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End Mills sold at Adafruit ?
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End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by sketchy on Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:34 am

The end mills for sale on the Adafruit site are noted to work with the Other Machine.

The challenge I have is the other machine's software supports 1/100, 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 (only? I haven't found a way to tell it the end mill is different from one of the ones listed in the drop down box).

The end mills for sale on the Adafruit site are .7mm, .8mm, .6mm, .5mm.
1/64 = .4mm
1/32 = .8mm
1/16 = 1.6mm
1/8 = 3.17mm
(of course, I could be wrong in my conversion or doing something other embarrassingly wrong).
Assuming the above is correct, the only end mill from Adafruit that works with the Other Machine is the .8mm (2075).

What am I missing?

Thank you.

sketchy
 
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Re: End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by adafruit_support_mike on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:00 pm

It's possible to add new tools, but the technique isn't really mine to share.

The method I know about involves hacking one of the Otherplan resource files. It isn't all that hard to do, but it doesn't survive a software update, and I don't know where the folks from Othermachine are in the process of developing an official solution. They've told me that's on their list of things to do sooner-not-later, and I don't want to make their lives harder by publishing information that might be out of date.

The Othermachine folks have been friendly and helpful every time I've talked to them, so I owe them the courtesy of letting them decide how much of that information they want to put online.

You can contact them yourself at support@othermachine.co, and I'll let them know you've asked about it.

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Re: End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by sketchy on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:29 am

Thanks very much Mike. Your response helped clarify a confusion I had. I copy/pasted my question and your reply to an Other Machine Support Ticket. A challenge for me is I am breaking enough end mills ... so I like the idea of having "high quality" and then some like Adafruits to get up to speed until I can wear big girl pants.

sketchy
 
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Re: End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by OMC_Ezra on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi Sketchy and Mike,

This is Ezra from Other Machine Co. here. As Mike said, we plan on adding the ability to edit the tool library in Otherplan as soon as possible. We know that many people would like to be able to use metric tools, such as the tools sold on Adafruit – and we're working on it. Stay tuned!

There is a workaround that involves editing some configuration files contained within the Otherplan app. It requires a fairly-advanced knowledge of the JSON file format and comfort with a text editor. There are a few additional caveats, and the file format may change in the future, but if you're up for it, shoot us an email at support@othermachine.co and we'll give you the details. Thanks!

Ezra

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Re: End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by sketchy on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:14 pm

Thanks very much Ezra. It is terrific to get a reply from the vendor! And thank you for the instructions....we'll all figure this out...bit by bit...um...end mill..by...end mill.

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Re: End Mills sold at Adafruit ?

by adafruit_support_mike on Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:55 pm

sketchy wrote:A challenge for me is I am breaking enough end mills ... so I like the idea of having "high quality" and then some like Adafruits to get up to speed until I can wear big girl pants.

If you have a Harbor Freight or Tool Town nearby, pop in and see if they have any "16 assorted factory seconds for $7" sets. They usually have colored plastic collars around the shank, and snapping one doesn't hurt as much as losing a good mill.

Be aware that the long-flute mill/drills need a lighter touch than the ones you'll get from Othermachine (or Travers, where I get a lot of supplies: http://www.travers.com/). The long, thin flute is easier to bend than the 2mm to 3mm flute on a standard mill, and for hardened cutters bending is pretty much a thing that happens half a second before they break.

The general rule for cutters is to use the shortest, widest one you can. That will be the strongest, and will have other desirable qualities like deeper flutes with better chip clearance.

If you aren't using multiple tools yet, do. Let your 1/32" or 1/16" mill do 90% of the work, and let the 1/64" to 0.010" mills handle the small details. In most cases, a set of mills with 4:1 diameter ratios will work together well.. 1/8", 1/32", & 0.010" or 1/16", 1/64" & 0.05".

The two main reasons I've snapped cutters so far have been weak fixturing and too much feed. Having a workpiece come loose during cutting will probably break anything smaller than 1/16", and trying to move the cutter too fast while it's sunk too deep in the material will also break a cutter.

The path generation software in Otherplan does a good job of calculating conservative feed rates, but don't be afraid to enable Bit Breaker mode and slow the rates down if you're having trouble. Start by dropping the translation rate to 50%, then bump it up by 10% increments as you become more comfortable. The most efficient cutting rate is usually faster than most beginners expect, but it's a lot easier to improve a slow path than to replace the bit or one that was set too fast.

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