If you spend your time creating prototype PCB boards all small production runs you may be interested in a new open source manual PCB pick-and-place machine specifically created for “PCB artisans” say it is creators. Launched via the Crowd Supply website the project has already blasted past its required pledge goal with still 27 days remaining. Purchasing options are available from $449 with plenty of additional accessories to purchase separately if desired in the form of a second foot pedal, SMD magazine (8 pack) and more.
Pixel Pump takes the form of a vacuum pump for manual SMT assembly and features a comfortable pen, a foot pedal, RGB LED buttons, and a variety of features that make hand assembly more enjoyable. “It’s the perfect companion for manual SMT soldering applications, from individual prototypes to small production runs“.
PCB pick-and-place machine
“Pixel Pump ships with a set of five stainless-steel nozzles in each of five different sizes, with outer diameters ranging from 0.3 mm all the way up to 1.8 mm. With this set, you should be able to pick and place most SMD components, including small 0402 passives, larger parts like inductors and ICs, and just about everything in between. The nozzles are held in place by a Luer lock slip fitting that facilitates quick nozzle changes and broad compatibility with third-party nozzles. The pen itself features a barbed connection for the air hose and incorporates four M8 steel nuts to give it some heft and to enable magnetic attachment to Pixel Pump.”
“Tactile silicone buttons with RGB backlighting offer full control over the unit. You can change operation modes, switch between high- and low-power settings, or activate reverse mode to clean your nozzle. The buttons also allow you to configure things like vacuum power and LED brightness. Pixel Pump has a pressure-relief valve that dumps vacuum to ensure that your part gets released quickly when you release the foot pedal. Optionally, you can configure that valve to switch from suction mode to pressure mode, which quickly and easily cleans the nozzle in case you have accidentally sucked in debris like solder paste.”
“A sintered air filter protects the vacuum pump and valves from debris that might otherwise be sucked into the system. It is accessible from the outside and can easily be cleaned and reused. Pixel Pump was designed primarily for individuals and organizations that manufacture one-off prototypes, but it’s also well suited for small production runs. It’s super easy to use and is actually faster than an automated pick-and-place machine for smaller batch sizes, especially when combined with SMD Magazines. “
Source : Crowd Supply