Project of the Summer

2nd June 2016
Jordan Mulcare

Hold on to your seats! This is really great news - in addition to the ongoing Project of the Month competition Altium hold, they get to run a Project of the Summer Competition as well! (Southern Hemisphericals are included too, though it's winter down under right now). How is it possible? Their friends OtherMachine Co. at are generously donating a brand-new OtherMill Pro. What's better yet, the Othermill Pro will be the very first off the production line - yep, serial number 1. By Ben Jordan.

In Ben's last blog he was showing how he got from idea to prototype in a single afternoon using the current model of the OtherMill. It's a remarkable machine, extremely well-manufactured, and what glues it all together is the really excellent CAM processor software, OtherPlan. In fact, just in the last week they released an updated version which sliced the milling time to a fraction of what it was. You can now literally route a board in minutes, route a solder paste stencil, assemble and reflow, test, rinse, repeat. And the Othermill Pro takes the accuracy to a whole new level, being able to go down to 25 microns! That means you can prototype 5mils track and space no sweat, and make the most intricately detailed CNC parts.

Competition details:


Grand Prize: A brand-new OtherMill Pro milling machine valued at $3199. We will ship it worldwide and cover all shipping, taxes and all other costs associated with you having this machine on your desk totally free of any charge for you.

Project submission requirements:

Only projects created in CircuitMaker can participate. There is no requirement for the design to be a new project, it can be one of the sandbox designs that you would like to share with the community. Designs that are imported from other PCB design software are not allowed. Designs that are recreation of existing open source projects are not allowed either. Be creative, make something new and share it with others!

Judging Criteria:

Each design will be judged based on 4 simple criteria. Each criteria has certain weight allocated as explained below.

Idea 20%

Collaboration 5%

Sharing 50%

Delivery 25%


The community has its own voice. 20% of the pie.

Members of the community can cast votes and express their opinion about the design idea behind the project. As a community member you can follow particular design, comment on it, fork it, share it on facebook, tweet about it so people can come and visit your project page and we can see number of views. We will look at all those metrics for each project and will compare them to other designs. The more people engage with your project, the more we think this is a good idea!


Let’s make together! 5% of the pie.

Open Source Hardware design is not only about being locked in a garage and making things on your own. It’s also about collaborating with others and solving problems and making stuff together! Create a team and work on the design together. To gain points in this category you will have to demonstrate that your team was using collaboration features in CircuitMaker, with comments showing how you approached design issues and how you collaborated to solve them. Also you can use the project page to engage with others or the CircuitMaker forums if you need help with something. For example, if your project involves a microcontroller, invite a friend to work on software. Do you need enclosure? Invite a friend to work with the step output for designing the enclosure. Maybe you have a friend that can do a 3D model for some component that you use in your project? He/she's your team member as well. Just keep in mind that there’s a single machine for the prize that will go to the project owner or team. Maybe you should win it for your school.


Show how you made this project and explain how it works. 50% of the pie.

The project page. It’s that simple. As you go with your design, document your progress with photos, videos, and explanation of problems you are going through and the solutions you came up with. Share the knowledge and experience with others. Share how you make things and how things work so others can learn from you and innovate on their own! Go into details and become an educator. Explain everything, leave nothing behind! A good write-up and demo videos embedded will go a long way here.


The PCB Design project in CircuitMaker. 25% of the pie.

This is the PCB project in CircuitMaker. Here are guidelines on how we would like to see things done:

  1. All components are linked to Octopart.

  2. Components are real and easy to get via standard online suppliers. Since we may build the top 3 designs, we need to be able to source those components online. Hence they need to be linked to Octopart correctly so we can use the Octopart BOM tool.

  3. All components have 3D bodies so we can look at it in 3D view. We may want to 3D print them or do enclosure designs.

  4. Schematics are easy to read. Group components based on functionality. Make it dead easy to understand what is going on there. Leave notes, important calculations etc.

  5. Project compiles and passes DRC without errors, and with Design Rules enabled.

  6. Project is released and public.

  7. PCB document includes an outline layer with proper board outline. Everything else has to go onto their own dedicated layers - yes 3D bodies as well.

  8. PCB document includes the keep-out layer.

  9. All designators and artwork on the silkscreen (Top Overlay) are easy to read, meaningful and not overlapping with pads.

Basically, follow these rules and the guidelines set for the Project Of the Month Competition and you'll be in great shape running for this amazing prize!

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