I was lucky enough to borrow an Othermachine Othermill from a friend. My first project with it was to etch and carve TurtleArt designs into linoleum to use as stamps. It was a remarkably easy process!
I started with a design I programmed in TurtleArt. I converted the image from .png format to .svg format so I could prepare the image in Inkscape for use with the Otherplan software. I used the original Mac version of Otherplan (not the cross-platform beta) on my old iMac that I upgraded to OS X 10.8 specifically so I could run Otherplan and use the Othermill.
After sizing the .svg in Inkscape, I imported the image into Otherplan, sized the stock I was going to use in the software, and loaded the 1/32" bit into the mill.
The milling was surprisingly quiet despite the high speed at which the bits spun and etched and carved the material. The process was very interesting to watch.
It took about 45 minutes for the design to be etched and the outline to be carved. I stopped the Othermill using the software when the 1/8" bit was about halfway through the stock. I finished the stamp with a manual jig saw and a piece of Scotch Bright scouring pad.
The resolution of the finished stamp is surprisingly detailed. This stamp is about 2 inches wide. The next designs on this small a piece of linoleum should probably not use as fine a line, as some of the detail is lost at the edges. However, this stamp was a beautiful first effort and an exciting new tool with which to create.
I look forward to teaching my friend how to etch and carve his own stamps when I return his Othermill!