In what can probably be attributed to the pains of placing a lot of SMD components, [gravelrash] built his own home-made pick and place machine.
Instead of being frustrated with tweezers, stereo microscopes, and having an inordinate amount of concentration, [gravelrash] built a pick and place machine from a Chinese CNC router. The build doesn’t use automated feeders for its reels of parts. Instead,[gravelrash] picked up five manual feeders from eBay, allowing his pick and place to hold 25 different reels of components.
There is, of course, a vacuum pump for sucking up SMD parts and a two-axis gantry capable of moving components from reel to board. The software is Mach3, a program normally used with spinning cutters to mill away wood, metal and plastic. [gravelrash] replaced this motor with a few vacuum controlled needles to pick up, move, and drop components onto the board.
While the build may not be as fast as some other pick and place machines we’ve seen, it’s almost as fast as hand-placing components with the added bonus of not tearing your hair out over very tiny parts.
Tip ‘o the hat to [Alexander] for sending this one in.