Hand piece

A project log for Manual Pick and Place SMD Vacuum

Foot pedal operated SMD Vacuum for manual placement of components. This upgrade from tweezers simplifies SMD placement during PCB assembly.

leumasyerrpleumasyerrp 12/09/2021 at 01:360 Comments

Aside from the vacuum pump the second most important item for this build is the hand piece. This is the part that you hold and use to pickup SMD parts. I was able to find a used Weller WVP on eBay. I would suggest looking there or other used market places first since it is relatively expensive brand new for some reason. The part number to search for is T0052918499N or look for replacement parts for a Weller WR3M Station. DigiKey sells a new Weller WVP for $88. The Weller WVP is adapted to the SMD Vacuum by cutting a small section of the 1/4″ PVC tubing and inserting the plastic nozzle on the end of hand piece into the tubing as shown below. Finally block the hole on the side of the Weller WVP since we are using a foot pedal to control suction and not your finger.

This hand piece feels really nice and works well for me. Having said that if you cannot find one for a decent price or feel like making your own hand piece I did do a little experimentation and found that it is possible to make something similar while not as well polished. I used a 1/8″ OD Brass Tube and connected it to the front port of the SMD Vacuum using 1/4″ OD Soft Tygon PVC Tubing. The clear PVC tubing used inside the SMD Vacuum is a little stiff for my liking and I found that Tygon tubing is slightly more pliant. The photos below show the rough setup I was experimenting with before I found the Weller WVP. My plan was to 3D print a case to go around the brass tube for gripping and to also 3D print adapters so that the nozzles could connect better to the brass tube. As pictured it works fine although not very ergonomic. For nozzles I used a rubber protective cover that comes on the engraving bits for the 3018 pro with a small hole that I drilled in the end. This setup was a rough prototype that I would have refined more had I not picked up a Weller WVP.