The Othermill

Full Metal Jacket

The Othermill is a desktop 3-axis CNC router. It’s quiet and it packs a lot of power and precision into a small footprint. It’s basically the Makerbot of CNCs. It comes with its own software, Otherplan, which reads SVG files output from any vector-based software–think Illustrator or if you’re a poor student, Vectorworks.

The Othermill is tiny, but it can charge through a variety of materials. This week we were given aluminum. Or al-lu-min-imum if you’re a Brit, Aussie or just pretentious.

Two and a Half Plan

2.5D is a term used to describe a lot of what comes out of ITP’s CNC machines. It’s not 2D but it’s also not true 3D. It’s what it’s called when you design a two dimensional object on a flat surface plane then cut perpendicular to your design lines through the depth of your material and/or engrave partway through it.

So this sketch for a bottle opener…

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…gets turned into several vector files that, together, complete the design…

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…which gets placed into Otherplan and milled, section by section…

…and ends up looking like this…

Photo Feb 08, 6 44 14 PM