basePnP - pick and place machine

Pick and place machines seems to be popular in these days. So why not to build one?

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I'm student of electrical engineering and i need a PnP a lot! We have so many ideas for products in our hackerspace, but its really hard way from idea to final product. This machine should help us make our dreams real :D

Project goals:

  • at least one 250x150 mm PCB
  • must be able to handle with 0603 components
  • one picking head
  • vision system (top and bottom camera)
  • reasonably fast and accurate
  • This will be a pick and place machine - So don't expect any 3D printer/laser cutter addons.
  • Custom electronics, no Arduino at all.
  • only static feeders for components (or adopt something from FirePick)
  • use as most of the stock parts as possible
  • Intuitive SW
  • Deadline is set to 1st May (So i have about two months to finish)

  • ...

    Hyna02/15/2018 at 10:51 0 comments

    It´s long time since last update. Sadly this project is hibernating and waiting for a reborn. I did this project for a reason - to make a small batch of PCBs for my planned product. But it turns out that making a hardware product is not that easy. Making a prototype is one thing, but serial production is completely different story...

  • Quick update

    Hyna05/17/2015 at 01:15 0 comments

    Not enough time for updating this blog, sorry :)

    But soon or later there should be a big update with all the documentation and of course some videos from real jobs.

  • Pressure sensor output

    Hyna04/14/2015 at 23:58 0 comments

    Seems that detecting parts on the nozzle will be quite easy.

    First section of the graph is with closed vacuum valve - sensor is on atmosphere pressure. Then valve is opened (no device attached to the nozzle )and ADC value goes quickly down to 3300. After device is suctioned to the nozzle, there is another drop down to 2900.

    This test was performed with 0.9mm nozzle. So for smaller nozzle diameter (for placing 0402 packages) difference in pressure will be much smaller, but still be detectable.

  • Feeders & pressure sensor

    Hyna04/13/2015 at 23:36 0 comments

    Seems that two moths is really big challenge for such a complex project like this :D

    As my thesis supervisor suggested, I did implemented pressure sensor for check if component was picked up or not. For this purposes I ordered MPXM2202AS from Farnell. This sensor has differential output with only 40mV full scale. So the differential amplifier was needed.

    Here is the prototype

    Output is set to 3V at atmospheric pressure and goes down to 2V when pump is directly connected. This should give me enough range to detect presence of components.


    Most of the components which i normally use came in cutted tapes. After few minutes in OpenSCAD and two iterations I came with following solution.

    According to On Semiconductor there is maximum height of components for 24mm tape 11.9 mm. So this system should handle all tapes widths from 8mm to 24mm without problems. Tape feeders can be easily adjusted to any tape width.

    For the rest of the components there will be "single component" type of feeder implemented.

    Make a good feeder is crucial, so I expect a lot of redesigns.

  • First picking of 0402 resistors

    Hyna04/07/2015 at 23:27 0 comments

    Just a quick update with current progress.

  • Z axis

    Hyna03/30/2015 at 01:25 0 comments

    Z axis prototype.

  • Vacuum

    Hyna03/29/2015 at 00:23 0 comments

    Here is how my vacuum setup should look like.

    As a vacuum pump I use reworked aquarium pump. Pumping speed and ultimate pressure is so poor, but it's enough for testing purposes. Id like to use a diaphragm vacuum pump in final setup.

    Buffer is in ToDo list, since I didn't find any suitable vessel in our hackerspace.

    Valve is SMC V114A-5GU, not a best choice for vacuum application, but it works :)

    Trickiest part was to make a custom manifold. I've started with this block of aluminum:

    and on the second attempt (+ one broken tool) I ended with:

    I hope that tomorrow I will be able to pick up some parts with improvised Z axis!

  • SW SW SW...

    Hyna03/26/2015 at 02:29 0 comments

    I've spent all the time since lat post only by writing the SW. The latest version can be now found at github if someone is interested:

    Implemented features:

    • communication module - GCODE sender/receiver
    • Simple board alignment - use only bottom left corner of PCB as zero position
    • Fully automatic board alignment - use vision to find the fiducials and then affine transform coordinates
    • device manager - static tape implemented

    So the SW is almost ready for the first job :) Now is the time to hack on Z axis and vacuum.

  • Image recognition

    Hyna03/06/2015 at 02:41 0 comments

    Now the trickiest part - the SW. All coding will be done in Python + OpenCV + PyQt. Programming is really not my hobby, but I'm able to to write some code which sometimes eventually works :D Friend of mine from our hackerspace offered me a help with SW. He has different approach how the things should work, so plan is to have two independent control SW. The reason why i want to write my own version is that this project is also my Diploma thesis.

    Back to the topic. I did some tests with fiducials and it was really straight forward. Same as detecting the holes in SMD reels. But one problem already appeared. How to create the proper light conditions! Which color should I use? Which intensity, from which angle etc... Seems that even the guys from FirePick project do not know.

    SMD tape:


  • It works!

    Hyna03/06/2015 at 02:17 0 comments

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ProtoVoltaics wrote 04/09/2015 at 19:52 point

Great project looking forward to seeing it progress!

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radiusmike wrote 03/29/2015 at 02:56 point

Looking forward to seeing more of this project.  2 Months is a good challenge.  Well done so far.

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federicoortiz12 wrote 03/01/2015 at 15:09 point

Always nice to see a pnp machine. Don't leave out the possibility of changing its head. You may want to add a solder paste dispenser later on.

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Hyna wrote 03/06/2015 at 02:46 point

This should be really easy to implement, because on the X gantry is plenty of space. For one prototype is nice to have dispenser, but I rather etch my own stencils.

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