Open Pick-N-Place Tape Feeder
by Erik, published
This is part of my efforts to automate assembly of PCBs, using an existing 3D printer with a pick-and-place toolhead instead of acquiring a 40K euro machine. This is a parametric design that can be easily adjusted for various sizes of SMD tape. The gear will also be adjusted depending on the pitch of the tape and components.
A tape feeder like this can cost about 1 euro instead of 200 euro's.
Like most of my design, it was designed in OpenSCAD, openSCAD.org a wonderful tool, especially if you're more of a TUI person than a GUI person.
Personally, I really like the recursion that you can print and cut these parts on open source machines and that they will allow you to automatically assemble the PCBs for 3D printers and laser cutters. Also, the laser cutter can be open source, which is what our friends in Utrecht are working on: see laoslaser.org/
Derivatives, additions, improvements and suggestions may also be prized as part of the Ultimaker challenge:
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very cool model. One suggestion though, if you want to keep cost to a minimum, then surely using a spring+solenoid to drive this would be cheaper (1 transistor to control). Also if you had a takeup wheel for the excess covering film you could ratchet that off of the same mechanism, so cost would only be an extra plastic part, and a maybe cf spring if you need some compliance.
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1. Adjust the parts in openSCAD to fit your tape. Export them to STLs.
2. Print the STL files.
3. Assemble them and ensure that it slides well. The gear, lever and the tape holder have a tight M3 bore.
4. It's better to print it a little too narrow and use a little file to get the exact tolerance you need.
5. Laser cut the gear from POM Delrin (tm).
6. Write control and computer vision software :)
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