To start off, thanks to JLCPCB for sponsoring this project. JLCPCB Prototype for $2 (Any Color): https://jlcpcb.com/DYE
I've been getting into designing tiny boards with smaller and smaller components that are tightly packed together so here's a tool I've designed to help me manipulate those minuscule micros and transfer those tiny transistors!
I know it's been awhile since the last video I made on this project. Sometimes you start a project with so much energy and then just get bogged down with life and other projects till your enthusiasm just wanes. I spent quite a bit of time trying to design a really fancy 3D printed case for the VacPen that I could see the feature creep starting to loom so I decided to just go simple and functional so I could wrap this project up and use it. So this version is more a prototype than a finished commercial looking device. The case could use some screws, integrated pcb mounting to utilize the onboard touch sensing pad and most importantly a better battery enclosure method. But I just wanted something done now to help assemble pcbs that will arrive very soon so let's wrap this project up and leave improvements for version 2.0!
The challenge this project attempts to address is two fold. First it's to make manipulating components easier than tweezers. This can either be for harvesting components using hot air/plate or for soldering them onto a new board. Secondly the project itself is partly recycling as the hand piece, pump, suction tips and tubing were all recycled from a gas tester I bought second hand from a thrift store. The way this project solves the difficultly in manipulating components is by using suction that can be quickly and easily controlled to grab or release even oddly shaped components.
It was only a matter of time before my soldering escapades led me to this point. Fed up with tweezing tinier and tinier parts onto tightly packed pcbs I seek a way to preserve my sanity. In this video we take a look a the starting point in the process of designing a vacuum pickup tool to help me wrangle those miniature mosfets, those tiny transistors, those little LEDs, those micro ... microcontrollers. I think you get the point anyway, alliteration aside, Let's see what components I plan to use, the pcb I designed to control everything and finally give it a test run. The core of this project started when I found some sort of gas leak detector for cheap at a thrift store. I popped it open to discover a tiny adorable pump, tubing, and the handpiece. I ended up reusing these parts to prototype a small vacuum pickup tool and they worked surprisingly well.
All design files/software supplied from this project are in accordance with the simplified BSD license:
Copyright 2022 Shawn Maxwell
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