3D Printed Tool Lets You Measure Component Reels Easily

Component reels are a highly-0ptimized packaging format. They deliver components to pick and place machines for effective high-speed assembly. As more of us get into working with SMD components, we’re exposed to them as well. [MG] wanted a way to easily measure tape from component reels, which is difficult because they’re often curled up. Thus, they whipped up a nifty little tool for the job.

The device consists of a 3D printed bracket which is designed to fit on a cheap electronic tape measure from Amazon. The bracket holds an 8mm wide component tape against the measuring wheel. As the component tape is fed through the device, it turns the wheel, and the measurement appears on the screen. No more must you try and flatten out a tape and measure it section by section. Instead, you just feed it in, yank it through, and you’re done!

[MG] notes that the tape measure itself runs on an STM32 microcontroller. As an extra-credit assignment, they suggest that the device could be reprogrammed to display component count instead of distance if that’s more suitable for your application. If you happen to make that mod, be sure to notify us on the tipline!