The Vacuum Port Upgrade allows you to utilize the Fine Dust Collection System, which greatly facilitates milling in a cleaner and more timely fashion. Once completed, you'll be able to run a vacuum through the wall of your machine to easily remove chips during and after milling complex parts or PCBs.
This tutorial shows you how to properly install the Vacuum Port Upgrade for your Othermill or Othermill Pro. While this isn't a long process, the steps are precise and you'll need to proceed with care. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com before proceeding.
Included in the Vacuum Port Upgrade:
- Vacuum Port plug
- Vacuum Port fitting
- Vacuum adapter
- Paper template
You'll need the following tools:
- Small drill bit for pilot hole
- Hole saw, 1”
- Electric drill
- X-Acto knife or scissors
- Double-sided tape
Download the template:
Download a high resolution version of this template. Print it at 100% size.
Step 1: Prepare your mill.
Start by moving your T-slot bed (Y-carriage) to the loading position. To do this, open the Bantam Tools Software and click on the loading button; your Y-carriage should move to the front of the machine. Once the mill is in position, unplug all cords and remove all windows from your milling machine for safety.
Place the mill face down on a sturdy table or the floor. You'll need to drill into the back panel of the milling machine, so make sure you can easily get good leverage over the mill.
Step 2: Prepare your drilling template.
Start by printing out the Vacuum Port Drilling Template at 100% size. Then cut it out with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Remember to not cut out the pilot hole, as you’ll need to be as precise as possible. Be careful when you're cutting out the template because it'll determine how well your hole is placed.
Once you've created your template, use double-sided tape to adhere it to the back-right side of your milling machine. Be sure all the cut-out features and edges line up perfectly with your template.
Step 3: Drill your Vacuum Port.
Your mill should still be in a location where you can get good leverage and aim accurately with a drill.
CAUTION: If you drill in the incorrect location, you'll be unable to use your Vacuum Port and/or you could possibly damage your milling machine. Be precise when placing your template and creating a pilot hole, and double check these steps thoroughly. If the template doesn't line up with the edges of the milling machine, it might mean that the template didn't print at 100% size and needs to be reprinted. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org before proceeding.
Double-check that everything is placed correctly. Using the small drill bit, drill a pilot hole exactly in the center of the crosshairs where the Vacuum Port Drilling Template says "Drill Pilot Hole Here."
To check your hole location, look from the front of the machine. Your pilot hole should be exactly centered between the cables and the T-slot bed.
If you’re confident with the location, switch to the 1.0” hole saw. Using the pilot hole, slowly drill through the rear panel of your milling machine. Take breaks to remove chips and ensure the hole saw doesn't overheat and melt the frame.
CAUTION: Be careful to not over-drill once through the rear panel— there are delicate cables that could be damaged by the hole saw.
Step 4: Clean up.
First, ensure there is no damage to any of the cables. If the hole was properly located, this shouldn't be an issue. Using an X-Acto knife or deburring tool, deburr the inside and outside edges of the Vacuum Port hole. This will help with proper seating for your Vacuum Port components. Lastly, thoroughly vacuum the chips from your mill.
Move your mill back to its usual resting spot and get ready to install the Vacuum Port components.
Step 5: Use your Vacuum Port.
How to use your Vacuum Port depends on whether you're using it by itself or with the Fine Dust Collection System.
Using Your Vacuum Port by Itself
To start, place the Vacuum Port fitting on the inside of the machine, threads facing out through the Vacuum Port hole. From the back of the milling machine, attach to your Vacuum Port fitting either the threaded plug (if you want to close the Vacuum Port) or the universal vacuum adapter (if you want to connect a vacuum to your milling machine). Both parts should easily screw together. Once tightened, you should be able to use your milling machine as normal.
Using Your Vacuum Port with the Fine Dust Collection System
Place the double elbow on the inside of the machine, threads facing out through the Vacuum Port hole. From the back of the milling machine, attach to your double elbow either the threaded plug (if you want to close the Vacuum Port) or the universal vacuum adapter (if you want to connect a vacuum to your milling machine). Both parts should easily screw together. Once tightened, you should be able to use your milling machine as normal.
IMPORTANT: The vertical lines of the Vacuum Port fitting or double elbow should be perpendicular to the ground when the system is in place. If it's rotated, your T-slot bed will collide and be unable to successfully run. If your hole is centered and the Vacuum Port fitting is arranged correctly, you shouldn't have clearance issues.
- Always check your Vacuum Port fitting alignment after switching components and before running a new milling job.
- You can attach a vacuum to the universal vacuum adapter while a part is milling to collect dust and debris, even if you don’t use the Fine Dust Collection System.
- Don’t try to adjust components in the Vacuum Port while the beds are in motion.