If you’ve ever had to use SMD components on tape outside the realm of the automated assembly machines for which they were designed, you’ll know that one tape looks very like another and it can be very annoying to keep track of which is which. We can’t help admiring [Yvo de Haas’] inkjet printer for SMD tapes then, which efficiently prints whatever identifying marks you need on the back of your tapes.
The printer uses the venerable HP45 inkjet cartridge, and teams it with a 3D printed mechanism and [Yvo]’s self-designed driver board. A worm gear motor and a sprocket take care of advancing the tape through the mechanism past the printhead, and there is a well-assembled piece of software to drive it all. With extremely comprehensive build instructions it should be within the reach of anyone who handles component tape, and from our experience of hand-labeling tape for kits we can see that it could be a Godsend. Take a look at it in action in the video below.
So far the tape-handling machinery we’ve seen has mostly been for cutting sections rather than labeling. We can see that this printer paired with a tape cutter should be essential equipment for anyone starting a kit business.