The alignment bracket is a fixturing accessory included with every Bantam Tools Desktop PCB Milling Machine. This guide shows how to install and locate it.
Once installed and located, the alignment bracket tells the software the precise position and orientation of any material aligned to it. This has many wonderful applications, such as allowing for multi-sided operations and double-sided circuit boards.
- Bantam Tools Desktop Milling Machine Software
- Alignment bracket (included with the milling machine)
- Three small bracket screws and Allen wrench (also included with the milling machine)
Step 1: Start the process of locating the bracket.
Connect your computer to the milling machine, launch the software, and home the machine.
Click the Locate button in the Configure panel, which brings up the following dialog:
Step 2: Attach the bracket to the bed.
The bed will move to the Loading position so you can easily install the bracket. Before attaching it, clear all material from the bed.
Place the bracket on the near edge of the bed and screw in the three fixturing screws (left, right, and middle). The screws should be lightly tightened using the provided Allen wrench so that the bracket is securely attached and doesn’t move around.
Be careful not to over-tighten the screws. The threaded holes in the bed are delicate, and excess force will strip the threads.
Click Continue to move to the next step.
Step 3: Reverse the tool or insert a 0.125"-diameter probe.
You’ll see the Reverse Tool dialog box:
The bracket-locating process uses a 0.125"-diameter probe tool to find the edges of the bracket. If you don’t have a probe tool, any tool with a 0.125" shank can be inserted upside down and used as a probe. Insert it about 3/4" (half the length of the tool).
Note: Be careful not to insert it much further, as it will hit the inside of the toolholder, and the tip can break when you tighten the collet nut.
Step 4: Locate the bracket.
Click the Continue button to make the machine start the location process. Two things will occur automatically:
- The probe will be used to locate the bed, and you’ll see the tool in the upper right of the software change to “0.125in Diameter Probe.”
- The probe will be used to locate the bracket. The probe will touch the bracket in six places, twice per side.
If everything worked correctly, congratulations, the bracket is now located and you can start milling with precise alignment!
Remember, for the sake of accuracy, you should locate the bracket every time you install or reposition it.
If the bracket-locating sequence went awry, there are two possible errors you may get:
If the probe failed to make a sufficient electrical connection with the bracket, you’ll get an error message and the sequence will be cancelled. You’ll need to locate the bracket again. First ensure the bed is cleared, the bracket is firmly attached to the bed, and no debris is stuck to the probe tool. Then restart the bracket-locating sequence.
The other type of error will occur if the software determines that the bracket is not the expected shape when it made electrical contact with it. This is only a warning and will still allow the bracket to be located and usable. However, unless your bracket really is bent out of shape, this message probably indicates an error, so we recommend that you run the bracket-locating sequence again.
If either of these problems persists, please contact email@example.com. We’re here to help!