Electronics Design and Manufacture
ABN: 57 995 688 558
|A Pick and Place machine is essential for medium to large scale assembly of printed circuit boards. Unfortunately such
machines are often too expensive for small design and manufacturing firms to obtain. The following information is a
description of our efforts to build a bare bones and budget priced DIY Pick and Place machine.
This is an ongoing project featuring our initial efforts, and new currently evolving machine. It is our hope that some
visitors will find this information and down loadable content useful to their own efforts. Suggestions and ideas from the
public are welcome.
Version 1 DIY Pick and place machine.
This project was begun in mid 2016 and built using basic off the shelf automation components, hand made
fixtures, and cobbled together custom electronics. Its ugly, works haphazardly , and needs a lot of future work.
This web page will evolve as further re-designs are made.
It was decided to start with a bare bones system. Simple 0805 component loading without vision system
assisted correction. Generally SMD components do not need exact placement as components will often
auto-align themselves during the solder paste reflow process.
The key element to this system are.
1. A simple X, Y, and Z motion system required to move a vacuum pick-up head from the taped components
to the PCB being assembled.
2. A feeder system for advancing the component tapes and removing the covering plastic strip
holding components secure.
3. A vacuum pump and associated tubing.
4. Motor drive system and associated electronics.
5. PC application software to allow over all control of the entire assembly process.
The X,Y,Z motion system.
There isn't much to say about an X,Y,Z motion system. You've seen one, you've seen them all.
We started off with this basic arrangement.
The Y axis (top to bottom) consists of 2x 8mm hardened shafts unsupported of length 762mm.
The X axis (left to right) initially consisted of 2x 8mm hardened shafts unsupported of length 495mm but it was
soon found that 2 unsupported rods left to much "wobble" in the moving head. Eventually we changed the X axis
to V-slot extrusion.
The Feeder system.
The component feeder system was and remains the most difficult aspect of a DIY pick and place machine. The key
attributes of a low cost DIY feeder system is that they are required to be as narrow as possible, and as cheap as
As more feeder units are added to the system the distance the pick head needs to move increases. The longer the
travel the more time is wasted picking a part, thus reducing overall production speed. In addition multiple feeders
will be required for a complete machine which makes individual cost critical as the cost will be multiplied by the
number of feeders added.
To reduce cost we decided to have the pick head draw the tape along, while a single geared motor rotated a bank of
constant friction pulleys for cover tape removal.
We also stock: