When Joe needed to prototype a custom printed circuit board design, the experience was often frustrating. He often had to wait a couple of weeks to receive the prototype. And by then, his design had undergone changes at the request of the customer, so he had to wait, again, for the next prototype from his prototyping service bureau. Now, he has another option; one that can deliver a prototype in hours, and it will sit on his desk.
In January of this year, Make Parts Fast introduced you to an innovative desktop manufacturing machine targeted at quickly prototyping and making printed circuit boards–the Othermill. At that time, the company founders were still in the throws of a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is complete and today, the Other Machine Co. (OMC) announced the opening of pre-sales for the Othermill ($2,199). This desktop computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine can be used for intricate craft and design for printing custom circuit boards.
In addition to the machine, the company also announced the release of Otherplan, the “what you see is what you make” Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software for free download from the company’s website, and the launch of an online store. Otherplan is for people who are new to CNC, but it still gives “under-the-hood” access to advanced users, making it easy to tell the desktop CNC what to cut and how. The software allows Mac OS X users to control CNC machines for the first time and can export industry-standard G-code for use in other software and equipment.
Noted CEO, Danielle Applestone PhD, the OMC experience is not just for engineers: it is for everyone. “It’s perfect for electronics, crafts, and other projects. The Othermill cuts out 3D objects from durable materials such as wood, light metals, and circuit boards. For circuit board makers, it cuts production time by providing rapid iteration and small-batch manufacturing capabilities – all without having to learn new design tools.
“The movement from mass production towards small-batch, ultra-customized, on-demand manufacturing is powerful,” continued Applestone, “the Othermill and Otherplan software allows people with a range of skills and interests to access industrial techniques for the first time.”