How to: Fritzing / OtherMill

Resources

Examples and inspiration

  • Digital compass (about half way down)
  • Other Machine Company’s Instructables pages
  • Simple LED blinker based on a 555 done in Fritzing using standard components, which unfortunately can not be created with a 1/32″ endmill
  • A simple LED blinker based on a 555 done in Fritzing using the components listed below, which can be created with a 1/32″ endmill
  • London Underground map radio
  • Skull bracelet
  • Nixie tube clock
  • Untitled (5 pictures under the description “These are all from the same guy:”

Instructions

Fritzing

The smallest end mill we use is 1/32″, which means that clearances must be at least this big or they won’t get cleared. Many components have clearances that are too small, so use only the following components:

  1. Basic users can make any circuit with these components:
    1. Core parts -> Basics -> Resistor
      (Holes are far enough apart that pad size doesn’t matter)
    2. Core parts -> Basics -> Electrolytic Capacitor
      Use only the 200 or 300 mil [THT, Electrolytic] packages
    3. Core parts -> Basics -> Rectifier Diode
    4. Core parts -> ICs -> DIP – 8 pins
      In Advanced Settings, change the Ring Thickness to 0.36 mm
    5. Core parts -> Basics -> Mystery Part
      Change the label to describe what you’re using it for.
      In Advanced Settings, change the Ring Thickness to 0.36 mm
      Useful generic part: Can select number of pins (1-128), single or dual rows, row spacing (0.1″-0.9″), but not pin pitch
    6. Core parts -> Connection -> Generic female header – 2 pins
      Useful generic part:  Can select number of pins (1-64), single or dual rows, pin pitch (1mm-.2″ in various sizes) but not row spacing
      If using .1″ pitch, in Advanced Settings, must change the Ring Thickness to 0.36 mm
    7. Core parts -> Connection -> Screw terminal – 2 pins
      Useful generic part:  Can select number of pins (2-28), pin pitch in various standard sizes. If using .1″ pitch, in Advanced Settings, must change the Ring Thickness to 0.36 mm

    Advanced users might wish to add:

    1. Core parts -> PCB view -> Jumper
    2. Core parts -> PCB view -> Hole
      In Advanced Settings, select Hole Size 0.032″ (0.79375 mm) or larger

While laying out your circuit

  1. Make all traces Extra Thick (48 mil)
  2. Since the ring size on the resistor, capacitor, and diode can’t  be changed, do not place any hole within .1″ of these pads
  3. For single sided boards, traces on the top and component on the bottom
  4. For double sided boards, to connect top layer to bottom layer, use a 1 pin mystery part. No need to reduce ring thickness. Later insert a wire or a male header pin and solder to both top and bottom layers.

Exporting the circuit to Othermill

  1. Empty a thumb drive of previous project files
  2. In Fritzing: File -> Export -> For Production -> Extended Gerber
  3. Select the thumb drive as the destination

Othermill

  1. Turn on Othermill (turn red knob on right hand side clockwise)
  2. Invoke Otherplan and wait for software to connect
  3. Import your project (…copperTop.gtl)
  4. Zoom in and verify clearance between holes and traces
  5. Click Start Homing
  6. Setup Material
    1. Single or double Sided FR1 L2
    2. Choose appropriate board dimensions
    3. Measure thickness of board with calipers
    4. Continue
  7. Select Align to bracket and click done
  8. Verify top layer is selected
  9. Verify tool is 1/32″ flat endmill, both the physical tool in the machine as well as what’s selected in the software. Change in both places as necessary.
  10. Insert PCB
    1. Click on Unload Material to move bed to front of machine for access
    2. Apply tape
    3. Align board tightly against lower left bracket corner
  11. Click on Holes and Outline to disable them i.e. only cut the traces for the top layer
  12. Click Start Cutting
  13. Install cover and don safety glasses
  14. Click Cut! to start cutting
  15. When top layer is done flip board:
    1. Click Loading to access board
    2. Remove board
    3. Remove tape
    4. Apply tape to top side
    5. Orient board properly (think about how it’s flipped)
    6. Align board tightly against lower right bracket corner
  16. Click Bottom
  17. Zoom in and verify clearance between holes and traces
  18. Add the 1/16″ flat end mill to the software by clicking the “add tool” button and select 1/16″ flat end mill. This just tells the software that you have such a tool available. You will physically insert the tool later on when it’s needed.
  19. Click on Holes and Outline to enable them i.e. for the bottom layer cut all three (traces, holes, outline)
  20. Click Start Cutting
  21. Install cover and don safety glasses
  22. Click Cut! to start cutting
  23. The mill will first cut traces and holes, and then it will pause and ask you to remove th 1/32″ endmill and insert the 1/16″ endmill. It will then go through a procedure to detect the precise height of the new endmill, and then it will proceed with the cutting.
Print Friendly
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *