SMT pick and place vacuum hand picker

by zapta, published

SMT pick and place vacuum hand picker by zapta Dec 23, 2014
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7581Views 1556Downloads Found in Electronics


(this is version 2 of this thing. It has a more ergonomically shape).

NEW: added a model for a mouth piece that allow to have a stand alone pick and place tool with no vacuum pump. The tube is a flexible silicon aquarium airline from a pet store. The filter is a universal 1/4" automobile fuel filter (filed to fit the airline).

This is a single piece design a handle for vacuum hand picker for electronics SMT components. It has two versions, one with a release hole and without release hole (I am using the latter with a foot pedal and a 12V pneumatic valve for better release stability). The printed release hole is intentionally small and you can drill a larger one if you want, or just print the no hole version and drill a hole wherever you want. The handle is compatible with standard industrial blunt needles (available on eBay) and with standard aquarium air hose (use silicon hose for better flexibility, e.g. "TopFin Silicone Airline Tubing").

The files with 'demo' in their name are provided to show the internal details. These are not the files you want to print.

I printed it on a Prusa i3V using PLA, 20% infill, 5 top, bottom and vertical shells (in Slic3r) for better air tightness and no material support (otherwise you will block the internal air passage).

Air tightness is important for proper operation so you want to test it by holding it under water with the tip blocked and blowing into the hose. If you still see bubble through cracks and holes you may want to increase the number of shells, print slower, make sure you don't under extrude or fill the holes with glue (you can apply vacuum to such the glue into the holes).

This is a base design and hopefully others will improve on it. For example, forcing the air to flow near the release hole for minimizing the residual vacuum when released, a built in adjustable valve for regulating the desire lifting force, built in air filter or somehow making this thing ESD safe.

The source files include an inkspace .svg file which contains the spline contour of the handle. It was exported in DXF format using the inkspace BetterDxf extension and is require for proper compilation of the scad file.

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I actually plumbed this into my rework stations smoke absorber and also use it as a solder sucker with a spare chip lifter attachment but with no suction cup.

i am trying to figure out what this is.. how it works and what it is for.

It is used to pick and place small parts on an electronic printed circuit board similar to this one but with better vacuums https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55hZ6iGVCkM and positive pressure release.

what causes the vacume? I can't see a pump or trigger to activate vacume and release vacume

You put the pacifier looking part in your mouth and such on it. Or, replace it with a pump such as a reversed fish tank air pump.

Can you explain the release valve assembly?

Also, does this mean you're sucking with your mouth to create the necessary pressure? How does one operate this?

The release hole is useful if you are using a continuous vacuums pump. It's a small hold on the side of the handle that you can open and close with your finger. The unit in the picture uses vacuum that you create with your mouse and doesn't need the release hole. A third option is to use a controlled vacuum source (e.g. foot pedal activated) without the release hole. For example, a reversed aquarium air pump and a foot pedal that turn the pump on/off or controls a pneumatic valve.