Magnetic SMD pick and place

magnetic_pick_and_place

[svofski] sent us this pick and place robot (Google translation) that he found , and it’s quite unique. The majority of the components that make up this pick and place have been recycled from old computer equipment. The X-axis motion is accomplished using old printer parts, while an old CD-ROM drive was gutted to provide motion along the Y-axis. Floppy drive components were ultimately chosen to give the pick and place Z-axis motility.

What makes this pick and place unique however is the way in which components are moved. Most pick and place devices we have seen rely on suction in order to lift and carry components, but this one uses a magnet instead. The machine is used to build small circuit boards for a robotics platform offered on the builder’s web site, which primarily utilizes SMD parts. Once they realized that the majority of their small components were ferromagnetic, they built a hand-wound electromagnet to lift them. While the design limits the usage of the device to strictly ferromagnetic parts, they have a very specific need, which this fills perfectly.

Another unique aspect of this pick and place is the grooved table that sits under the workpiece. It is used to route up to four reels of SMD components, with the placement head providing all of the reel motion instead of relying on separate motors.

If you have a few minutes, be sure to check out the video of the pick and place at work.

Comments

  1. nave.notnilc says:

    ah, using the head to also push the tape further along is very neat.

  2. Now that’s a hack! Awexome stuff.

  3. Drake says:

    Very Nice!

    I am in the conceptual stage of converting a newer printer to an x/y table. Only issue is that newer printers don’t have steppers they have brushed motors and encoders. On the other hand I have a couple of very good Motor controllers laying around which have encoder support built into them

  4. Stereohead says:

    How does it turn componentes? i.e. if you want to place a component at 90 degrees when it’s at 0 degrees at the tape?

  5. psuedonymous says:

    I’d be somewhat worried about the magnetic field shifting nearby components when they are placed close together.

  6. pelrun says:

    Bravo!

    @pseudonymous, you can probably tune the magnetic field strength quite precisely – besides the force exerted by the field drops off extremely quickly (inverse 3rd power?) as you move away from the head. As long as you don’t physically bump the head into an already placed part it should be fine.

    And then there’s all that sticky flux the components are sitting in…

  7. lobo says:

    Excellent work! You should be able to advance the tape while picking up the component. Should speed things up a little! Love the simplicity!

  8. bluesman says:

    Amazing ! Congrats, nice idea and very well done !!!

  9. Gav says:

    That’s simply amazing. Great work!

  10. justme2 says:

    cool, I work with a pick and place machine, our essemtec csm7100 uses little geared motors to pull the clear tape back, that action advances the paper tape.
    I do like how they use the head to advance to the next part.

    has there been any thought to include rotation in the head?

  11. know says:

    main point of that machine is following:
    Machine is under control of so called “marsohod” board (like a simple robo-controller with Altera CPLD)and this machine assembles “marsohod” board.
    So robot is “assembling” itself.

  12. KingOfDos says:

    Great solution for SMD pick and place, my compliments.

    As already suggested is an head-rotate an great add-on for this project. Stepping per 45 degrees would be usefull (I think).

  13. I just designed a tape feeder. I heard about this method but couldn’t find the link, now I’m pointed towards it and I must say that this is a really elegant way to make this (custom) pick-n-place work possible! Still, perhaps my design is useful to some people, so I’ll use this as a shameless plug ;)

    My design is a mostly printable tape feeder. It’s licensed creative commons and is a fully modular and customizable
    parametric design:

    The files can be found here:

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7291

    Also, it can almost entirely be made on an open source 3D printer (for which it also assembles the parts).

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