, jewelry, molds, and other objects.
Conceived by the wizards at San Francisco-based R&D shop Otherfab/Otherlab, known for its crazy inflatable robots, Othermill works with CAD software to cut material in three dimensions. Unlike 3D printing, it cuts material away instead of adding it.
The machine is a 10-inch cube and weighs 15 pounds. It has a brushless DC motor and high-speed spindle that operates with any milling tool with a 1/8-inch-diameter shank. The cutting bed area is about 4x5x2 inches.
Aside from cutting printed circuit boards at 10 mil (thousandth of an inch) traces and spaces, Othermill can cut metal, wood, and plastic. It can hollow out a mold or engrave writing to customize mass-produced objects. The circuits it products can add functionality to them too.
“With the ability to make custom circuitry, we can now build our own smart objects — medicine bottles that e-mail reminders, shoes that tell you how fast you went, and even glasses that know when you need to put on sunscreen,” the company says on its campaign page. “The Othermill is our contribution to custom circuit design and the desktop manufacturing revolution.”
Despite a price tag starting at $999 for early adopters, support for Othermill has been strong, with nearly $140,000 raised in less than a week, way over the initial $50,000 goal.